After the Kongsberg attack, Expect “Bow and Arrow Loophole” Complaints

After the Kongsberg attack, Expect “Bow and Arrow Loophole” Complaints
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The news from Kongsberg, Norway that a man on a spree killing used a bow and arrow to kill at least 5 people and injured at least 2 more who are in intensive care was covered here earlier today, but I want to follow up on Tom’s take with my own, because based on their past behavior, I am fully expecting the Gun Grab Lobby to start complaining about a newfangled “Bow and Arrow Loophole” in the United States.


The past behavior I am talking about stems from complaints about a so-called “Blackpowder Loophole” that gun control activists have already raised in response to a 2016 Ohio killing using a blackpowder gun. For those who don’t remember, it was covered here on Bearing Arms in 2018 by Micah Rate. That case involved a felon who ordered a blackpowder revolver over the phone from Cabela’s; the latter followed federal law but not Ohio state law and erroneously sold the felon the blackpowder gun. As reported by NBC News:

In the Ohio case, authorities said that Bryan Galliher died in 2016 after his neighbor shot him with a replica 1858 revolver that he had bought by phone from Cabela’s. Galliher’s family sued in 2018, saying Cabela’s never should have sold the gun to the neighbor because he had a felony conviction for assault and was ineligible to buy it under Ohio state law. 

Cabela’s settled the lawsuit with the family of the victim.

Cabela’s also agreed to pay Galliher’s family a “seven-figure sum” in a settlement that a judge approved in February, according to Brady. 

Cabela’s confirmed the settlement of the lawsuit but declined to comment on the payment. The retailer said that the settlement did not include any admission of wrongdoing on its part, and that it stopped online and telephone sales voluntarily and independently, after the lawsuit was filed but prior to the settlement.

However, the Gun Grab Lobby latched on to a rare instance of criminal misuse like this to call for further federal legislation, specifically restricting muzzleloaders and blackpowder guns.


Given their predictable behavior of jumping on every restriction possible which sometimes leads to contradictions, such as calling Shall-Issue permitting a responsible policy when Texas went Constitutional Carry, while fighting against Shall-Issue in defending New York’s May-Issue permitting regime, I am expecting the Gun Grab Lobby to start talking about the “Bow and Arrow Loophole” sooner or later.

The underlying fact that they willfully ignore is that any ordinary tool can be used as a weapon by the wicked and crazy, and that includes blackpowder guns and bows and arrows. Outlawing or regulating the ownership of mass-manufactured bows and arrows will do nothing to prevent violence. 

In an era of the democratization of 3-D printing, making your own bow and arrow is going to be a much simpler task for someone who doesn’t have the means, knowledge, or skills to 3-D print guns. After all, bows and arrows are a simple technology that our primitive human ancestors designed 60,000–70,000 years ago, as seen in archeological evidence in Sibudu Cave in South Africa.

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