Welcome to the inaugural edition of The Reload newsletter! I want to take a moment to thank you for signing up with us, giving us a chance to bring you the most important gun news each week, and supporting our reporting. The response has been incredible! Over 2,200 people signed up for this newsletter, and 185 people have bought paid memberships (join today for exclusive content!) in our very first week.
If you don’t already know who I am, my name is Stephen Gutowski, and I’ve been reporting on gun policy and politics for the past decade. I’m also a certified firearms instructor who owns guns and likes to both build and shoot them in my spare time. My goal with The Reload is to cut out all of the hyperpartisan noise surrounding guns in America and produce facts-first journalism as well as expert analysis that helps inform rather than inflame.
I’ve built my career around breaking news and providing even-handed treatment to everyone I write about. That’s the philosophy I plan to build this publication on. It’s why you may have ended up at The Reload this week after reading profiles from major media outlets with wildly divergent points of view, including Fox News, the Washington Post, Washingtonian magazine, Ammoland, Bearing Arms, “The Erick Erickson Show,” National Review, and a bunch more.
This week has also seen The Reload break news with several stories that were soon picked up by many of the aforementioned outlets. Getting to important gun news first is one of my top goals with this site. There are also crucial stories about guns that simply go untold, and I want The Reload to help change that.
To that end, here are some of the biggest stories we had this week:
A new gun group hoping to educate Asian Americans about gun rights and gun safety in response to rising hate crimes launched on Monday.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Gun Owners (AAPIGO) aims to provide training and representation to a demographic often overlooked in the conversation on guns. They have scheduled their first meet-and-greet range day for May 2 in Livermore, Calif. And they have already signed up 25 people for an informational course on how to apply for a California gun-carry permit followed by a group application drive designed to bring awareness to the rising threat of hate crimes against Asian Americans.
Racist attacks on Asians surged in 2020, with one report putting the figure at nearly 3,800 incidents and the Los Angeles Police Department reporting the rate of hate crimes against Asians more than doubling. Simultaneously, alongside other Americans, Asians began buying more guns. A gun dealer survey conducted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation found the number of Asian customers jumping 46 percent in the first half of 2020.
Now, AAPIGO wants to train those new Asian gun owners and equip them to protect themselves against racist attacks.
An internal Department of Justice document explaining how the Biden Administration plans to restrict so-called ghost guns was leaked on Tuesday.
The 107-page document, obtained by The Reload, outlines changes the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) wants to make to outlaw the sale of homemade gun kits by unlicensed manufactures. At the direction of President Joe Biden, the agency plans to propose federal rule changes, which would require anyone selling unfinished firearms receivers to obtain a federal license and mark the parts with a serial number. Anyone who continues to sell unfinished receivers without a license could face federal felony charges.
The National Rifle Association told board members on Friday it will hold an emergency meeting over developments in the group’s bankruptcy.
NRA general counsel John Frazer told board members the meeting will deal exclusively with the next step in their bankruptcy, according to an email obtained by The Reload. Frazer said the board will be asked to approve a reorganization plan the gun-rights group’s lawyers want to present to the court.
Public support for new gun restrictions has fallen significantly, according to a poll released on Tuesday.
Support for stricter gun laws fell seven points in the new Pew Research poll. Agreement with the idea that gun laws are about right or too strict rose by the same amount. Overall, Americans are split nearly down the middle with 53 percent supporting stricter gun laws and 46 percent opposing them.
A Texas Democrat on Thursday warned of an onslaught of “Wild West pimp-style” gun carrying if Republicans get their way.
“Roll on into any place you want and buy a gun under this provision and walk around in whatever way you want, no training, no understanding, Wild West pimp-style,” state representative Ann Johnson said in opposition to House Bill 1927. She was particularly concerned about lightening punishments for trespassing while carrying a gun.
“Wild West Pimp-Style” is meme material if I’ve ever seen it. That has to be up there with “the shoulder thing that goes up” and “full-semi-automatic” in the annals of historic moments of gun illiteracy. A Reload member commented that they wanted a shirt of this incredible phrase and, in addition to filing a new federal gun carry lawsuit this week, the meme-fluent gun-rights group Firearms Policy Coalition has already created one.
In addition to the top stories from The Reload, I also want to give you guys a roundup of some of the best and most interesting gun stories or opinion pieces from other publications. Here are a few of the articles that intrigued me this week:
That’s it for the launch week newsletter! I want to thank you all again for believing in what I’m trying to do with The Reload and giving this experiment a chance. Tomorrow, members will be receiving another email with my in-depth analysis of why these stories matter and where things are headed. So, if you haven’t bought a membership yet, now is the time to do it!