You can find them in every gun store in even the most restrictive states in the nation, and with good reason; bolt-action rifles are among the most ubiquitous rifles in the United States, and have been in deer camps and military arsenals in the United States since the Palmer carbine was used in the U.S. Civil War.
Now two separate gun control groups are attempting to restrict access to them.
The manually-operated bolt-action rifle is among the most rugged and reliable of firearms. Simple bolt-action rimfire rifles like the Crickett are typically the first rifles picked up by young shooters as children, and centerfire bolt-actions from Browning, Remington, and Savage are in the gun safes of even the most conservative of hunters who turn up their noses at modern sporting rifles.
Now both the National Gun Victims Action Council (NGVAC) and Cease Fire PA are calling for additional restrictions for bolt-action rifles.
Elliot Fineman, the histrionics-prone CEO of NGVAC, has dubbed the most technologically advanced bolt-action rifle in the world, the TrackingPoint PGF (Precision-Guided Firearm), a firearm suitable only for terrorists:
That is what Elliot Fineman, CEO of the National Gun Victims Action Council says about the Precision Guided Firearms made by TrackingPoint, a gun maker located in Austin, Texas.
The NGVAC wants to ban the rifles, which they say have “no legitimate civilian use.”
“There are three groups who will buy these rifles — insurrectionists, terrorists and hate groups,” Fineman said in a recent statement. “Given the sniper rifle’s deadly accuracy, no one is safe — this cannot be allowed.”
The group’s biggest objection is to the technology behind the heart of TrackingPoint’s Precision Guided Firearm system, its “network tracking scope,” a computer which calculates 20 ballistic variables 54 times per second.
All the shooter does to fire the $27,500 weapon is align the reticle onto the target, press the “tag” button, pull the trigger and hold it to the rear.
The TrackingPoint PGF is an interesting system, but Fineman’s hysterics aren’t credible.
For starters, the version of the rifle Fineman is hyperventilating over are incredibly expensive, exceedingly rare, and are the toys of the very wealthy, not “insurrectionists, terrorists and hate groups.” TrackingPoint rifles are a status symbol among the wealthy and well armed, a Rolex that goes “bang.” Their high cost, single-source availability and scarcity actually mean that they are the kind of rifles groups attempting to hide their presence would avoid at all costs. It also takes a rifleman with a considerable deal of skill to properly employ the rifle at extended ranges.
Ceasefire PA, a state gun control group in Pennsylvania, is using the recent shooting of two state troopers by a law enforcement-hating military reenactor to call for increased restrictions on all long guns.
Police say a gunman used a .308-caliber rifle to shoot two state troopers, one fatally, on Friday.
Today, Cease Fire PA called for tougher background checks on weapons just like it in the capitol rotunda. The group, made up of mayors and activists from across the Commonwealth, called for expanded background checks on people buying long guns, such as rifles and shot guns.
Cease Fire says FBI figures show the number of murders committed with long guns has doubled since 1996.
It will probably come as a surprise to no one that Ceasefire PA is dramatically lying with their claim.
According to the FBI, long guns accounted for 622 murders in 2012 (322 rifles, 303 shotguns), and 1,205 in 1996 (532 rifles, 673 shotguns, according to Table 20). The number of people murdered with long guns hasn’t doubled… it has roughly halved.
The attempt to target long-guns comes after numerous media outlets sympathetic to gun control curious chose last week to abandon their 30-year fixation on so-called “assault weapons.”
Apparently, they’re now going to go after bolt-action rifles used for hunting, calling them “sniper rifles,” comparing their owners to “insurrectionists” and”terrorists” as they attempt to push universal background checks as a de facto gun registry.