Hitting Your Target: One Big Tip To Up Your Accuracy

So you did the right thing and registered for a gun safety course? Nice job. I’m proud of you. I bet you learned all sorts of important fundamentals about handling, cleaning, and firing a gun. So, just to add some depth to your newfound skills, let’s talk about the one secret that will change your accuracy game for life and help you hit your target with greater ease: Aim small.

Hitting your target is about more than just lining your arms up. You've got to take your time.

Hitting Your Target

It’s one thing to practice shooting at a gun range or a virtual simulation. It’s another thing entirely to go out into the open and let one rip from your new glock. If you’re going to shoot it properly, you’ve got to know the proper technique. Hitting your target is not as simple as just lining up your shot and taking it; it’s about aiming small. It’s about hitting small.

But what does that mean?

Imagine you’re out hunting with your pops (or your son or your daughter or who the heck ever). And after hours of diligent waiting, a deer appears in the glade. Now, the key to hitting that deer is clear: aim small, hit small.

That is, if you aim for the target as a whole, you are likely to miss. But if you aim for a small section of the target — maybe a single spot — you might miss that spot but you’ll hit the target.

Aiming Small

If you go to a range or a gun show or anywhere with trained gun owners, and you ask them, ‘what’s the secret to better accuracy?’ — they’re all going to tell you something similar.

Take your time. Aim small. Hit small. And for God’s sake keep your eyes open.

These veteran gun users all know the advantage of aiming small. There’s just something about zeroing in on a tiny part of your target. Try it out at a range and you’ll see for yourself. Place a target out at 100 yards and fire the whole magazine as fast as you can. You’ll probably miss a few.

Now replace that target with a new one and this time, go slow, breathe, feel the gun as an extension of yourself, get your aim right, and fire a new magazine. Big difference. Now, do the same thing, but this time place a one-inch red sticker at the target’s center and concentrate your aim on that. Carefully fire three rounds and check how close you get. You’ll be surprised at your improved accuracy with just that small, but important adjustment.

One Last Thing

As you might have learned in your required gun safety course, taking time and care to properly handle your firearm is of the utmost importance. A gun should be treated with respect. The same thing goes for a target: whether it’s a paper target at a gun range, an aluminum can on a barrel, a duck in the forest, or an intruder in your home, knowing the nuances of your gun will go a long way. Aiming small and hitting small is not just about hitting your target; it’s also about cultivating focus and seriousness.

Guns are nothing to mess around with. If you learn to aim small, you’ll improve your accuracy, your confidence with your gun, and you’re also way less likely to cause any undue harm to your environment.

So remember:

  • Breathe deeply
  • Line it up
  • Aim small
  • Shoot with intention
  • Hit small

If you make sure to do all these things without rushing to the next step, you’ll soon find you’re putting your newly acquired gun license to good use.

Where Did Gunpowder Come From? Humanity’s Most Ironic Mistake

Have you ever wondered where gunpowder comes from? How it’s made? How it was invented? Would you believe me if I said it was an accident? Well, it was. A rather ironic accident, actually. You see, it all started in ninth century China. But first…

The strange origins of gunpowder

Let’s start with the ingredients

Gunpowder consists of three primary ingredients: Saltpeter, sulfur, and carbon. Saltpeter, also known as potassium nitrate, was first found as a white crystalline on rocks or cave walls where there was an abundance of decaying organic matter. Caves and sheltered structures were ideal for the formation of saltpeter. Large deposits have been found in ancient lake beds and deserts. And in the southern region of China, where climes are warm and tropical, Saltpeter was abound.

For hundreds of years prior to the discovery of gunpowder, the Chinese used saltpeter for a number of reasons, including the oxidization and transformation of ores and minerals and the curing of meats.

As for sulfur, it is unclear as to how the Chinese obtained it. Records on the subject are scarce, and those that do exist are ambiguous. We do know the Chinese began to make use of sulfur as early as the Zhou dynasty (sixth century B.C.). They were interested mainly in its medicinal potentials, its flammability, and its reactivity to other minerals. Sulfur and its compound vitriol — when combined with other elements like mercury — could be used for a number of pharmacological purposes, such as the treatment of skin diseases, malnutrition, and other ailments. Vitriol was also used as a dye for clothing. So it was for more than 700 years that sulfur found its place in Chinese society. As well as carbon, which is found in common coal.

But it wasn’t until Chinese Taoists began combining the three compounds that things got… shall we say, hot.

Where gunpowder came from…

It is normal for humans to make mistakes. LSD was discovered accidentally by Albert Hoffman, while trying to create a new respiratory stimulant for a pharmaceutical company. For a long time, everyone believed the Earth was flat. And just the other day, I drove on the highway without realizing I’d left my shoes on top of my car. Fortunately, they were still there when I returned home to look for them. But the point is, humans have been making mistakes since the dawn of time. So when Chinese Taoists set on the quest to create the elixir of immortality, we’ll just have to forgive them for accidentally discovering gunpowder.

The story goes that in the ninth century, Chinese Taoist alchemists in hot pursuit of eternal life combined saltpeter, sulfur, and coal in a near-fatal concoction. The result was explosive — literally. The entire house in which they’d been working burned down.

That’s right. People searching for immortality instead found gunpowder.

The rest is history. By the eleventh century, an official formula for gunpowder was written. And the Chinese used it for everything from fending off the Mongols to making fireworks. 12,000 years later, we’re still combining saltpeter, sulfur, and coal to fill our bullets, to make bombs, fireworks, etc.

Gunpowder has been one of the most pivotal inventions in human history, and if it wasn’t for one happy accident on the part of some eternity-hungry alchemists, it might’ve never come to be.

 

 

When Bans Go Wrong: MA Struggles to Enforce Weapons Ban

AG Healey at an April hearing for the weapons ban lawsuit.
AG Healey at an April hearing for the weapons ban lawsuit.

On July 20, 2016, in the wake of the Orlando Pulse Night Club shooting, Attorney General Maura Healey issued a warning regarding the state’s assault weapons ban to all gun sellers and manufacturers in the state, stating that her office would be ramping up enforcement of Massachusetts’ already strict gun laws, including a crackdown on the sale of copycat weapons.

Clarifying the Weapons Ban

The notice, which is posted on the Massachusetts government website, clarifies what guns, according to the decisive ban, are considered “copy” or “duplicate.” The law, which was in place prior to the expiration of the Federal assault weapons ban in 2004, prohibits the sale of copies or duplicates of banned assault rifles, including two of America’s most popular firearms — the Colt AR-15 and the Kalishnikov AK-47. But in spite of the law, an estimated 10,000 copycat assault weapons were sold in Massachusetts last year alone.

According to Healey, the weapons ban has been purposefully misinterpreted by gun manufacturers for decades.

Essentially a gun is considered a copycat if it has the same internal operating system as one of the ones prohibited by the ban — either that or they are outfitted with important functional components that are easily interchangeable with those of a banned weapon. The Attorney General’s office hopes that these important specifications will force gun manufacturers and sellers to discontinue the manufacture and sale of duplicates.

Backlash

In a Boston Globe op-ed piece published the same day as the enforcement notice, Attorney General Healey stated that each of those assault weapons were “nearly identical to the rifle used to gun down 49 innocent people in Orlando.” She continued, stating, “In the week after the Pulse nightclub massacre, sales of weapons strikingly similar to the Sig Sauer MCX used at Pulse jumped as high as 450 percent over the previous week — just in Massachusetts.”

Despite having one of the nation’s toughest set of gun laws, Massachusetts continues to face an uphill battle in the firearms industry. According to Healey, manufacturers “market ‘state compliant’ copycat versions of their assault weapons to Massachusetts buyers. They sell guns without a flash suppressor or folding or telescoping stock, for example, small tweaks that do nothing to limit the lethalness of the weapon.”

Challenging the Ban

According to Healey, “In the dozen years since the federal assault weapons ban lapsed, only seven states have instituted their own assault weapons ban. Many of those bans have been challenged (unsuccessfully) by the gun industry, and we anticipate our directive may be too.”

Turns out, she was right.

This past January, the Massachusetts affiliate of the National Rifle Association sued Healey and Governor Charlie Baker, calling the state’s ban — and its revisions — unconstitutional and unlawful. The purpose of the suit was to have the ban declared “void and unenforceable.”

Jay Porter, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, stated, “Our position is that the state doesn’t have the authority under the Second Amendment to ban firearms that are commonly kept by responsible law abiding citizens for lawful purposes. … The Supreme Court has told us emphatically that the government cannot ban popular firearms which are commonly kept for lawful purposes.”

Weapon of War or Safety?

But the question needs to be asked, what lawful purpose do assault weapons have? The most commonly reported reason for owning a gun is self-defense.

However, Healey stated rather concisely in her op-ed that assault weapons like the AR-15, are “[weapons] of war, originally created for combat, and designed to kill many people in a short amount of time with incredible accuracy… These are not weapons of self-defense. They are weapons used to commit mass murder. And they have no business being in civilian hands.”

Since the enforcement notice, manufacture and sales of assault weapons has ended in the state of Massachusetts. But gun industry lobbyists and gun rights activists continue to fight what they consider unjust gun laws.

And their lawsuit is not without precedent.

Gun rights advocates have previously filed similar complaints in New York, Connecticut, and Maryland.

As of April 7, 2017, the judge overseeing the case met with both parties to discuss whether or not the July directive constitutes a new state regulation before he decides whether to move the lawsuit forward.

Since then no new information has come out. We will continue to update the story as it progresses.

In the mean time, we’d love for you to weigh in. What do you think of AG Healey’s assault weapons ban? Do you think people need semi-automatic weapons for purposes of self-defense? Let us know.

 

Why Massachusetts Has the Nation’s Toughest Gun Laws

The debate rages on for gun owners and gun laws in the United States
The fight for better gun laws continues to rage on despite decades of firearm legislation.

It’s no secret to Massachusetts gun owners that the Codfish State has some of the strictest firearm laws in the United States. And as the years have gone by, those laws have continued to tighten — despite the efforts of organizations like the NRA. So how exactly did it get to be this way?

The 1998 Massachusetts Gun Control Act

In 1998, Massachusetts passed what was hailed as the nation’s toughest gun legislation. That law sought to make the gun licensure process more comprehensive and difficult to navigate. It banned semiautomatic assault weapons, created additional licensing rules and sought severe penalties for those storing unlocked guns. Part of the legislation required all new firearm license applicants to complete a certified firearms safety or hunter education course.

The law also imposed a ban on covert guns, unreliable guns (junk guns), and certain assault weapons. Despite these restrictions, many argued the laws were ineffective in curbing gun violence. But as James Alan Fox, a Northeastern University criminologist stated, “The quality of your gun-licensing laws is only as good as those surrounding you.’’

The 2004 Revisions

In an attempt to further strengthen the 1998 laws, Massachusetts legislators enacted a series of revisions to the original act. As part of the revisions, the ban on certain assault weapons was continued; an extension was put in place for the term of FID cards and LTC from four to six years; a provision was added for a grace period of 90 days following the expiration of a license, as was an exemption of the LTC renewal fee for active law enforcement officers.

Beyond that, the 2004 revisions sought to establish a firearm license review board whose responsibility was to review applications from individuals convicted of certain misdemeanor offenses who were disqualified under current law.

The 2014 Laws

Following the devastating 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Massachusetts lawmakers came together in an effort to overhaul the state’s gun laws — which many believed were too lax, despite the state’s consideration as one of the nation’s toughest states for gun owners.

The 2014 law stiffened penalties for certain gun-based crimes, instituted real-time background checks in private gun sales and created a firearms trafficking unit within the state police. It also gave police chiefs the right to use judiciary means to deny FID cards to people whom they felt were unsuitable to own a weapon.

Going Forward

Despite the efforts Massachusetts lawmakers to stiffen firearm laws and curb gun violence, many argue that these laws aren’t enough on their own. Jim Wallace, head of the Massachusetts-based Gun Owners Action League and a vocal gun rights advocate, said “more laws don’t necessarily mean good laws.”

But if you look to countries like Australia, where strict gun laws have led to a massive decline in gun violence and gun-related murders,, Wallace’s assertion might not stack up. It seems to go without saying that a nation’s level of gun ownership would be proportionate to their gun-death rates. Following nationwide buyback and confiscation efforts in Australia, there hasn’t been a single mass shooting since 1996.

The problem is, in America gun ownership is very much apart of the culture. It’s one of the nation’s most coveted and controversial amendments. Australia is a small country compared to America. A nationwide buyback and confiscation program would probably not go over very well. So it’s clear that the issue goes deeper than law. Moreover, many argue that gun laws only serve to hurt those gun owners who go through the proper legal channels to obtain their firearms, while criminals will continue to find easy ways to arm themselves.

So tell us your thoughts. Do you think stricter gun laws means fewer gun-related crimes? Do you think statewide legislation is enough to curb gun violence? Or is there something deeper at play which we must first address?

 

How Simulation Technology is Transforming Gun Safety

Virtual simulation technology is changing the way we learn about firearms. MassGunLicense employs the very same kind of simulator used in law enforcement settings.

In recent years virtual simulation technology has reached new levels of depth and immersion. With the help of high definition graphics, users are interacting with virtual environments in all sorts of ways. From video game consoles to golf driving ranges to gun safety training courses, this technology is changing the way we experience our world.

FATS and the Virtual Sim Revolution

Despite the recent surge, virtual simulations have been employed in law enforcement and military settings for more than thirty years. For example, in 1984 Firearms Training Systems (FATS) was established in Atlanta, Georgia, by 1979 Formula One World Champion Jody Schechter. FATS was the first company in the world to introduce interactive gun training simulators for law enforcement and military markets. Since then, a number of innovations have changed the game such as bluetooth technology and, more recently, 3D technology. Other companies like VirTra have joined the game, making the technology that much more cutting edge. While these simulators were made primarily available to police, military, and security personnel, civilians are now benefitting from greater distribution.

One such company utilizing high-definition virtual simulation technology in training settings is our very own Guaranteed Mass Gun License School located in Woburn and Quincy, Massachusetts. Following a vital lecture on the fundamentals of gun training, students are able to test their newly acquired skills in a simulator much like the ones FATS created.

How It Works

Just imagine a first-person shooter but instead of a controller you’re given a real gun. Of course there’s no live ammunition involved so there’s no risk of injury. But nonetheless, the simulator offers users a chance to get comfortable positioning themselves, holding and aiming their firearm, while receiving hands-on training and support from the school’s professional instructors.

With the help of computerized laser technology, the HD simulator delivers a precise, responsive training experience — offering users the opportunity to improve their marksmanship and judgement in true-to-life situations. Moreover, the student will get to practice their skills in a number of dynamic scenarios, tailored for a variety of proficiency levels.

This isn’t Duck Hunter and it’s sure not Call of Duty, but HD virtual shooting simulators are certainly the way of the future for everyone from local and federal law enforcement to the commercial user looking to hone their skills in a low-cost, safe environment. We at GuaranteedMassGunLicense are committed to creating an in-depth educational experience for you and our police simulator is just one of many ways we are able to do that.

 

 

 

People With Guns Do the Darndest Things

When I was in 10th Grade, I took a calculus class. My teacher’s name was Mr. Frank. Frank was his last name. He had two first names but that’s mostly irrelevant to this story. 10th grade was 12 years ago. Now, if you ask me what the derivative of 6x cubed is, I’d say it’s 18x squared and I may or may not be right. The moral of this story is: I don’t remember a damned thing from that year in calculus class. Now, how is this relevant to you, a potential owner of a gun or multiple guns?

Well, it’s relevant because guns are a lot like calculus: they’re complicated and you better pay attention if you want to get it right. The fact is, no matter how many gun safety classes you take, there’s always the possibility that in some given moment you’ll forget everything you learned and accidentally you shoot your parakeet named Derek. The point is, it’s always possible to do something stupid with your gun.

Did you know that on average at least 500 accidental gun deaths occur every year? Did you know that in 2010 firearms were the third-leading cause of injury-related deaths nationwide, following poisoning and motor vehicle accidents? Did you know you’re more likely to shoot yourself if you own a gun than you are to be shot by someone else? Did you know that owning a gun won’t necessarily make you safer at all?

These are just a few things you might not learn in your average gun safety course. But on your way to acquiring your Massachusetts gun license, it’s probably a good idea to keep in mind all the stupid things that could happen when a gun is in your midst. So, for the sake of constancy, here are five stupid things people have done with guns.

 

Gun Control in Different Countries Around the World

Gun Control in Different Countries Around the World

The debate about gun control in America has never been at such an all-time high. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution provides for the right of the people to own and bear arms. It has been one of the founding principles of the country and has been a right many Americans want to keep. As much as people know about the gun control legislation in America, including Massachusetts gun laws, it is important to look at the laws in other countries so as to accurately compare and contrast ourselves.

Canada

Many analysts have viewed Canada’s gun control legislations as stricter when compared to those of the U.S. Just like Washington; Ottawa sets gun restrictions and regulations at a federal level where territories, provinces, and municipalities can emulate and supplement. The law requires that the gun owner should be at least 18 years old, pass a background check, and go through a public safety course.

Australia

The turning point for Australia’s gun control laws was during the Port Arthur massacre of April 1996 where a young man killed 35 people, and wounding 23 others. This was when the national government pushed for critical changes that banned both automatic and semi-automatic rifles, made licensing and ownership rules stricter. Today in Australia, to obtain a gun you need to show that you have a genuine need for a particular kind of gun and also take a firearm safety course.

Israel

Because military service is compulsory in Israel, guns are a part of Israel’s way of life. In agreement with the law, most 18-year olds are drafted into the military and receive weapon’s training. However, after being in service for two or three years, the Israelis are discharged and are required to follow civilian gun legislation.

To get a gun license in Israel, you need to be at least 21, speak some Hebrew, and must show a genuine reason to carry the firearm.

As compared to other countries, the U.S. seems to have more lax gun legislation as compared to other countries even after the slew of shootings that have killed and maimed hundreds. However, it is a constitutional right that has been debated upon severely and has been upheld regardless.

Yes, You CAN Carry Outside MA (with the right license)!

Traveling in today’s climate is dangerous.  From robbery to car-jackings to lone-wolf terror attacks and everything in between, you never know what could happen when you’re traveling.

Did you know that for less than a hundred bucks you can get one license that permits you to legally carry in 31 states?

Yes, you can carry outside Massachusetts with a Utah Non-Resident License!
Get the License – Be ready!

Sign up for the 1-day, 1 class, 1-license that allows you to legally keep your favorite handgun with you to keep your family safe when you travel throughout most of the U.S.

 How does this work?

Being able to legally carry in other states is based on three pieces to the puzzle.  The reciprocity piece, the “shall” v. “may” issue policy piece and one special scenario I’ll tell you about a little further down.

First, let’s deal with reciprocity…

Unlike Massachusetts, Utah has reciprocity, a formal agreement, to recognize gun permits with many other states.  Those same states formally agree to also recognize Utah’s gun permits.  Being armed while in those states is legally accepted.  That’s reciprocity in a nutshell.

As for every state’s policy of “shall issue” or “may issue”, Utah offers a Non-Resident License under their “shall issue” approval policy even to residents of states that do not offer reciprocity (very fortunate for us in the Bay State)!  This means if you meet the requirements, Utah “shall issue” the license to you. This is quite different from Massachusetts “may issue” where the local chief law enforcement official has discretion to issue, or not to issue, your requested license.

So, what is special about Utah?

Good question.  Here is an excerpt from the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification:

 “Do I have to be a Utah resident to obtain a concealed firearm permit?

No. Any U.S. citizen or legal resident (with the intent to reside in the United States) may obtain a Utah concealed firearm permit, providing they meet the minimum qualifications.”

Sounds easy right? But here’s the tricky part…you have to attend a Firearms class from a Certified Utah Firearms Instructor.  Luckily for you, Mass Gun Safety has Certified Instructors!!!

 Put together the three puzzle pieces of reciprocity, shall issue policy, and a Certified Utah Firearms Instructor, and you have the ability to carry in 31 states!

Now that you know how it works, how does it apply to YOU?

  • Visiting the Grand Canyon (AZ) or Mount Rushmore (SD)?
  • Taking a vacation down south this winter in Alabama, Georgia or the Outer Banks (NC)?
  • Taking your spouse to the Kentucky Derby?
  • Traveling through the heartland of Ohio, Indiana, or Missouri?
  • Taking your grandkids to rodeos in Texas or Oklahoma?
  • Visiting historical Colonial sites in Virginia?

 

That’s only a sample of all the states covered by the Utah Non-Resident License.  Check out the full list:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. 

This class is also useful when applying for Non-Resident permits in Maine and Florida!

Now that you know this valuable license is available and where to get one, it is time to decide if you’re going to take action!

 Utah Non-Resident License will allow you to legally carry a handgun in 31 states.  It is the single most widely accepted license available in the nation.

Get the license – Be ready!

 Step 1   Click here to sign up for the class.

Step 2   Follow our instructions to complete the process.

Step 3   Wait for Utah to verify your requirements.

Step 4   Receive the license and legally carry in 31 states beyond Massachusetts!