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  • Ohio's Cedarville University nears decision on campus carry
    by Chad D. Baus

    According to a statement released by the Cedarville University board of trustees, a decision on whether to allow concealed carry on the campus is expected to be made in May.

    Trustees took up the proposal after students and faculty expressed support through a campus survey and town hall meeting.

    From coverage in Cedars, the campus newspaper:

    Cedars conducted a student-wide survey to see how students felt about the possibility of the concealed carry policy changing on campus. The administration also conducted a survey among faculty and staff to gather their opinions. The majority opinion of both surveys was in favor of concealed carry permits on campus in a limited capacity.

    Initial discussions seem to be focused around the idea of allowing faculty and staff and administration to carry, but not students.

    University president Dr. Thomas White highlighted the main reasons that students may not be permitted to carry: storage and safety issues in the dormitory and liability issues with insurance.

    Dr. Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Cedarville trustee, stated he requires his vice presidents, deans and at least three people in every building to carry at Southwestern in Fort Worth, Texas.

    “I think it is incumbent upon the school in this kind of a day when you can have a shooter — even as unlikely as it is as they would find Cedarville, Ohio,” he said. “It could even happen here, and you must have protection.”

    Before implementation of Senate Bill 199, which was signed into law last December, state law denied colleges and universities the right to choose to allow students of faculty the right to carry on campus.

    As of March 21, 2017, colleges and universities are now permitted to make the choice to allow concealed carry on campus.

    Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

  • Tuscarawas Village Council votes to allow concealed carry on village-owned properties
    by Chad D. Baus

    In coverage of a local village council meeting, the (New Philadelphia) Times Reporter noted passage of an ordinance which authorizes individuals who possess a valid Ohio concealed handgun license to carry concealed firearms into village-owned properties (excluding the library building).

    According to the article, the issue passed on the third reading, with Councilwoman Marie Abbuhl casting the only no vote.

    Council members voting in favor were, Tom Baker, Wanda Krocker, Mike McConnell, Matt R. Ritenour, and Chris Shamel,

    Before implementation of Senate Bill 199, which was signed into law last December, state law denied local government entities the right to choose to allow concealed carry.

    As of March 21, 2017, local officials are now permitted to make the choice to allow concealed carry in government-owned buildings.

    Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

  • Having a "Blast" at Tactical Defense Institute
    Buckeye Blast 2017 at Tactical Defense Institute
    by Larry S. Moore

    Handgun enthusiasts joined the leadership of the Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) recently for a fun and educational fundraiser at Tactical Defense Institute (TDI) in West Union, OH.

    The Range Safety Officers and instructors from Tactical Defense Institute and the Izaak Walton Tallawanda Chapter volunteered their time. John Benner, who operates TDI, donated the use of the facility for the day. He explained the motivation, "We are very fortunate for the support we get from the shooting community. I make my living from them. I don't want to take from that community without giving something back. This is one way to give back to the BFA organization. They do so much for all of us."

    Randy Bueche from the Izaak Walton Tallawanda Chapter laid out the shooting scenarios. They incorporated some challenges that the Concealed Handgun License (CHL) holder might experience in an armed encounter whether at home or on the street. Scenarios included properly using available cover such as walls inside a home environment and shooting while moving.

    The force-on-force house, utilizing airsoft training pistols, presented a home invasion situation. The steel plate rack, where the shooters can practice at varying distances, is always a favorite. The opportunity to shoot the Ohio police officer qualifying course on the range was popular. It is enlightening to see what law enforcement officers must do for basic qualification. All the participants who tried the qualifying stage were able to pass.

    Participants enjoyed the day with everyone having a favorite stage. Many thought the force-on-force home invasion was the best. A couple of the newer CHL holders commented that it also made them a little nervous. One newer Concealed Handgun License holder noted that the thought of a home invasion with her children in the house is very scary. She was relating the possibility that the lives of her family, especially her children, might really depend on how she handles that situation.

    More experienced shooters seemed to enjoy the stages that required moving, use of cover and perhaps magazine changes while on the move. Newer shooters, or some like myself who hadn't participated in training exercises recently, had basic skills reinforced at the target range or on the steel plate racks.

    I took advantage of the day to reinforce the basics. While I've been shooting for a number of years, I had let my handgun training take a backseat to other disciplines. Recent trips to the range showed that my skills were slipping. The problem was I didn't have a clue as to how to correct the problem. I'm at that age where I recognize that "if you don't use it, you'll lose it."

    So I headed to the plate rack and asked TDI Instructor Clay Smith to get me back on track. He took me back to the basics of my stance and especially my grip. With a few minor corrections I was soon much smoother in my gun handling and sight alignment. This resulted in consistently knocking down the steel plates. Smith's approach to coaching, like all the TDI instructors, never made me feel inadequate but simply focused on improving my skills.

    Smith commented, "You have to have the basic skills as a foundation. The basics to get someone onto the steel plates consistently is to square your hips and shoulders to the target or the threat. The stance should be forward aggressive and leaning into your gun. The proper grip placement is to get the support hand into place where it is really helping you control the recoil of the gun."

    These basics showed that I was not getting the solid grip with the support hand. He continued, "The support hand is critical and where you get most of the recoil control. If you over grip the gun with the firing hand you will drive shots low. The support hand exerts pressure on the handgun without changing the point of aim. The wrists should be locked forward with the support hand thumb pointing down the side of the gun."

    I continued my discussion with Smith about how we get more CHL holders to recognize the need for continued practice and training. My concern is that many CHL holders get the initial training and may go years without additional training. As I learned, skills can slip quickly.

    Smith noted, "It's tough to get folks out to the range for training. You don't know what you've lost until you see it. You may have been shooting all your life without really understanding some fine points. You simply may not know or have forgotten the right way. Perhaps they don't know where to go or what type of training is available. Events like the Buckeye Firearms Association Blast help bring that point home. Instructors can get a few minutes to focus on a couple of quality pointers. It gives them a taste of what is available."

    Continuing the discussion, Benner added, "I'm not sure how to motivate the concealed handgun license holder to train more. I always tell law enforcement officers you have a responsibility to yourself, the people you work with, the community you work for and to their families to be good at what you do. If you're not good at what you do, then you are not as likely to win as the person who spends some time gaining some skills. It gives you a tremendous amount of confidence when you are better at what you do. Confidence is a big thing that allows you to get through a lot of situations without using force or a firearm."

    The event was certainly beneficial for my shooting skills. Comments from the attendees certainly reflect that they did indeed have a "Blast." Clint Lake, BFA Training Coordinator, summed up the day, "This is the one day that will leave you hoping the next 364 days goes fast so you can return! It will grow in you a hunger to train!"

    If you'd like to update your firearm and self defense skills, visit our training event page. For more information on Tactical Defense Institute, visit their website at tdiohio.com.

    Outdoor writer and hunter education instructor Larry S. Moore is a long-time volunteer leader for Buckeye Firearms Foundation and winner of the 2005 USSA Patriot Award, the 2007 League of Ohio Sportsmen/Ohio Wildlife Federation Hunter Educator of the Year, the 2010 National Wild Turkey Federation/ Women in the Outdoors Hunter Education Instructor of the Year and the 2014 Ohio NWTF Outdoor Writer of the Year.

  • 8 Spring Turkey Hunting Tips for You and Your Shotgun
    by Kevin Steffey

    (Image source: FreeImages.com/yousif waleed)

    In the southern United States, the spring season for turkey is well under way with those in the north lasting all the way until early June. While they aren’t the brightest game in the wilderness, gobblers and hens can be tricky prey and are never a sure thing.

    As with most things, the best advice you can have is to know your target and know yourself. This list is to ensure you know some key basics that can make the difference between going home with dinner or disappointment.

    1) Know your weapon

    A day at the outdoor range can either be a blast or a bust. Shooting clays is one of my favorite past times, but shooting at paper targets with a shotgun does not sound like a good time. It’s necessary. Even with a full choke, hitting a gobbler at 20 yards won’t be guaranteed unless you pattern your shotgun. Get a good sense of the spread and groupings, then you can set out.

    Use a turkey target or a roughly 40in piece of paper and take a shot at a fixed aiming point at 25 yards. Circle your main point of impact after each shot. If your full choke is working well, the fixed aiming point (or another spot close by) should be completely gone.

    2) Know the environment

    Where do turkeys live? How can I recognize a good turkey habitat? It’s actually quite similar to what any of us need, as long as it has shelter, food, and water.

    Turkeys want a place to hide, lots of insects and protein for the nutritionally demanding egg-laying season, and a water source. They also need a few trees for roosting, but don’t need dense woodland as previously thought.

    If you’re a repeat hunter to the same area every year, some groups recommend a planting a small plot of plants attractive to turkeys as well as the insects hens will gorge on when laying eggs.

    3) Know the rules

    Before venturing out, make sure you know all of the rules and regulations of your state and desired hunting grounds. What are limits on your take-home? Is it private or public land?

    A good piece of hunting etiquette if you’re hunting on private land is to get to know the owners, always check in with them even if you’ve been working with them for years, and occasionally share some of your prize to show your gratitude.

    4) Know your game

    If you expect to just walk into the woods and find a turkey, I think you’ve been playing too many video games. Turkeys can be elusive unless you know what to look and listen for.

    The main thing to know about turkeys is that where other game animals may hesitate or investigate changes or disturbances to their environment, a turkey will unconditionally run from anything it perceives as danger.

    Turkeys also have excellent eyesight. While it is up to you to decide if you want to drop lots of money on detailed camouflage gear, just make sure the colors of what gear you have match with your environment. Same with your shotgun. If you don’t want to buy a camo pattern weapon, a matte black finish should do the trick.

    5) Know the season

    Spring coincides with breeding season and there is no reason you shouldn’t use that to your advantage. Male turkeys gobble to signal their location to hens and hens looking to breed go to them and strut to seal the deal with a visual cue.

    A roosting gobbler or a group of gobblers are much more susceptible to your hen calls than a male who is already strutting for a group of hens. Pick your targets wisely and try to get a handle on their movement patterns even if you can’t get a decent shot.

    6) Know your tools

    The list of turkey hunting equipment out there is extensive, but the two big items that have helped hunters bag their target are blinds and decoys.

    Blinds help you counter that immediate danger reflex we talked about. They give you those few seconds of lead time to get that shot off before he even knows you’re aiming.

    Decoys are a mixed bag. They can bring your prey right where you want them, or they can agitate the turkeys in your area. Worst case scenario another hunter who hasn’t had much luck that day might take a shot at your new toy.

    7) Know the calls

    Turkey calls have some a long way in recent years. There are box calls which require little effort as long as you know the patterns, or there are handsfree diaphragm calls that require a little more finesse, but allow you to keep your hands on your weapon.

    There are countless extensive guides on all of the different situations, frequencies, and tones of each type of call to get the best results. A good baseline is about 3 to 7 “chicks” or “chirps” at a time with a diaphragm call to imitate a hen.

    8) Know your limits

    Be safe. No prize is worth you coming home with a broken leg or some pellets in your arm. Maintain situational awareness and a cool head. The hunter doesn’t let the prey give him the run around.

    Also practice weapon safety. Muzzle awareness is empirically important especially if you’re hunting in groups. When trying to get over, down from, or around obstacles, hand off your shotgun until you’re safely on your feet.

    Follow these basic tips and you’re more likely to come back with your next dinner, lunch, and maybe breakfast. Make sure to take care of yourself, your shotgun, and your equipment and it will take care of you.

    Kevin Steffey is an avid hunter and freelance writer, the founder of Deer Hunting Field. He loves spending time in the field with his rifle more than almost anything else. He also occupies his off-time discussing deer and their habits online. But more than anything, he wants to teach and educate about hunting.

  • Another proactive Ohio school board approves arming staff members
    by Chad D. Baus

    The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that another Ohio board of education has formally approved allowing some employees to possess firearms on school premises and in designated school safety zones.

    According to the article, the new policy, enacted by the Indian Valley Board of Education in northeastern Ohio, will go into effect this fall. 

    Several nearby districts already allow armed staff members in their buildings. Among them are Newcomerstown Exempted Village Local Schools, Coshocton City Schools and River View Local Schools.

    From the article:

    The Indian Valley district already has identified staff members who will undergo training in the near future, Superintendent Ira Wentworth said following Monday’s board meeting. He declined to provide more information on who will be involved.

    Board members gave unanimous approval to new weapons policies and a resolution permitting qualifying staff members to possess firearms on school premises.

    “We have done this painstakingly, slowly, consciously, and it’s going to happen,” board President Bob Hall said. “It’s not going to happen until we’re sure that every duck is aligned. We’re going to do it. We’re going to do it right. We’ve started that way and that’s how we’re going to finish.”

    Added board member Larry Holmes, “I think we’re doing the right thing. I think we’re doing what the public wants us to do, and we’re doing the right thing for the kids.”

    According to the article, Indian Valley has received support for the idea of arming staff members from local law enforcement, who want to be involved in the training when Indian Valley moves forward with it.
    Indian Valley has schools in four communities in Tuscarawas County. The high school is in Gnadenhutten, while the middle school is in Tuscarawas. Elementary schools are located in Port Washington and Midvale.

    After four years, Buckeye Firearms Foundation's FASTER Saves Lives program has trained 773 school teachers and staff members from 194 districts in 8 states. This includes teachers and staff in 74 of Ohio's 88 counties.

    This summer's classes are filling quickly. Apply for training here.

    Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

  • How I almost shot someone - and the 5 things I learned

    The following is a true story submitted to Buckeye Firearms Association. We have concealed the identity of the person involved by that person's request.

    While most people assume that defending yourself with a gun means actually shooting someone, this story is representative of countless thousands of encounters across the U.S. that likely go unreported to authorities. It shows that simply having a gun at the ready can also provide defense for yourself and your family, even if not a single shot is fired. 

    We're glad that neither the homeowner, nor the would-be intruder, was harmed. 


    On Wednesday 29 March 2017, I came as close as I have ever come to pulling the trigger. 

    Someone began kicking in our door in around 8:30 p.m. They broke the screen door and broke the inside door jam. I was upstairs helping our oldest child (4 years old) with a shower, and heard something that sounded like a tree falling on our house. Then I heard my wife screaming. I ran down the stairs with a gun and took a good defensive position with cover.

    I tossed my phone to my wife (hers was downstairs). She called 911 and told them someone was kicking our door in. The dispatcher said they would send an officer, but they were "busy." They then hung up on my wife mid-sentence, about 30 seconds into the conversation. Minutes began ticking by. There was absolute silence. After the first few thuds, whoever was kicking in our door stopped.

    Several more minutes went by, and still no police. We decided to slowly expand our "controlled" territory. I turned some lights off while keeping the outside lights on so I could see a little farther outside without getting right next to the window. I eventually cleared the house and collected the long guns for more firepower and to reinforce our defensive position. 

    I stood watch and guarded both entrances from cover (no, not just concealment) for over an hour and a half. We got a missed call from the police non-emergency number. We called them back, told them we had called 911 and but were hung up on, and asked if help was on the way. "We're busy tonight, sorry" was the response.

    Finally, theree hours later, an officer showed up. He said that they really screwed this one up. Somehow dispatch miscategorized the incident as a low-priority burglary rather than a breaking and entering. By this time, whoever was kicking in our door was probably long gone. And I realized all I could do was replace our back door.

    We live in a major metropolitan suburb with a good police department, and live less than 1.5 miles from a police sub station. But communication breakdowns CAN and DO happen. The good guys make mistakes.

    So in our case, when it mattered, help was only HOURS away.

    5 Things I Learned 

    1) Blood gets sucked from your fingers (or so it seems). I shoot 3-gun competitions, and shoot bowling pins, getting near top scores (at least in local clubs). I can even shoot eight shots from a .357 and reload to fire another eight shots in just under seven seconds. I'm no Jerry Miculek, but I'm trying. I can reload my shotgun, two shells at a time, and leave the guys in the club in my dust (even the guy with several state records). I do nightly dry fire and malfunction drills with magazine changes. I even try to include push-ups and a workout routine to simulate the effects of adrenaline. Most competitions I shoot and place near the top.

    That being said, when I realized that I might actually have to shoot someone, I found I wasn't quite ready. I had to open the gun case and pull the gun out of a different compartment. Then I fumbled the magazine from my Glock 17 while trying to load. Twice. Bear in mind, this was my first competition gun. And I can load this gun "under pressure" (or so I thought) blindfolded.

    Practice helps, but be aware that you MIGHT NOT be ready when the time comes. You DO need more practice. It never occurred to me to practice a hasty make ready drill from my "sock drawer" storage. Somehow, I was able to overcome and meet my wife on the stairs within 3-5 seconds of the first thump on our door. However, the realization that you are NOT AS GOOD AS YOU THINK YOU ARE is EXTREMELY sobering. 

    2) Have a plan, share it, practice it, and know it will fall apart. A plan gives you a framework to respond. Then you have to adapt. We had discussed our family plan to hold in our safe area (upstairs) and guard the stairs from cover (good choke point). What we did not figure was the excessive response time. It might be a good idea to do a thought experiment every now and then. You know someone just tried to break in. The police are not coming. So how do you reinforce? How long do you wait before you start "clearing" the immediate area inside or outside your home?

    3) Your views on guns will change. I've been a staunch Second Amendment supporter for years, and an enthusiast. But my views have changed. Yesterday I did not know I could be more pro 2A, but I am sitting here today knowing different. Mark this up as one of those hundreds of thousands of defensive gun usages that never get reported, but have a lasting impact on your life. 

    4) It can happen to you. Down deep, you never really think it can. Until it does. 

    5) Luck matters. We were DAMN lucky. God was watching over us.

  • The Washington Post Gives Gun Control Group and U.S. Senator Three Pinocchios on Suppressors

    [Recently], we wrote about Americans for Responsible Solutions’ irresponsible misinformation about The Hearing Protection Act on Twitter.  Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who took notice of ARS’s complete disregard for the facts on firearm suppressors.

    On Monday, [March 20,] The Washington Post Fact Checker took a look at ARS’s tweet as well as a tweet by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) about suppressors.  While the Post raised many of the same problems we did, its fact check further confirmed that ARS has no problem with lying to achieve its mission for gun (or in this case suppressor) control. 

    Perhaps the most interesting part of the fact check came from ARS’s defense of its claim “You know what protections your hearing better than a silencer?  Ear plugs.”  According to the Post, to support this claim ARS spokeswoman Katie Peters supplied the Post with an article that showed an average of 30 decibels of reduction for commonly available suppressors. 

    Even if ARS was unaware that earplugs and earmuffs should have their Noise Reduction Ratings substantially reduced using a derating calculation, citing a 30 decibel reduction for suppressors would still put them amongst the best available hearing protectors.  But, as we pointed out last week, in real world use earplugs only get about 50% of their stated NRR, so the 30 decibel figure cited by ARS is better than any available earplug once the derating formula is applied. 

    The Post also addressed Sen. Gillibrand’s claim “When someone gets shot by a gun with a silencer, it’s quiet. Witnesses might not hear. Police will be less likely to track down the shooter.” To support this claim, opponents of the HPA relied on a favorite argument of anti-suppressor activists: that suppressors might limit the utility of ShotSpotter and other similar gun fire detection equipment.

    Here the Post went straight to the source and found that suppressors do not pose the great hurdle for ShotSpotter that some have been lead to believe.  The fact check cited Ralph Clark, the chief executive of ShotSpotter, as stating “We have successfully if not inadvertently detected confirmed suppressed gunfire within our existing deployments. Although we have not formally tested the theoretical impact to our system, we intend to do some targeted testing in the near future. We believe we will have various options ranging from increasing our sensor array density to developing software/firmware to address the detection of suppressed gunfire if it were to become a widespread issue.”

    In the end, the Post gave ARS and Gillibrand three pinocchios, which the Post describes as “Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions. This gets into the realm of ‘mostly false.’” 

    Don’t let lying anti-gun groups and politicians endanger the Hearing Protection Act. Please make sure your U.S. senators and congressional representative hear from you on this important legislation to protect Second Amendment rights and the health of the American gun owner. It is long past time to discard America’s antiquated and unsupported approach to suppressor regulation.

    You can contact your member of Congress via our Write Your Reps tool by clicking HERE or use the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

    © 2017 National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action. This may be reproduced. This may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.

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