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Archive for the ‘2A’ Category

Rob Pincus Joins Board Of Second Amendment Organization

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

CHICAGO – Second Amendment Organization is pleased to announce that Rob Pincus has joined our Board of Directors and has accepted the role of Executive Vice President.

Rob brings over twenty years of experience in the Gun Industry and a lifetime as a shooter. Rob is one of the industry’s most vocal leaders. He is both an advocate and an educator. His work with United States Concealed Carry Association, National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Second Amendment Foundation, Personal Defense Network, I.C.E. Training Company and countless other Pro-Gun-Rights Organizations has influenced millions of American Gun Owners. He has frequently spoken on behalf of responsible gun owners in national and international media. His views are sometimes controversial and often confrontational as he has combated ignorance and negligence around firearms and firearms rights. He understands the need for an assertive, inclusive and rational gun rights organization.

The Second Amendment Organization was founded on a response to the cultural shift that occurred in the US after the vicious killings at Sandy Hook. After that tragedy, an unprecedented number of large corporations, international companies and local business began declaring themselves and their locations as Anti-Gun or “Gun Free Zones”. A few people stood up in opposition to that movement and declared their businesses as Gun Friendly… one of those business was mine. In the wake of that decision, I received a great deal of media attention and was soon joined by other businesses around the county. I saw an opportunity to motivate and celebrate the message of Support for the Second Amendment from businesses outside of the gun industry in a way that had never been done before. I was joined by a few like-minded individuals and started 2AO as a non-profit. Within a few years, we established chapters in over 20 states and had well over 250,000 Businesses Committed to our cause.

Under Rob’s leadership, 2AO plans to expand our efforts and activities. Our Mission is now three fold:
1. To promote a Pro-Second Amendment Attitude in businesses across the United States.
2. To support and educate Grassroots Second Amendment Advocates around the country dealing with issues at the State and Local Levels.
3. To combat Gun Negligence in all forms inside of the community of American Gun Owners.

Our Board has had the utmost respect for Rob Pincus’ work over many years. We are honored to have him join us and we look forward to working with him to accomplish our goals.

Bryan Crosswhite
President & Founder
Second Amendment Organization

Operating a 2A Business Online – Options

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

“My Facebook Page/Group was shut down.”

“My credit card processor shut me off.”

“Google won’t accept my AdWords budget.”

“Shopify modified their Acceptable Use Policy and turned off my website.”

All of these are common complaints we see online every day from businesses operating in and around the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor, and Tactical (SHOT) market – particularly when there’s tools like firearms, knives, and accessories involved. What was once a wide open ‘Wild Wild West’ of the market, is now an increasingly controlled World Wide Web of regulations, rules, and policies. Not many of which are designed to support the SHOT market. Most of them are designed to mitigate liability and risk for the partners and vendors involved. And now that risk mitigation is being wielded to target the SHOT Market.

Shopify’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) update last week is not the first shot of the war. It is one more shot in another battle in a long series of battles. Since the beginning of commerce on the internet we’ve seen this. If it’s not the SHOT market, it’s drug-related content, 3D CAD files (Defense Distributed), the adult industry (watch the movie ‘Middle Men’), and a myriad of other targets.

Doing business online in the SHOT is achievable, but owners/operators need to be realistic and take an approach to mitigate our risk. In the chain of vendors and service providers needed to successfully operate a 2A business, all of them carry inherent risk. Hosts, credit card processors, software licenses, service providers: all of them can change their policy at any time and have a negative effect on your ability to do online business. These policy changes may not be because they dislike us, our products, or our customers. Rather, it may be a requirement of their financial institutions – banks, lenders, processors, investors, their insurance providers – many of whom dislike the inherent risk associated with commerce in 2A, or their leadership or board members – some of whom may push personal agendas in the course of their role, amongst many other factors.

For that reason, it’s important to have these conversations with our providers. Be upfront about our business with our online resources. Let them know what our businesses do, with whom, and what steps we’ve taken to mitigate their risk (your resources, your customers), and our risk – as a business owner/operator. And, ask them the tough questions: “Do you support my business – the legal sale of products in the 2A space?” If the answer is no – move on. If the answer is yes, ask them how they plan to deal with external pressure to exit the space. Ask them how they plan to notify us in the event they are ‘required’ to change their policies/terms that may negatively affect our business’ ability to conduct commerce online.

These questions and relationships can happen at many different levels in the spectrum of online business, depending on our approach to doing SHOT business online. For most of our businesses, this falls into one of three solutions:

Full Custom Development

Working with your team and that of a developer, payment and processor solutions, hosting, homegrown or licensed cart and other software, and likely a suite of marketing and management tools. This option provides the most flexibility for a SHOT business that has the business to support the diverse group of resources required to make it work.

Full Custom is often the most expensive and time intensive but allows for an environment where overall risk is greatly reduced by spreading it across multiple vendors and resources: if one fails, it can often be replaced with another that supports our industry. Solutions like this are perfect for companies looking to both mitigate risk, as well as having a diverse set of business rules and requirements.

Hosted Solutions

Yes: there are hosted solutions alternatives to Shopify that ARE SHOT and 2A friendly, including huge companies with stronger platforms and capabilities than Shopify has ever had. These SaaS (Software as a Service) companies provide nearly a one-stop-shop environment: pay the fee, plug-in your products, start doing business. Yes, that’s a generalization, but time-to-commerce is reduced significantly working with one of these providers.

With Hosted Solutions we operate in their environment, they maintain the hosting, software, and vendors required for us to do business. Using their services or outside resources, you skin the look and feel of the site and add your content and you’re off! From a risk perspective, like Shopify, some of these services can be an all-or-nothing endeavor: if they change a policy your business could be shut down.

It’s imperative, therefore, to have the discussion about policy changes up front with a Hosted Solution provider – will they work with you in the event of a policy change? Can they or will they explore other resource options to support you if, for example, their credit card processor was the weak link and opted out of 2A business? Again – there are some fantastic options out there but approach any relationship with a Hosted Solution provider with your eyes wide open and have a plan for contingencies. These solutions are optimal for brands looking for near-turn-key ecommerce solutions, preferably for brands not selling firearms, weapons, or accessories – soft goods and non-gun parts are a good fit.

DIY Solutions

If you’re good with rolling up your sleeves and terms like ‘CSS’ and ‘API’ don’t scare you, then a DIY solution might be for you. Or, if you can figure out how to navigate some of the online basics of buying a domain, finding a host, and installing plugins, it’s not hard to roll-your-own with little to no help. There’s a number of free shopping carts available. Some requiring little configuration, the others a degree in computer sciences. Depending on your skill and risk level, these could be a good fit for you, but often would be better suited to engaging a developer for a custom project.

Other options may be simpler and easier. One of the most expedient methods is to use WordPress – a widely adopted blog software – in combination with a cart plugin. WordPress powers a claimed 31% of the internet – and it’s a believable claim: their software is everywhere. Over time, companies have built a significant number of plugins to extend the capability of WordPress, including shopping cart software. These shopping cart plugins are available as free, licensed, and hosted options – all ‘plugging into’ the WordPress environment to allow you to operate an online store. Using the easy WordPress interface and finding a place to host your website are relatively straightforward processes. Adding in payment processors, fulfillment providers and other plugins can be a bit trickier, but generally achievable for most.

Building one of these sites takes some time and it opens us to some risk: If your cart plugin is dependent on a specific payment gateway, or any other service/capability, plugin or extension and that provider changes their policy, your business could be at risk. Therefore, a shopping cart plugin with a wide array of options to fulfill these roles and needs is advisable and will help mitigate your risk. Additionally, there’s the possibility of WordPress changing their policies and terms, and though that could be difficult to enforce with the broad proliferation of their software, it could happen. These solutions may allow you to diversify risk across more components and may cost less than a full custom solution or hosted solution, but they add time and resource requirements.

There is a solution for everyone. The options above can and do work. We work with iterations of them every day. Because we, as an industry, are not done or going away. They can’t push us out or shut us down. Using one of the solutions above, or a combination of them, can help mitigate our risk. Having a plan, however, will help further reduce our risk and ensure we’re ready for contingencies. Managing our risk with a plan isn’t a suggestion, it’s a requirement for a smart business owner. They have and will continue to make it harder and more difficult for us. More policies will change, likely not in our favor. More providers will fail us. But we’ve got a plan.

By N Hoffman.

Shopify Bans Firearms and Ammunition

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

For those of you unfamiliar, Shopify is an online sales platform and many companies in the firearms business are built on it, using this licensed technology.

Earlier this week, Canada-based abandoned its pledge to remain apolitical and altered its Acceptable Use Policy to ban use of the software for the sale of firearms, accessories and ammunition. Unfortunately, for these Shopify customers, their very websites rely in this software. What’s more, Shopify hasn’t indicated how long those affected have to comply with the new policy before they “turn them off.”

I’d say it’s time for those affected to switch to an company which respects the rule of law and supports American businesses. As we learn more about this situation and identify platforms which support civil rights, we’ll update you.

The repercussions are wide spread. SSD Advertiser Franklin Armory sent us this press release:

Minden, NV, August 14, 2018– Reputable firearms manufacturer and industry innovator, Franklin Armory®, received word late Monday evening that their ecommerce provider, Shopify, will soon interrupt their lawful commerce of firearms and components due to a sudden change in Shopify’s “Acceptable Use Policy (AUP.)”  The new AUP was presented without warning and included a new definition of “Restricted Items” to include flash suppressors, threaded barrels, pistol grips, and even magazines larger than 10 rounds.  All of these items are legal to use in a majority of states across the country, yet Shopify is interfering with Franklin Armory®’s lawful interstate commerce.

Because of their lawful commerce in firearms, Franklin Armory® has previously been discriminated against by financial services companies such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup, First Data, Intuit, and Pay Pal.  Social media companies such as Facebook, Google, Youtube, and Twitter have also operated under discriminatory policies to throttle down the reach of firearms manufacturers.

Counsel for Franklin Armory®, Jason Davis, stated, “The firearms industry is under an unprecedented attack from the leading facilitators of interstate commerce that deny legitimate firearm businesses access to important structural supports of modern business.”

Jay Jacobson, President of Franklin Armory®, went on to say, “History is replete with examples of discriminatory practices employed against various societal segments.  In almost every case, our nation has legislated equal protection for those segments to prevent unfair practices and discrimination.  If Congress does not act soon to provide equal protection to all businesses, it is not too much of a leap to see how only approved businesses or people will be able to buy or sell in future financial markets.”

If you would like more information about this topic, please see our website at www.franklinarmory.com.

“This is definitely an attack on our rights and our businesses,” states Nick Hoffman of Tactical Development Group. “For years we’ve fought a losing battle where technology and service providers have created or caved to anti-2A policies. We see it in payment providers and gateways, software licenses, and so-called ‘acceptable use policies’ across the technology space needed to do business online. There is hope, however. We’ve found and use several providers willing to pledge their support to our industry and provide the services we need to create successful online businesses, despite the rhetoric of their peers.”

Where Hoffman used to recommend Shopify and their ‘apolitical AUP’, he now recommends a different solution. “Building our businesses on someone else’s platform leaves us vulnerable – we have too many eggs in one basket and a strategic policy change from a vendor can blindside and cripple us. It’s incumbent of us to be aware of this as we build brands across social media and services where the deck is stacked against us – they don’t want our money or liability. Case in point: pro-2A brands like Black Rifle Coffee Co., Grunt Style, and many others, companies that were also blindsided, operate on and represent substantial revenue to Shopify. Whether Shopify considered the unintended consequences of losing business from brands outside the direct sale of firearms related products or not, it’s going to happen. Diversity in our approach to marketing, building, and facilitating our 2A brands is key to our success in combatting sweeping policy changes like this.”

Women Gathered on Capitol Hill to Promote Gun Rights

Sunday, July 1st, 2018

WASHINGTON DC – The DC Project completed its annual trip to the nation’s Capitol this past week. More than 50 women and girls in 11 teams met with members of Congress over 4 days. This marks the third year for the women to meet with their legislators to reveal their stories and safeguard their Second Amendment rights.

The DC Project is a nonpartisan initiative to bring 50 women, one from each state, to Washington to dispel common myths and garner support for gun rights. The project is the brainchild of Dianna Muller, retired law enforcement officer turned professional 3-gun competitor, who just represented the USA in the IPSC World Shotgun match, where she brought home individual silver and team gold medals. In 2016 Muller met with her legislator and wanted to encourage other women to do the same, so she asked colleagues in the shooting community to join her.

Robyn Sandoval, Executive Director of A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League, has joined Muller on all three trips to DC. “When women and students make demands against our freedoms, it is important that our legislators know that those protestors do not speak for everyone,” says Sandoval. “We have more women than ever before wanting to exercise their Second Amendment rights to protect themselves and their families. We have youth who are dedicated to their marksmanship sports. Our lawmakers need to know our stories.”

Each DC Project delegate funded her own trip in this truly grassroots initiative. Participants’ schedules included meetings with Senate and House members and staffers, networking gatherings, and a rally on the U.S. Capitol grounds, featuring legendary advocate Dick Heller, 16-year-old Beth Walker of Indiana, 15-year-old Chloe Deaton of Florida, and Virginia House Delegate Nick Freitas. The schedule also included two range days for members of Congress and staff to meet with DC Project instructors to experience the culture of the shooting community and learn more about firearms.

Learn more at AGirlandAGun.org/dc-project

BATFE Is Reportedly Working On Reducing NFA Item Wait Times

Friday, June 29th, 2018

According to a brief article on American Rifleman, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is planning to spend about $13 million and add 25 new positions during Fiscal Year 2019, for “…additional equipment, software updates, contract support and NFA system modernizations.” Reportedly, this will result in a processing time within 90 days for NFA applications, much more agreeable than the current average wait time of 160+ days, depending on the filing method. For those who aren’t familiar with the Fiscal Year, it starts on October 1st and runs through September 30th of the following year, so the earliest any of this could start taking place would likely be late 2018.

Why The 2nd Amendment Matters

Monday, June 11th, 2018

Yesterday, I ran across this post on Instagram by Sean, who founded 30 Sec Out (@thirtysecondsout). I felt it was too important to just repost on Instagram and that I needed to share it with the readers of SSD.

The fall of Cambodia to the Khmer Rouge happened in my lifetime and predictably so, because we abandoned our partners in South East Asia to Communism.

When I was a kid, we had a family in my church who escaped Pol Pot’s year Zero and the creation of Kampuchea. There were hundreds of refugees from the ravages of Communism on SE Asia in my city, but I never understood what that family and others went through until I saw the movie, “The Killing Fields”.

If you’ve never seen it, watch it, and invite someone you know who is anti-2A to experience it as well. But until then, read and share Sean’s words.

I learned a few things in Cambodia a few years ago, from the source. In this pic I’m standing next to our terp (interpreter) Nhean, at one of the killing field memorials called the Tower of Skulls. Nhean told me a lot of stories of what exactly happened when the Khmer Rouge, a communist group, seized power over the country in 1975 where the dictator Pol Pot wanted to create a pure utopian agriculture communist state. First, they had to kill a few million people to get things going. They started by disarming the population. Once the populace was now “soft” they started to incrementally install their ideology, through force. Nhean was brought to the fields to farm, like everyone else. Nhean said,”Anyone wearing eye glasses was shot. Anyone with books, shot. Teachers, doctors and anyone suspected of having an education, killed as well. One day a man, who I knew a little from before, had been a successful rice farmer. He approached the Khmer guards because the system of moving water they were using was not that efficient. He had a better system that yielded a better return at harvest, so he began explaining it to them. I saw them walk the man over a berm and they shot him in the head. They shot him for having an idea. No one thought any of this was possible before it happened.” Let that shit sink in…Mass killings of civilians by military dictatorships in the 1900s were commonly preceded by the confiscation of firearms, a task made easier by laws requiring the registration and/or licensing of privately-owned weapons. It’s a lot fucking harder to subjugate and enslave people when they fight you with effective weapons and knowledge. I’m not disarming, ever.

#killingfields #polpot #khmerrouge #2A #neverdisarm #neverquit

NEAAM 18 – The Coolest Thing In The Room

Sunday, May 6th, 2018

CZ was giving out these cool hats. I can’t agree more.

Hornady stands up to State of New York

Sunday, April 29th, 2018

Today, the State of New York did one of the most despicable acts ever perpetrated by any state by asking New York banks, financial institutions and insurance companies to stop doing business with the gun and ammo industry.

While it may not make a difference to New York, Hornady will not knowingly allow our ammunition to be sold to the State of NY or any NY agencies. Their actions are a blatant and disgusting abuse of office and we won’t be associated with a government that acts like that. They should be ashamed.

-Steve Hornady, president of Hornady Manufacturing Company