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Traveling with Firearms

August 19th, 2014

The Boston Globe recently reported that despite heightened security, the number of air travelers caught with guns in their carry-on bags has actually increased in the past decade. Eighty-four percent of firearms found by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents were loaded. TSA noted that most travelers claim they simply forgot they had their firearm with them.
It is against the law to carry a gun, loaded or otherwise, on an aircraft. Firearms confiscated at airport security cause delays and slow the screening process because law enforcement officers must handle each incident. Criminal charges and punishments vary from airport to airport. In some states, people with a clear criminal history and concealed handgun license may be allowed to simply take the gun back to their car. In others, offenders may face felony charges. TSA can impose civic penalties up to $11,000 against travelers caught with firearms during the security check.
If you choose to drive instead of fly with your firearm to your destination, be sure to first research the gun laws of each state you will be driving through. Whenever you plan to travel, make sure you also know the local gun laws. For example, according to a Handguns Mag article, there is no prohibition in Florida law for someone with a CHL to carry in Disney World. However, Disney World itself strictly prohibits firearms of all kinds within the park.
Wherever you’re going, check the legality of carrying a gun before having your firearm confiscated or worse, finding yourself in legal trouble while on vacation. Include your accommodations and any vacation activities in your research. For instance, if your destination is a beach, where will your firearm be when you’re in the water? Take care never to leave your firearm unattended or anywhere that someone without permission to carry could obtain it.
To read the Boston Globe article, click here
To read the Handguns Mag article, click here
Shoot smart, travel smart!

Free Seminars on Handgun Carry Laws

August 19th, 2014

Hey, CHL holders and CHL potential applicants! Shoot Smart is hosting a series of FREE seminars this September to review and discuss gun laws. Attorneys from Texas Law Shield and a local police officer will elaborate on gun laws affecting both CHL and non-CHL holders. We offer two seminars at Grand Prairie on September 13, and two seminars at Alliance on September 14.
The morning sessions, at 10 am, cover the “stand your ground laws” and the legally justified use of deadly force. Join us for this in-depth discussion on the Texas “stand your ground,” or no duty to retreat, laws. In Texas you do not have to retreat if you are on legal premises. The law, though, isn’t black and white and can leave room for interpretation. You will leave this seminar with a better understanding of the laws. The police officer will elaborate on the importance of situational awareness and what to do during a robbery or home invasion.
The afternoon sessions, at 2 pm, cover the laws of police search, seizure, and arrest presented by Texas Law Shield. You will learn what to do once the police arrive on the scene. Often, the police have received just enough information to get an idea of what has happened. The police may not have all the facts, and it is their job to take control of a situation and find the facts as soon as possible. It is the police officer’s duty to find out about an incident. At the same time, it is your privilege to be legally protected. It is extremely important for you to be aware of your rights and to have legal protection.
Texas Law Shield is a licensed legal service company that offers a firearms legal defense program. They offer comprehensive legal protection for both CHL and non-CHL holders. Texas Law Shield members have access to 24/7/365 legal protection and advice from actual lawyers. If you are ever involved in a gun incident, you will need legal counsel throughout the entire trial process, even if you never fired a shot.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn valuable information on the laws as well as how to handle an extremely stressful situation. These seminars are free to Shoot Smart customers. We look forward to seeing you at the seminars. Keep up your training and remember to shoot smart.
Adam Ward, Training Manager

New M&P Handgun by Smith & Wesson

August 19th, 2014

It’s here! Smith & Wesson has launched M&P 22 Compact, a single-action, internal hammer-fired handgun manufactured right here in the United States. The M&P 22 Compact has a 10-round capacity, ambidextrous thumb safety, and reversible magazine catch. The M&P 22 Compact has a 3.6 inch barrel and can be purchased right here at Shoot Smart for $389. 
Read more about the M&P 22 Compact here.

Handguns are Cheap, Ammo is Expensive, but Training is Priceless!

August 19th, 2014

You may have read the title of the article and said, “Whoa! When did handguns become cheap?” However, when you look at the “big picture” of being a responsible handgun owner, the handgun is actually the least expensive of the three. A good quality handgun might cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $400-$700. Higher quality handguns may be $700-$1000, or more.
Let’s say that you have purchased a mid-range price handgun for $500. With normal usage, along with proper care and maintenance, that handgun could realistically be in working condition for well over 50 years. That is probably longer than most people will even own the same firearm, unless they pass it along to a family member. That comes to about $10/year for the price of the gun. At less than $1 per month handguns are actually relatively “cheap” and you only buy it once.
Ammunition, though, is a commodity that must continually be replaced. For our example we will use 9x19mm at $15/box of 50 rounds. If you go to the range once per month, which I consider to be a minimum requirement, and shoot two boxes of ammo during each range session you will shoot 1200 rounds of ammo (24 boxes) at a cost of $360/year. When you multiply that by 10 years, 20 years, or more you can see that ammo cost many times more than the handgun. Even at only $1 per day ammo is about 30x the cost of the handgun.
Why is training “priceless?” Training is priceless because it gives you the biggest return on the investment of your time and your money. Spending (not investing) an hour each month practicing is of little use if you are practicing incorrectly. For less than the cost of taking a family of four to the movies ($80) you can take a private lesson or attend a training class. Whichever you choose, an instructor can help you develop the skills you need to make your range sessions more productive and give you more confidence in your abilities. If you were to take four classes within a year, with each building on the techniques presented in the previous class, your investment would still only be about $1 per day. The techniques you learn under the guidance of an instructor could possibly save your life or the life of a loved one, which is of course priceless.
Keep in mind that shooting is a perishable skill. Continued training and correct practice is recommended.
– Scott Thornton, CRSO, Assistant Manager

CHL Corner: Getting Your CHL

August 19th, 2014

What is the process for getting a CHL and how long does everything take?
We often get questions about the CHL timeline, and we understand why. It can be complex and confusing, but the process for applying for a CHL is much simpler than most people know. Here are the steps I recommend and time frames for each.

  • Visit the DPS website, complete the application, and pay the state fee all online. Once complete the application will remain valid for one calendar year.
  • At the bottom of the application page, you can schedule required fingerprinting from the fingerprinting services link. Fingerprints done previously will not be used unless they were done at an L-1 certified location. The fingerprints are submitted by the company directly to the DPS, and you will be given a receipt stating you completed the fingerprinting. The fingerprints will also be valid for one calendar year.
  • Finally, visit our Learn page to book a class that fits your schedule. After completing the class you will receive a class completion form from the instructor. You must send this form to the DPS before your application timeframe expires. Note, the class completion form will be valid for two years from the date the class was completed.

Here’s an example to clarify the process:
On October 1st, 2014, you complete the DPS application. This application is now valid until October 1st, 2015. You complete your fingerprints at a local L-1 certified location on October 5th, 2014. These fingerprint records are now valid through October 5th, 2015. On October 15th, you complete your CHL class at Shoot Smart. You now have until October 1st, 2015 to submit your class completion form – but I strongly recommend you send it immediately upon completing the class.
You may complete steps 1 & 3 in either order, but make sure that you complete the entire process within the allotted timeframe. If your application expires, you will be required to resubmit. If your class completion form expires, you will be required to retake the class.
Once you have completed all of these steps all that remains is to send the following documents to the state all at one time.

  • Class completion form
  • Any supporting documents applicable to you, such as a DD214, proof of residence, or criminal background information.

As always, if you have any questions, please ask. We’re here to help! To register for your CHL at Shoot Smart, visit our Learn page. Good luck and I look forward to seeing you in class soon.
– Cassie Roberts, CHL Instructor

Firearm History: The Battle of Long Island

July 22nd, 2014

The Battle of Long Island (also known as the Battle of Brooklyn), fought on August 27, 1776, was a defeat for the Continental Army led by George Washington. This battle marks the beginning of the British takeover of the strategically important city of New York, and was also the first major battle in the American Revolutionary War to take place after the United States declared independence on July 4, 1776
After driving the British from Boston on March 17, 1776, General Washington, recognizing that the harbor along the southern end of Manhattan would provide a convenient base for the British Navy, predicted that their next target would be the port city of New York. By mid-April, Washington had placed 19,000 men in Lower Manhattan where they waited throughout June for the British to appear. In early July, 32,000 British soldier under General William Howe arrived at Staten Island, taking control of the entrance to the harbor separating Staten Island and Brooklyn. Upon his arrival, Howe offered a pardon to the rebels, to which Washington replied, “Those who have committed no fault want no pardon.” Believing that Manhattan would be the first target, Washington held the bulk of his troops there. Guards were posted along the main roads leading through Brooklyn Heights and the Heights of Guan, but the rarely used Jamaica Pass was left unprotected. This proved to be a dire mistake, as General Howe had plans to lead his men through the pass on the eve of August 26th to attack the Americans on Brooklyn Heights from the rear.
On August 27th, the British attacked the Americans on the Guan Heights while Howe’s army came from behind to attack the flanks. The American panicked; a stand by 400 Maryland troops prevented most of the army from being captured while the remainder retreated. General Washington hurried across the East River from Manhattan but could do little more than observe the fight from Cobble Hill. Before General Howe’s army could completely surround the Americans, Washington ordered his men to completely evacuate Long Island.
What firearms were used in the Battle of Long Island and the Revolutionary War? Of the assortment of firearms used in the war, the rifle is often described as “the gun that made victory certain in the Revolutionary War” due to its accuracy over astonishingly long ranges. Wall guns, also showing impressive range, were mounted on a swivel and used to fire from forts. Despite its considerable inaccuracy, the musket bore the brunt of the fighting during the war, especially in the infantry. Mounted soldiers required shorter shoulder arms, which led to the use of musketoons and carbines, while cavalry pistols were omnipresent in the troopers’ saddle holsters, pockets, or boots. These firearms, as well as the use of heavy artillery, are often considered the tools in which independence was forged.

Musical Chairs

July 22nd, 2014

The month of July was another busy one for Shoot Smart personnel. Within the month, several team members moved to different positions, two assistant managers swapped locations, and one key member left the group. Overall, the changes were made to improve the operations of the company and align the store teams for growth.
Roxanne Laney, CEO, resumed operational oversight of the company, while Jared Sloane left the Chief Operations position to head the new strategic operations department. Roxanne will be focusing on growing the store teams personally and professionally, and streamlining operations to prepare for future growth. Joe Loza will be returning to Store Manager at Alliance to assist Roxanne and the Alliance team. Adam Ward will be stepping into Joe’s shoes as Training Manager after a period of transition. Jared will be focusing on establishing inventory control procedures, growing the brand with our partners at Immotion Studios, and crafting our growth strategy.
Meanwhile, Anthony Ortiz and Chris Wright have swapped locations. Anthony is now at the Alliance location, where he served on the team for more than a year. Chris Wright is now at the Grand Prairie location, where he served since the acquisition of Great Southwest Gun & Archery.
Sadly, Aaron Bird, inventory manager and key member of the team for two years, has left the company. He’s moving on to join the team at Radio Shack, and we couldn’t be more proud of his achievement. We all wish him the best of luck and success. Please join us in congratulating Aaron!
And please join us in wishing all of our team members the best of luck and success in their new positions! Good luck everyone!

A Little to the Left?

July 22nd, 2014

(And I’m talking shooting…not politics!)
Remember that time at the range when you mastered your shot group…only to find your placement was just a tad to the left of your target? Or, maybe you’re a left-handed shooter with shots landing slightly to the right? I have found that even the most advanced shooters face this issue on a regular basis. This month I would like to discuss the causes of “shooting to the left” to help overcome this pesky problem!
After working with many shooters on the range, I’ve found two major causes of shooting to the left:

  • Squeezing the support hand while firing; and
  • Incorrect trigger finger placement

The first area to assess is your support hand. The left hand is the support hand for right-handed shooters, and the right hand is the support hand for left-handed shooters. You should always maintain a firm grip with your support hand without adding excessive pressure while firing the pistol. Squeezing your support hand too tight when firing the pistol makes the barrel shift slightly to the left. Hint: If your fingertips on your support hand are turning white then you’re probably squeezing too hard.
The second area to assess is your trigger finger placement. Remember to go back to the basics: only use the pad of your finger to press the trigger straight back (see diagram below). If the pad of your finger extends too far over the trigger then your finger acts like a hook causing you to pull the trigger to the right sliding the barrel to the left. When firing the pistol, be sure to always use only the pad of your finger to gently press the trigger.
The final area of improvement (following grip and trigger finger placement) is to adjust your sights. I always recommend making sight adjustments a last resort. Hopefully these slight adjustments help to fix this minor problem. As always, thank you for your continued support and business and we look forward to seeing you soon!
Joe Loza, Training Manager

HVAC Upgraded!

July 22nd, 2014

Fans, we’re pleased to announce that we have a brand new HVAC system for our Alliance location public lanes. The new system is designed to dramatically improve air flow and air conditioning. It was a long time coming, and we’re very excited about the new system’s improvements over the previous one.
We’d like to thank our partners at AirCo, Inc, of Fort Worth, as well as Pinnacle Electric, for their hard work and dedication to the project. With this major improvement at Alliance complete, we can now turn our attention to improving our parking lot! Stay tuned for more details on that one.
As always, thank you for your business and for your continued support.

Five Gun Myths Revealed

July 22nd, 2014

NRA Family Insights recently “exploded” five gun myths and we couldn’t wait to share them with you.
Myth #1: Gun Safety is for Newbies Only
They implore readers to never lose respect for firearms, no matter how much experience they have. Here at Shoot Smart, we believe in just that: shooting smart. Never lose respect for your firearm.
Myth #2: Ammo Explodes in Fire
Pressure is what actually drives bullets, not the “explosiveness” of gunpowder. If a cartridge wasn’t in the chamber, there wouldn’t actually be much danger. That being said, don’t test this. (What a waste of perfectly good ammo!)
Myth #3: The Best Marksmen Achieve Perfect Steadiness
Perfect steadiness isn’t an achievable goal. Top shooters just minimize their wobble area and that’s what you should focus on achieving as well.
Myth #4: Short-Barreled Guns are Inaccurate
On the contrary, short-barreled guns can actually be vey accurate. It’s just more difficult to shoot well due to their short radius. An optical sight, red-dot scope, or laser can help your aim.
Myth #5: Dry-Firing a Gun in Harmful
Although repeatedly firing a gun dry can cause unnecessary wear and tear to your firearm, snap caps can be used for convenient practice while protecting your firearm. These dummy rounds will pad the firing pin’s fall against the hard steel of the breechface.
To read the full article, click here.