2017 - BFA in the News
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January 28, 2017
Akron Beacon-Journal - Arming themselves out of fear: Politics, violence push up gun sales
“One of the jokes in firearm stores, eight years running, is they have posters on the doors for salesman of the year: Barack Obama,” said Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, Ohio’s largest gun advocacy group.
With Trump in office, Second Amendment enthusiasts are at ease. They expect sales to level off, but the gun culture in America, they say, is here to stay.
“It may increase or decrease a bit, but it will continue to rise compared to historical figures,” said Irvine, the gun lobby president. “That’s because owning a gun is not a radical idea … Carrying a gun is not about being a soldier or doing battle. It’s to protect yourself or your country. It’s like putting on a seat belt.”
Irvine, who tracks legislation, is assured that a Trump administration will sign the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, introduced this month by Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C. The bill would make concealed carry permits as accepted nationwide as driver’s licenses. Another bill Ohio passed into law last year, Senate Bill 199, goes into effect in March, allowing for guns in day cares if not posted and forbidding bosses from disciplining employees who leave their guns in their cars at work.
But will the pro-gun push led by Trump and Republicans calm the fervor that drives firearm sales?
“Now you have someone talking about moving legislation that hasn’t been talked about in 20 years. Will that crush the industry?” Irvine asked. “I could see how you might think it would. But the environment has changed so much. So many people are into shooting now.”
January 28, 2017
Marietta Times - Frontier mum on conceal carry program
Buckeye Firearms Foundation launched a program called FASTER in early 2015 to provide violence response training to teachers and administrators. FASTER stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response.
FASTER is funded by donations and the classes are provided at no cost to the school districts operating with this program. The program offers a curriculum with more than 26 hours of hands-on training that exceeds the requirements of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy.
January 10, 2017
Gongwer News Service - Concealed-Carry Law Impact Uncertain As State's Largest Campuses Plan To Maintain Prohibitions
Jim Irvine, president of Buckeye Firearms Association's board of directors, said it's "shameful" that most institutions won't consider making policy changes or likely reach out to his group for guidance on the issue.
"I hope universities authorize people to carry, but I don't think that's going to happen right away," he said in an interview. "Obviously a lot have come out and voiced opposition to authorizing concealed carry, and I think the key on this is that we'll work with the universities that want to work with us and there are a few that are already doing that."
Like it does with primary schools, the association is offering active shooter training for campus staff members who could be authorized to carry concealed firearms once the law takes effect, Mr. Irvine said.
The intent behind the law is to allow individuals to protect themselves and others in an active shooter or other dangerous event, he said.
"To those that say this makes college campuses more dangerous: Explain how the person who carries responsibly everywhere else in their life is suddenly dangerous on a university campus," Mr. Irvine said, adding: "It's not about guns; it's about safety and that's what too many people don't understand."
January 7, 2017
Cleveland Plain Dealer - New state school board member Lisa Woods has Tea Party and parenting background
Among her most prominent endorsements for the state board seat was the Buckeye Firearms Association. Woods said she and her husband used to target shoot, but despite being a hiker and camper she never hunts.
"I have never killed anything and I hope I never have to," she said.
But she said she is concerned by the threat of school violence and wants teachers and school staff to be better prepared to handle any attacks on schools. That includes first aid training to deal with serious wounds from gunshots.
"You can do things that will keep them alive until you get to the ambulance and the hospital," Woods said.
She supports letting teachers and staff carry guns in school to counter any attacks.
"I think if they are well trained...and willing...it's a good idea," she said. I wouldn't want to talk someone into something they don't want to do."
January 5, 2017
Dayton Daily News - Despite new gun law, state firearms group won’t pressure area colleges
To convince colleges to allow concealed carry on campus, one gun rights group has a plan: do nothing.
A new Ohio law gives individual college boards of trustees the authority to allow guns on campus but university officials at Wright State, Miami, Ohio State and Cincinnati have said they’ll continue prohibitions on firearms. The University of Dayton has not taken a stance on the new law but UD already prohibits people from carrying concealed guns on campus.
“You can’t force somebody into this and that’s not the intent,” said Jim Irvine, board president of the Buckeye Firearms Association. “I don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t want to work with me.”
While the association and Irvine support the new law, he said they are not planning anything to pressure college trustees into allowing guns on campuses. Instead, Irvine said the association will take a “hands-off approach” and expects most Ohio colleges will eventually come around on their own.
“My guess is it’s been discussed at every college that gives a damn about safety,” Irvine said.
All it takes to change minds, Irvine said, is “an event that touches an emotional nerve.” He referenced the November attack on Ohio State’s campus when Abdul Razak Ali Artan drove a car into a group of people outside Watts Hall before exiting the vehicle and beginning to stab bystanders.
“Literally, in an instant, that idea can change,” Irvine said. “That fear now opens the door.”
Despite Irvine’s prediction, officials at nearby universities have been clear about their opposition to concealed carry on campus. Miami and Wright State both sent students and staff emails reminding them that despite the new law, guns are still prohibited.