Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘Congress’ Category

SilencerCo CEO Josh Waldron on the Hearing Protection Act

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

My fellow Americans,

Tuesday’s Republican election victory was a tremendous win for our Second Amendment rights and it also marked a significant increase in the potential for the Hearing Protection Act to become law and remove silencers from the NFA registry. SilencerCo has been and will continue to be a vocal supporter of the HPA and advocate for it to become a priority in the legislative agenda for 2017.

As a member of The Suppressed™, you’ve likely thought to yourself, “Why are silencers still an NFA item?” SilencerCo has not only wondered this ourselves, but along with partners such as the American Suppressor Association, we’ve taken steps to support the introduction of legislation to remove silencers from the list of NFA items.

On October 22, 2015 the Hearing Protection Act was introduced. This piece of legislation is aimed at removing silencers from the NFA and instead having their transfer go through a traditional ATF Form 4473 – the same way you would purchase a standard rifle or pistol.

What does this mean for you?

No $200 tax stamp
No excessive wait times
No NFA trusts
No fingerprint cards, passport photos, or Chief Law Enforcement Officer notification
A simple process, just like when you purchase most firearms through your dealer

Even though the House, Senate, and Presidency will be controlled by like-minded advocates for the Second Amendment, bills take time to become laws and citizens should not be taxed for trying to protect their hearing while exercising their Second Amendment rights. Between now and the passage of this bill, we encourage our customers to continue to support the industry and to take advantage of the following provision: The Hearing Protection Act also includes a provision for all people who purchase a silencer between the time the bill is introduced (October 22, 2015) until the day it passes – should you purchase a silencer during that time, you will receive a $200 tax credit to cover the cost of any new silencer tax stamps you pay for.

This bill was initially championed by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) as its primary sponsor and since then has had multiple co-sponsors. SilencerCo, Rep. Salmon, and all supporters of the bill realize that this is a long-term effort and will not be something that happens overnight. With the help of people like you – The Suppressed – we will gain momentum and educate both the general public and lawmakers as to the true nature of silencers.

If you haven’t already joined The Suppressed, click HERE to add your voice to the cause and write to your Congressmen and women and Senators to voice your support for the HPA as a legislative priority for 2017.

Sincerely,

Josh Waldron
CEO, SilencerCo

HASC 2017 NDAA Markup Includes Requirement For Berry Compliant Athletic Footwear

Friday, April 29th, 2016

As you may know, DoD does a great job of adhering to the Berry Amendment, except when it comes to athletic footwear. While many look at the WWII-era law as protectionary, it was created to ensure a viable industrial base for textiles and other clothing, footwear and equipment items. The failure of DoD to follow Berry guidelines for athletic footwear is most apparent during Initial Entry Training where recruits are issued vouchers, which are traded for commercial running shoes at military exchanges.  As you can imagine, these shoes are made overseas.

For the past several years, Congress has been working with industry to offer viable American made alternatives to the military. The language in the National Defense Authorization Act has become more specific each year, and now hopefully, we’ll see this latest version become a part of the 2017 NDAA that the President signs into law later this year after it makes it through the rest of the hoops. Now, we’ve got both Saucony and New Balance offering Made in USA running shoes. Once this becomes law, I believe other brands will follow, bringing jobs back to the US.

WOLVERINE WORLDWIDE COMMENDS HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE’S PASSAGE OF NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT

Annual Department of Defense Funding Bill Includes Landmark Provision Requiring Department of Defense to Provide Berry Amendment Compliant Athletic Footwear to Recruits

Rockford, Mich., April 28, 2016 — Wolverine Worldwide (NYSE: WWW) today commended the House Armed Services Committee’s approval of legislation directing the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps to provide Berry Amendment compliant athletic footwear to service members upon their initial entry to the armed forces. Currently, the Department of Defense provides a cash allowance to members for the purchase of foreign-made athletic footwear. This important provision was included in the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and led by Armed Services Committee member Representative Niki Tsongas (D-MA.)

“I commend the House Armed Services Committee for this significant provision that will have a direct and positive impact on our ability to provide high quality, American-made athletic footwear to men and women upon their entry to the armed services,” said Blake Krueger, Wolverine Worldwide’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. “Congresswoman Niki Tsongas has exhibited remarkable persistence in her support for American manufacturing and for the needs of American service members. We are greatly appreciative of the commitment demonstrated by Congresswoman Tsongas and the members of the Armed Services committee to support American jobs and maintain a strong footwear industrial base in the United States.”

Since 1941, the Berry Amendment has required the Department of Defense to only purchase American-made and sourced clothing, textiles, foods, and other essential military items for our men and women in uniform. Until today, athletic footwear was not included in the Amendment. The purpose of the Berry Amendment is to ensure the United States is able to maintain viable industries for key military items should conflict break out and disrupt supply lines. This legislation helps support manufacturing jobs and sustains the domestic industrial base that currently builds the combat boots and military dress shoes for the United States Armed Services.

With a longstanding partnership with the United States Department of Defense, Wolverine Worldwide operates a manufacturing plant located in Big Rapids, Mich. that employs more than 600 people who currently and proudly build a broad spectrum of Bates Footwear for the men and women of the United States military. Products manufactured in Big Rapids include combat boots for the service branches, mountain combat boots for Special Operations Forces, and military dress shoes.

Wolverine Worldwide has athletic footwear manufacturing capabilities in its Big Rapids facility through its Saucony brand. Saucony is a leading global performance running brand that was founded in the United States in 1898. The brand is known for its best-in-class design, innovation and performance technology. Saucony maintains and is presently expanding its technical research laboratory in Lexington, MA where the Company performs material testing as well as biomechanical, physiological and sensory analysis of runners. The athletic footwear capabilities of the Company’s Big Rapids facility are due to the creation and engineering of an advanced manufacturing line that can produce 100% Berry-compliant Saucony running shoes. The Company is looking forward to building American-made athletic shoes for American troops as a result of this critical amendment included in the NDAA.

Support the Hearing Protection Act

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

As SIG SAUER’s John Hollister says, “Do it for the children.”  The Hearing Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 3799) would remove suppressors from the National Firearms Act.

Let your voice be heard, but not your firearms.

americansuppressorassociation.com/hearing-protection-act

American Knife & Tool Institute Increases Lobbying Efforts to Ensure Protection of Lawful Knife Owners

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Organization to Focus on Federal and State Efforts Including the Knife Owners’ Protection Act, Repeal of Restrictions on Auto-Open Knives, and Preemption

Las Vegas, NV – January 19, 2016 – The American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI) today announced its plans to increase its lobbying efforts in order to prompt reform of knife laws in 2016.

To accomplish this reform, AKTI has brought on ADS Ventures, a Boston, MA and Washington, DC-based government and public affairs firm with a practice specializing in defense and national security issues. The team, headed by Liesl Grebenstein and supported by Savannah Kelleher, has been working with AKTI for several years, but the new contract will enhance efforts focused on federal efforts to pass the Knife Owners’ Protection Act (KOPA), and state efforts to ease restrictions on auto-open knives, as well as preemption. The legislative reform agenda will ensure the protection of knife owners’ Constitutional rights.

“AKTI has an aggressive legislative reform agenda in 2016,” said CJ Buck, AKTI’s Board President. “We are confident that through AKTI’s leadership, and the work of ADS Ventures, it will be a successful year for the organization as we further our mission to ensure your right to own, carry, and use knives and edged tools.”

For nearly 20 years, AKTI has served as the go-to resource for knife owners looking to ensure that they comply with all local, state, and federal laws related to knives. One of the biggest complaints and points of confusion AKTI hears about from lawful knife owners involves the patchwork laws related to the ownership and possession of knives. While citizens are making every effort to comply with patchwork state and local laws, it has become clear that there is the need for comprehensive reform.

“AKTI and its members have been successful in clarifying and correcting poorly conceived and ambiguous legislation and educating legislators on knife issues on behalf of all knife owners,” said David Fee, AKTI’s Legislative Chair. “We support reasonable, responsible legislation and measured non-partisan efforts to resolve issues. We’re excited to see how we can further this objective in this and coming years.”

More about AKTI

The American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI) is a non-profit organization (501(c)6) representing all segments of the knife industry and all knife users. Formed in true grassroots fashion by concerned industry leaders after considerable discussion with individual knifemakers, knife magazine publishers, and a broad section of the knife community, AKTI has been the reasonable and responsible voice of the knife community since 1998. AKTI’s mission is to ensure that Americans will always be able to make, buy, sell, own, carry and use knives and edged tools. To learn more, please visit www.akti.org.

Democrats Are After Your Guns Again – The Assault Weapons Ban Of 2015

Saturday, December 26th, 2015

Never mind that they tried this once before and it not only didn’t work but cost them a majority in the Congress. Never mind that prohibitions don’t work. Never mind that the majority of Americans don’t want this. Democrats in the House of Representatives  have introduced a new bill to make the guns many SSD readers own, illegal to manufacture.  Naturally, the bill also covers ‘large capacity ammunition feeding devices’.

One of the things that always strikes me about these bills as they pop up is the obsession the anti-2Aers have with guns.  They love to make lists of types of firearms, the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’.  It’s really kind of creepy.  If only they put that kind of effort into cutting red tape so businesses could create jobs.  

I encourage you to read the full text of this bill that is currently in committee.

www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/4269/text

2016 NDAA Contains Provision To Offer 100,000 M1911A1 Pistols Via Civilian Marksmanship Program

Monday, November 30th, 2015

The day before Thanksgiving, President Obama signed the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act into law.  While one of its most sweeping changes is the creation of a new retirement plan for military personnel, an interesting provision in the legislation which will transfer up to 100,000 M-1911A1 pistols to qualified recipients via the Civilian Marksmanship Program.  Previously, CMP has been limited to transferring rifles such as the M-1 Garand.

  
The program will begin with a one-year pilot effort which will transfer up to 10,000 pistols.  Further details are below.  

SEC. 1087. TRANSFER OF SURPLUS FIREARMS TO CORPORATION FOR

(a) AUTHORIZATION OF TRANSFER OF SURPLUS FIREARMS TO CORPORATION FOR THE PROMOTION OF RIFLE PRACTICE AND FIRE- ARMS SAFETY.— (1) IN GENERAL.—Section 40728 of title 36, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

THE PROMOTION OF RIFLE PRACTICE AND FIREARMS SAFETY.

S. 1356—288

‘‘(h) AUTHORIZED TRANSFERS.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary may transfer to the corporation, in accordance with the procedure prescribed in this subchapter, surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols and spare parts and related accessories for those pistols that, on the date of the enactment of this subsection, are under the control of the Secretary and are surplus to the require-ments of the Department of the Army, and such material as may be recovered by the Secretary pursuant to section 40728A(a) of this title. The Secretary shall determine a reasonable schedule for the transfer of such surplus pistols.

‘‘(2) The Secretary may not transfer more than 10,000 surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols to the corporation during any year and may only transfer such pistols as long as pistols described in paragraph (1) remain available for transfer.’’.

(2) TECHNICAL AND CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.—Such title is further amended—

(A) in section 40728A—

(i) by striking ‘‘rifles’’ each place it appears and inserting ‘‘surplus firearms’’; and

(ii) in subsection (a), by striking ‘‘section 40731(a)’’ and inserting ‘‘section 40732(a)’’; (B) in section 40729(a)—

(i) in paragraph (1), by striking ‘‘section 40728(a)’’ and inserting ‘‘subsections (a) and (h) of section 40728’’; (ii) in paragraph (2), by striking ‘‘40728(a)’’ and inserting ‘‘subsections (a) and (h) of section 40728’’; and

(iii) in paragraph (4), by inserting ‘‘and caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 surplus pistols’’ after ‘‘caliber .30 and caliber .22 rimfire rifles’’;

(C) in section 40732—

(i) by striking ‘‘caliber .22 rimfire and caliber .30 surplus rifles’’ both places it appears and inserting ‘‘surplus caliber .22 rimfire rifles, caliber .30 surplus rifles, and caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 surplus pistols’’; and

(ii) in subsection (b), by striking ‘‘is over 18 years of age’’ and inserting ‘‘is legally of age’’; and (D) in section 40733—

(i) by striking ‘‘Section 922(a)(1)-(3) and (5)’’ and inserting ‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in sub-section (b), section 922(a)(1)-(3) and (5)’’; and

(ii) by adding at the end the following new sub-

section: ‘‘(b) EXCEPTION.—With respect to firearms other than caliber .22 rimfire and caliber .30 rifles, the corporation shall obtain a license as a dealer in firearms and abide by all requirements imposed on persons licensed under chapter 44 of title 18, including maintaining acquisition and disposition records, and conducting background checks.’’.

(b) PILOT PROGRAM.—

(1) ONE-YEAR AUTHORITY.—The Secretary of the Army may carry out a one-year pilot program under which the Secretary may transfer to the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety not more than 10,000 firearms described in paragraph (2).

S. 1356—289

(2) FIREARMS DESCRIBED.—The firearms described in this paragraph are surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols and spare parts and related accessories for those pistols that, on the date of the enactment of this section, are under the control of the Secretary and are surplus to the requirements of the Department of the Army.

(3) TRANSFER REQUIREMENTS.—Transfers of surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols from the Army to the Corporation under the pilot program shall be made in accordance with subchapter II of chapter 407 of title 36, United States Code.

(4) REPORTS TO CONGRESS.—the Secretary initiates the pilot program under this sub-section, the Secretary shall submit to Congress an interim report on the pilot program. Secretary completes the pilot program under this sub-section, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a final report on the pilot program. this subsection shall include, for the period covered by the report—

(A) INTERIM REPORT.—Not later than 90 days after
(B) FINAL REPORT.—Not later than 15 days after the
(C) CONTENTS OF REPORT.—Each report required by
(i) the number of firearms described in subsection
(a)(2) transferred under the pilot program; and
(ii) information on any crimes committed using firearms transferred under the pilot program.
(c) LIMITATION ON TRANSFER OF SURPLUS CALIBER .45 M1911/M1911A1 PISTOLS.—The Secretary may not transfer firearms described in subsection (b)(2) under subchapter II of chapter 407 of title 36, United States Code, until the date that is 60 days after the date of the submittal of the final report required under subsection (b)(4)(B).

Additionally, the law requires the Department of Defense to develop procedures allowing military personnel to carry personally owned firearms on base, pursuant to local laws.

Congressional Staffers Visit Natick Soldier Systems Center

Friday, November 13th, 2015

A Congressional staff delegation consisting of Professional Staff Members from the House and Senate Armed Services`1qw Committees visited key DoD research & development facilities in the Boston area this week. Among other stops, the staff spent time at the Natick Soldier Systems Center where they were briefed on the base’s cutting-edge R&D work. Natick Soldier Systems Center is a crucial part of the development process for warfighter gear and equipment, with groundbreaking work on individual items ranging from combat helmets and soldier electronics to combat feeding and shelter systems.
The base itself consists of four key units including, the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, the U.S. Army Institute of Environmental Medicine, Program Manager Field Sustainment, and the Integrated Logistics Support Center….. it truly is “all about the solider.” And as one of the main industry liaisons, the base serves as an integral player in the DoD’s R&D efforts on improving gear and equipment for the end-user. Natick Soldier Systems Center maintains capabilities and technologies that are one of a kind, such as the Doriot Climatic Chambers, which was recently upgraded in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The base’s location also provides a unique ability to bring some of the nation’s greatest minds due to its proximity to some of the nation’s greatest research institutions such as Harvard University, MIT, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the University of Massachusetts system.

Terry Baldwin on Civilian Control of the Military

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

Recently, a post regarding a Senator’s position on a pending government procurement resulted in some rather interesting comments on civilian control of the military. I exchanged some messages with LTC Terry Baldwin (USSF, Ret) and we agreed that it needed to be addressed.  This is what he came up with. It’s a good historical reference, and well worth the reading, whether you are an informed citizen or a student of the profession of arms.

There is legitimate purpose, coherent logic and sound reasoning behind every element and mechanism associated with our Constitutional Republic. None is more fundamental to our form of government than iron clad civilian control of the military. In peace and war. In June of 1787, James Madison addressed the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on the dangers of a permanent army. “A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.” Based on the European model of his day Madison declared. “The means of defense against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.” The fact that Madison, one of the most vocal proponents of a strong centralized government—an author of the Federalist papers and the architect of the Constitution—could evince such strongly negative feelings against a standing army is significant and telling(1).

The final draft of the Declaration of Independence contained numerous references to King George’s militarism (particularly his attempts to render the army independent of civilian authority). By the end of the War of Independence, distrust and even hatred of a standing army had become a powerful and near-universal article of faith among the American people. Many felt that the professional British army was nothing less than a “conspiracy against liberty.” The Quartering Act, which required colonists to provide housing and provisions for troops in their own buildings, was an especially obnoxious symbol of the corrupting power represented by the army. An issue which was later directly addressed in the 3d Amendment of the US Constitution. Many colonists held the sentiment that the redcoats stationed in the colonies existed not to protect them but to enforce the king’s unpopular policies at bayonet-point(1).

Other members of the founding generation worried that an armed, professional force represented an untenable threat to the liberty of the people generally. As Samuel Adams wrote in 1768, “Even when there is a necessity of the military power, within a land, a wise and prudent people will always have a watchful and jealous eye over it”. In our Republic that watchful oversight on behave of the people is exercised by our elected officials. Moreover, in Federalist No. 51, Madison argued that no single branch of government ought to have control over any single aspect of governing. Thus, all three branches of government must have some control over the military, and the system of checks and balances maintained among the other branches would serve to help control the military(1).

The powers of the individual Branches of government concerning the United States Military are clearly outlined in the Constitution. The separation of those powers concerning their duties and responsibilities are precise and distinct to each Branch. Article I which covers the governmental responsibilities of the Legislative Branch distinctly places the responsibility of provision for and maintenance of the military specifically in the duties of the United States House of Representatives and Senate. Article I, Section 8 – The Legislative Branch – “To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; To provide and maintain a Navy.” Article II, Section 2 – The Executive Branch – “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.”

Most military professionals, myself included, are in fact strong advocates of civilian control. Highly respected writing on War from Clausewitz to Sun-Tzu universally recognized and advocated an unbreakable link between political goals and military means. Historically where unrealistic or poorly defined political objectives became unsynchronized or decoupled from operational and tactical military actions, National mission failure is the likely result. Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan would be some recent examples. Given the broad strategic implications that a decision to declare a war, invade a country, or end a conflict, have on the citizens of the country, those deliberations are best guided by the will of the people (as expressed by their elected representatives), rather than left solely to an elite group of military experts. The military serves as a special government agency, which is supposed to implement, rather than formulate, policies that require the use of certain types of physical force. Dr. Kohn succinctly summarizes this view when he writes that: “the point of civilian control is to make security subordinate to the larger purposes of a nation, rather than the other way around. The purpose of the military is to defend society, not to define it.”(2)

It can also be argued that militaries possess capabilities that are too powerful to be placed at the discretion of just a few people. Rather, they must be at the service of all citizens and used in accordance with the democratic will of the people. So concerns about maintaining an appropriate subordinate relationship between the military and civil authorities elected or appointed over them did not end in the 18th Century. In 1961, President Eisenhower warned in his farewell address of a military-industrial complex, where the military could wield indirect power or undue influence over Congress by enlisting arms manufacturers to lobby for increased military spending to benefit themselves and incidentally the military. This very real and troubling dynamic represents a potential end run around effective civilian control. And also presents an effective argument in favor of more civilian scrutiny and oversight of the military not less.

Of course, the most important institution supporting civilian control must be the military itself. The fundamental assumption behind civilian supremacy is the abstinence by the military from intervention in government and political life. The military should advise civilians, represent the needs of the military inside the government, but not advocate military interests or perspectives publicly in such a way as to undermine or circumscribe civilian authority. While a country may have civilian control of the military without democracy, it cannot have democracy without civilian control. Democracy is a disorderly form of government, often inefficient and always frustrating. Maintaining liberty and security, governing in such a manner as to achieve desirable political outcomes and at the same time military effectiveness, is among the most difficult dilemmas of human governance.(2)

Our Founding Fathers envisioned and built a most amazing governing construct. A mechanism designed with component gears that purposely grind against one another rather than mesh. An apparatus that is maintenance intensive and that we the people have a sacred duty to constantly repair and preserve. A machine that intentionally doesn’t save time, energy or manpower. An engine of liberty that deliberately works better when more of us participate and yet will still never function smoothly. A strange and marvelous instrument indeed. Ensuring that the military always remains firmly subordinate to civilian control was and remains a critical cog in that machine. Every aspect of when, where, why, against whom and how the Nation goes to war, prosecutes a war, or prepares for war is the peoples’ business. Attempting to argue that the military should have the autonomy or discretion to somehow dodge that oversight in time of war is simply wrong and directly contradicts our history and our Constitution.

For the purposes of this article I modified and paraphrased a great deal of the work of the two gentlemen below. But I happen to firmly believe in everything that is stated above. TLB

(1)Historian Christopher Hamner teaches at George Mason University, serves as Editor-in-Chief of Papers of the War Department, 1784-1800, and is the author of Enduring Battle: American Soldiers in Three Wars, 1776-1945.

(2)Richard H. Kohn is professor of history and chairman of the Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as executive secretary, Triangle Institute for Security Studies. Further, he is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of American Diplomacy.