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Catchin’ Up

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By Don Mallicoat- There is a lot of news coming from the outdoor world. So much so that you could do about three columns a week with it. I try to put things aside that are important and catch up with things every now and then. This is one of those times. I’ll also throw in a little information based on personal experience at the gun store.

National Hunting and Fishing Day is an event celebrated across the nation to share our hunting and fishing heritage, particularly with those just getting involved in the sports. This year it will be celebrated on September 27th and the NC WRC has events planned around the state. Here in the mountains things will kick off at 10 a.m. at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education. There will be hands-on, interactive exhibits and demonstrations include fishing, outdoor cooking, archery, pellet rifle range and more. Inside, an award-winning documentary on natural history and wildlife diversity of the mountains is shown throughout the day. Exhibits include five aquatic habitats with live fish, frogs, salamanders and snakes. Other exhibits include: Fly casting, Federation of Fly Fishers exhibit, N.C. Trappers Association exhibit, Archery with N.C.Bowhunters Association, Trout Unlimited Exhibit, Pellet range, Outdoor Cooking, Ducks Unlimited exhibit, Wild game taste sampling, and Backyard bass activity. Sounds like an action packed day! For more information call 828- 877-4423.

Some of you may have missed the news, even though it was broadcast nationally and did not make it locally, but Beretta USA announced last month that they will be moving their entire U.S. manufacturing operation to their new facility in Tennessee. The new facility was announced last year as an expansion. Now it will be a move of all manufacturing plus their Research and Development activities. Reason for the decision to move all manufacturing? According to Beretta’s chief counsel because of recently passed legislation in their now home state of Maryland that outlaws many of the firearms they make at the Accokeek, MD facility.

It looks like firearms sales are returning to a somewhat normal status. We have seen it in our store. Last year was an extraordinary one for firearm sales, a year unlike any other in the industry’s history. That’s a fact to be mindful of when comparing estimated sales through the first seven months of 2014 with those of the previous year, notes Steve Sanetti, President and CEO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry. Remove the extraordinary 2013 from the rear-view mirror and sales of firearms in America still show an almost uninterrupted rise over the past 10 years, according to national background check figures adjusted by NSSF to reflect market activity. For the first seven months of 2014, total firearm sales rank as the highest in the last decade, with the one big exception of 2013. But sales are leveling out and it seems from my perspective that firearms manufacturers over-produced. There are some great deals out there right now, especially for tactical rifles. Now is as probably a good time as any if you have been thinking of buying a gun.

Speaking of gun purchases, there is a common misperception that we need to clear up. Since our store is in a high volume tourist area we have a lot of folks from other states come in thinking because they have a concealed carry permit from their state that is “honored” by NC they can buy handguns here. Nope. North Carolina does honor other states’ concealed carry permits for carry purposes but not for purchase. By Federal law you must be a resident of the state in which the transfer takes place for all handguns, thus a NC permit is required. Long guns (rifles and shotguns) can be sold over the counter to out-of-state residents as long as they pass the instant background check.

I would be remiss if I did not provide an update on the shortage of .22 rimfire ammo. The NRA just release a video interview with an ATK executive (they make all Federal and CCI ammo) and he affirmed that they are making rimfire ammo 24/7. It is simply a consumer demand issue. Two things will stop the shortage. First, stop the profiteering. Don’t pay 2-3 times retail price for ammo. Second, if you do not NEED rimfire ammo don’t buy it. We have folks buying ammo in the shop “just because of the shortage”. Most industry analysts think we will start getting better on rimfire by end of the year.

E-cigarettes a tobacco product?

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