• A Guide for Parents: Understanding Youth Mental Health and Preventing Unauthorized Access to Firearms

    NEWTOWN, Conn. – The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) today released a new guide, developed in consultation with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), that helps parents recognize signs their children may be struggling with mental health issues and offers advice on how to talk to kids about suicide, make homes safer for those who may be at-risk and help reduce the risk of suicide among America’s teens.

    The free resource – “A Guide for Parents: Understanding Youth Mental Health and Preventing Unauthorized Access to Firearms” – can be downloaded at NSSF’s Project ChildSafe® website or AFSP’s Project 2025 website.

    “Mental health may seem like a difficult topic to raise with children, but it doesn’t have to be,” said Doreen Marshall, AFSP’s Vice President of Mission Engagement. “Talking openly with our young people about mental health, just as we would physical health, can help protect our kids and give them the support they need, long before a crisis occurs.”

    Multiple studies show today’s teens are dealing with higher levels of stress, anxiety, depression and other mental or emotional health concerns than any generation before them. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a new set of challenges for teens, including loss of structure, separation from peers and increased feelings of isolation—adding to the stressors young people are already bearing.

    “With these realities, it’s crucial that parents take steps to secure potentially lethal methods of harming oneself or others. That may mean rethinking how and where you store your guns and other possible methods of self-harm,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF President and CEO.

    The new guide covers the health, environmental and historical factors that may lead to kids being more at-risk, as well as warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide, and critical advice on how and when to take action. There are also recommendations on how to secure firearms, prescription drugs, harmful chemicals and other lethal means so they can’t be accessed by a person in distress.

    “Keeping guns out of the wrong hands is a firearm owner’s most important priority, and securing a firearm is one of the most important steps parents can take to protect at-risk teens and others in the home,” Bartozzi said. “Our Project ChildSafe website offers several resources on how to determine the best safe storage option for your home and family.”

    NSSF and AFSP have developed supplemental resources, including A Tip Sheet For Parents: Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Firearm Safety and Being There for Your Friends: A Guide to Helping Prevent Suicide, for teens who may be concerned about their friends but don’t know what steps to take.

    “Suicide is preventable—increasing our knowledge of adolescents’ mental health, combined with secure firearm storage options, is a powerful combination to save lives,” Bartozzi said.

    Importantly, anyone experiencing a crisis is urged to reach out to any of the following resources:
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
    • Lifeline Chat: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
    • Crisis Text Line: Text TALK to 741741
    • Emergency Response: Call 911 or contact your local emergency room

     

    About NSSF
    NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.

    About Project ChildSafe
    The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association of the firearms industry, launched Project ChildSafe in 1999 (originally as Project HomeSafe). Since then, the program has provided nearly 40 million free firearm safety kits and gun locks to firearm owners in all 50 states through partnerships with thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country. That’s in addition to the more than 70 million free locking devices manufacturers have included, and continue to include, with new firearms sold since 1998. While helping to prevent accidents among children is a focus, Project ChildSafe is intended to help adults practice greater firearm safety in the home. More information is available at projectchildsafe.org.
  • HF716, the IA DNR, 2020/21 Hunting Regs, and You…

    From an IFC Member:

    Hi and thanks for all you do.

    The DNR doesn’t seem to be acknowledging HF716 in the new 2020 regulations.  Does it go into effect this year?

    Thanks

    This is a great question and one we need to understand.  After all, what could be greater than Grandpas taking their Granddaughters out for their first hunt?

    In a typical legislative year, the session which starts in January would be wrapped up in late April or early May.  That’s pretty normal.  2020 has been far from normal.  Some pieces of legislation didn’t get passed and signed until late June and early July – HF716 was among them.

    When legislation that impacts the DNR is passed, rules are put in place for how the legislation will be carried out and acted upon, essentially.  This rulemaking process involves public comments periods, sometimes several of them, then a proposal to the NRC (Natural Resources Committee), and so on.  This is not a swift process.

    Simply put, by the time our late session was concluded all the prerequisites couldn’t be accomplished before the 2020/21 season regs were distributed, much less be communicated through other means.

    Now…  Personally speaking, that sounds like a bureaucratic bunch of hooey to me.  And frankly, it is.  But, this is the system in which we operate today, and I’m unable to wave a magic wand and alter it.  Not at the moment anyway.  So the contents of HF716 will not be present for this hunting season, 2020/21…

    HF716 was passed by citizen legislators and signed by Governor Reynolds.  HF716 has been codified, but isn’t being implemented yet.  Do you see the confusion?

    There is an upside, and it stems from the relationships formed with the personnel within the DNR.  IFC carefully crafted our concerns to officials within the Iowa DNR.  They listened.  The example I made to DNR was one I experienced in my own shop.  A gentleman came in tickled pink by the law change saying, “I’ve had this old 375 over/under rifle over my mantle since my Granddaddy gave it to me.  I’ve never been able to use it in Iowa and I’ll be able to take my Granddaughter out this year for the first time since I was a kid to hunt Iowa deer.”  That’s a great story and one I liked, but the rules haven’t been shored up and put in place, so this fine man’s desire is certainly ethical and moral but isn’t technically legal yet.  When I offered this to the DNR and essentially said, “This is likely to be a problem,” and asked what could be done, I was given a decent and thoughtful answer by Dr. Dale Garner of the Iowa DNR…

    “The DNR’s law enforcement are being instructed to approach this with a soft touch considering the pickle we find ourselves in.  In the scenarios you describe Michael, folks won’t be cited.  However, this doesn’t mean we’re giving a soft touch to clear instances of violation.”  

    It was communicated to me that if there was an innocent misunderstanding between the current hunting regulations and the codified content of HF716, otherwise legal hunting practices would be given a pass.  Nobody wanted the hunters in the field caught in the middle.  IFC couldn’t accept people being cited when they’re under the impression new law is the law, and DNR recognized this as well.  The Iowa DNR collaborated with IFC to offer a “cooperation” considering the nature of our conflict.  The hunting regs for this year are pretty much the same as last year.  Find the dates, seasons, and regulations here:

    https://www.iowadnr.gov/hunting/hunting-season-dates

    What does this mean for you and me?  When the public comments are opened you need to be engaged, as HF716 hasn’t gone through the “rulemaking” process yet.  We’ll let you know when and where they take place.  Get out and hunt!  Use the information in the link above for your guide to the regulations and if you learn of a situation where all other things being equal a person was cited for adhering to the content in HF716, IFC wants to know about it immediately.

     

    -Michael Ware – IFC Chairman

  • IFC 2019 Team from NRA Nationals Receives Awards…

    With various shooting clubs, competitions, and both local and national events drastically altered or paused, it was a breath of fresh air to get this pic back from some of our shooters. The folks on the 2019 IFC Team we sponsored to the NRA Nationals were able to grab their awards and snap a couple of quick pics in recognition.

    From Left to Right:
    Douglas Roe,  Jeff Happel,  Paul Porter, Ralph Reid, Keith Busing, Stan Sorokowski

    These shooters put in tremendous time, energy, and devotion to post scores at this level. Join IFC in thanking them for representing us so well!

  • Lack of Leadership During a Critical Time

    Below is the letter offered to the public from Cedar County Sheriff, Warren Wethington. Sheriff Wethington is a board member of the Iowa Firearms Coalition. Sheriff Wethington was honored with a Special Recognition Award from the Iowa Association for Justice in recognition of his “Principled Public Stand against Police Misconduct” in November of 2019.

    During these difficult times, we need leaders who are willing to make hard decisions. Leaders who will protect their constituents first. We have too many politicians now, who base the decisions on how it may affect their next election. A leader should always put the people they represent first, and their own political safety should not enter into their thinking.

    I’m writing this letter in support of our State Representative Bobby Kauffman in this November election. The Sept.2 issue of the Tipton Conservative had several letters to the editor showing support for Bobby’s opponent. It is true Bobby’s challenger in this election has 35-year law enforcement career, the last 15 years as the Johnson County Sheriff.

    I have had the opportunity to work with Lonny over the last 13 years I have been the Cedar County Sheriff. I like Lonny as a person; however, we are two opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of law enforcement theory. I sit as an executive board member of the Iowa Firearms Coalition. During Lonny’s 15 years as sheriff, he has been one of the most outspoken anti second amendment sheriffs in Iowa when pro-gun legislation is purposed.

    Lonny has been a strong supporter of Sanctuary Cities. Publicly stating that his office does not inquire as to a person’s citizenship status, or condition of their visa. “If an illegal alien feels they may be taken into custody, they are less likely to report they are the victim of a crime”. This may be true, but if you are an illegal alien you have entered this country illegally. That makes you a criminal. I have worked with people of different ethnicity and enjoy them very much. I have great respect for the work ethic they bring with them. We need more hard-working, good people in this country; but there are laws in place dictating how to enter the country legally

    The most disturbing example of putting his political career above the safety and security of not only his own constituents but the safety and security of every person in the area. In recent months Iowa City has been plagued with Social Justice Protests. Some protests turning into riots. I fully support anyone and everyone engaging in the act of peaceful protests. However, when a peaceful protest includes blocking interstate 80, this is unacceptable. Iowa State Code prohibits a person from standing in the middle of I80. Allowing this to happen places every person in the area in danger. These rioters made it impossible for people who required emergency care to access any of the hospitals.

    The Office of Sheriff carries a great deal of power/responsibility. The Office of Sheriff is the only law enforcement entity provided for in the U.S. Constitution. All other L.E. entities are created through administrative code. The sheriff is elected. Elected because it is important that the sheriff answers to no one person, board, or committee. We answer to you the citizens every 4 years in November.

    The Johnson County Sheriff had the authority, responsibility, and duty to stop this riot from blocking I80 but choose not to. This decision place a large number of people in danger. An example of how this decision affects everyone is while the interstate was closed by rioters, I received a call from the Mechanicsville ambulance service. The ambulance responsible for serving Mechanicsville and Stanwood was stuck on the Dodge Street exit. In the ambulance was the Clarence paramedic. Clarence covers Lowden. This means all of Hwy 30 was without an ambulance service because rioters were allowed to close I80. I called Lonny who was on scene and he made arrangements to get the ambulance out of the confusion. But again, the rioters should not have been allowed on I80 to begin with.

    During the recent wind storm Democrat Iowa State Senator Zach Wahls and Republican Iowa State Representative Bobby Kaufman both reached out to me asking what we needed and how they could help. I have a great deal of respect for both Zach and Bobby. Bobby has demonstrated his willingness to work with his Democratic colleagues for the best Iowa possible. I feel he and Zach have a good working relationship.

    Thank You

    Cedar County Sheriff

    Warren Wethington

  • Iowa pheasant survey results show popular game bird numbers up significantly

    Iowa’s recently completed annual pheasant survey is great news for hunters – statewide, Iowa averaged 20.2 birds per 30-mile route, up significantly from 2019, with six of the nine survey regions averaging more than 20 pheasants per route, the most since 2007.

    “Pheasant hunters should expect significantly better pheasant numbers in 2020,” said Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “Pheasant hunting this fall could be some of the best the state has seen in a decade.”

    Bogenschutz credits the 2020 winter with its mild temperatures and little snowfall that led to higher hen survival and coupled with a dry spring to more successful nesting and an increase in the population. The southeast region led the way with a 163 percent increase, followed by the northeast region with a 115 percent increase and east central region with a 55 percent increase.

    While those numbers are very good, the statewide numbers would have likely been better if not for the drought conditions impacting much of the state.

    “In the western and central regions where we counted fewer birds, we struggled to get good survey conditions so the results are not likely representative of actual numbers,” Bogenschutz said. “Pheasant populations in these regions appear higher than last year, according to casual staff reports, even though the survey says the population is essentially unchanged.

    “Given this year’s statewide index of 20 birds per route Iowa, pheasant hunters should harvest approximately 250,000 to 350,000 roosters this fall,” he said.

    Iowa’s quail population was essentially unchanged from 2019 with the highest quail numbers coming from southwest Iowa. While the counts were unchanged, it is still double the number of quail counted from a decade ago. Hunters can expect to harvest more than 20,000 quail this year.

    Iowa’s partridge population was up slightly over last year with higher counts coming from northcentral Iowa. Iowa’s rabbit population was nearly identical to 2019 with better populations across southern and east central Iowa. “Cottontail hunters can expect excellent hunting across most of the state this fall,” Bogenschutz said.

    • Iowa’s pheasant season is Oct. 31-Jan. 10, 2021
    • Iowa’s quail season is Oct. 31-Jan. 31, 2021
    • Iowa’s partridge season is Oct. 10-Jan. 31, 2021
    • Iowa’s cottontail rabbit season is Sept. 5-Feb. 28, 2021. 

    Media Contact: Todd Bogenschutz, Upland Wildlife Biologist, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 515-979-0828.

  • Are you “Safe” today?

    You know… Over the last few weeks as we’re all gearing up to return to school, I’ve noticed the word “Safe” being brandished about in nearly every facet of our culture. Here are a few that came in just this morning to my email:

    “…child feeling safe at school”

    “In the meantime, take care of your families and stay safe.”

    “safe learning environment”

    And that is just the start. For the thinkers among us, I offer you a question. Are you ever truly safe? For the thinkers among us, I offer you the reasoning why we’re not, have never been, and will never be. Sin stalks us and wishes to have us. Period. Calamity is just around the corner. Now, that doesn’t mean we lose our minds and become paranoid obsessives. But, it should mean that we prepare for possible problems. If we didn’t, you’d neither need a spare tire nor a fire extinguisher. To prepare adequately is a physical and mental exercise equally.

    I’m primarily interested in truth. And the truth is, each time some well-intentioned person tells you that you’re safe, you aren’t. They of course want you to be, and they wish for it. I’m glad for that. But ultimately, they have little power over your safety. So, the outcome of ‘safety’ falls squarely on us all as individuals first, and in the communal sense second.

    Once we abandon the idea that we’re safe, we can begin to understand the measures, thoughts, and preventative steps necessary to better prepare for problems. This naturally leads to the outcome others call “safety” in the traditional sense. Their version of “safe” is almost always a house of cards.

    Their version of “safe” revolves around incoherent ideas and applications. A prime example is the “Gun Free Zone” as it were. Does a sticker or the declaration in law magically make you safer? No. It does not. But do the masses too often believe that it does? Yes. And by the practice of believing a thing like that to be true which isn’t, what can you and I say about that assertion? First, it is incoherent. Second, the net safety of a “Gun Free Zone” drops, not elevates. Why? Because they let their guard down where they’re “safe” right? Thus, they’re less aware situationally and aren’t implementing proper levels of risk assessment.

    My point is a simple one today. Each time you hear somebody blathering on about “safe” this or “safe” that, you should seriously be questioning all of it. I truly believe most folks do wish for other’s safety. However, the sophomoric idea that yapping about safety achieves the goal is the core problem. …And the more they yap the more we accept the word “safe” as legitimate and real.

    Don’t do that…

  • Armed Citizen Stops Machete-Wielding Man

    Bluebonnet News (Liberty, TX)
     
    A Good Samaritan pulled over to check on a machete-wielding man who was standing in the middle of SH 146 near Moss Hill. As the Good Samaritan was exiting his vehicle, the man approached him with a large knife swinging it in a threatening manner. The Good Samaritan pulled out a pistol from his vehicle to deter the man from approaching him. The man did stop when he saw the pistol… Continue reading »
     
  • Geissele Automatics Donates 250,000 face masks to 2021 SHOT Show

    NEWTOWN, Conn. – NSSF®, the firearm industry trade association, is pleased to announce that Geissele Automatics will be donating 250,000 face masks for distribution during the 2021 SHOT Show®. Headquartered in North Wales, Pennsylvania, Geissele Automatics is a manufacturer and distributor of firearms, optics and parts, primarily in the modern sporting rifle (MSR) sector. The company is a frequent sponsor of NSSF events.

    “We have had incredible support from our industry manufacturers for the 2021 SHOT Show, but this donation from Geissele puts an exclamation point on it all,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and CMO. “Sponsors big and small support the SHOT Show in many ways, and we couldn’t do it without them. We are greatly appreciative of this tremendous support from Geissele and the generosity of its owners and staff—and we can’t wait to see everyone in Vegas in January.”

    “With 2021 right around the corner, and given everything that’s going on, we were unsure if SHOT Show would even take place this year,” said Joe Plunkett, Geissele’s COO. “We were very pleased to work with NSSF to donate these masks in an effort to help facilitate SHOT Show moving forward and keeping everyone safe. We will see you all in Vegas!”

    NSSF’s 2021 SHOT Show takes place Jan. 19-22 at the Sands Expo Center and an all-new expansion to Caesars Forum. More than 2,100 exhibitors are on board to attend what will be the largest SHOT Show ever at more than 714,000 net square feet. Attendee registration will open in early October. For more information about the 2021 SHOT Show, including educational opportunities, registration information, hotel discounts and updates on NSSF’s work with Las Vegas to ensure the safety and health of everyone attending, visit SHOTShow.org.

    About NSSF NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.

  • +ONE and NSSF – Enter to Win a SilencerCo Omega 300

    Join the movement! We challenge all of you to join the NSSF’s +One campaign and take one new person out shooting. Not only do we challenge you to join the movement, we are upping it one asking you to add a SilencerCo suppressor when you take your +One for a chance to win an Omega 300!

    Here’s the skinny.
    1. Snap a picture of your +One activities while using a SilencerCo suppressor
    2. Post the picture on Instagram and tag us: @silencerco
    3. Use the hashtags #PlusOneMovement and #SiCoPlusOne

    That’s it! You will be automatically entered into a raffle to win an Omega 300! For more information on the NSSF’s +One campaign, click here.

  • “She Goes Outdoors” Subscription Boxes

    “SHE GOES OUTDOORS” SUBSCRIPTION BOXES: The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has teamed up with Kansas and Nebraska to offer a quarterly outdoor subscription box to women interested in hunting and the outdoors.  Boxes are $50 and include gear, educational resources, and field guides.  An online tutorial accompanies each subscription box.  Upcoming boxes include bird watching, outdoor cooking, pollinators, and fishing. Visit https://www.sgooutdoors.com/ for more information.