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NRA Wraps Up Meeting

Leaders finish 134th annual feat with vow to fight Bloomberg push

By: Jim Shepherd, The Outdoor Wire

The battle has been joined between the five million National Rifle Association members and the $50 million anti-gun war chest of Michael Bloomberg. And it's already shaping up to be a tough one. As the 143rd Annual Meetings and Exhibits wrapped up in Indianapolis, it was obvious the NRA executives are more than ready for that fight.

In his members meeting remarks, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre summed the feelings of the attendees up pretty simply: "We have always been the good guys" continuing that the NRA isn't "out of date; we're not out of step."

At the same time, Bloomberg's "Everytown" campaign was rolling out a series of ads attacking the politicians who spoke to the NRA membership at the annual meetings.

The NRA's counter was a video that characterized the battle as one man with millions of dollars versus millions of Americans with their $25 contributions, ready to fight him. NRA ILA head Chris Cox said Bloomberg can't "lie his way, buy his way nor bully his way" through the country to strip away the Second Amendment.

But the need to get out the 2014 vote was also pushed at every turn. At risk, said LaPierre, was the character of the nation. "We will be at the polls in November, and in the November after that, and we won't rest until November of 2016 -- when we have stood up as America's good guys and taken back the White House."

Meanwhile, the Bloomberg organization suffered a defection over the weekend with former Bush Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge resigning, citing his discomfort with the political activity of the organization.

But Indianapolis wasn't the only focus of attention of some attendees. Second Amendment founder and head Alan Gottlieb, for example, found himself sitting in media interviews on Friday while he waited "on pins and needles" to hear whether or not the Supreme Court was going to take up a third Second Amendment case.

As it turned out, the highest court didn't make a decision after the oral arguments on Friday. It's expected that a decision will come sometime late Monday. We're watching this one closely as it could be the third pivotal case, incorporating the Second Amendment with the Fourteenth.

Lest we forget ... there were lots of products on display this weekend. Many of them were additions of existing lines, but there were some which were actually interesting twists on existing concepts.

For example, the idea of the "survival rifle" has been around for decades, but it's getting new twists from companies realizing that the consumer is probably more focused on self-sufficiency than any time in recent memory.

For Taurus, that means including their Judge revolver in a grab-and-go type survival box along with the gear necessary to get you through the initial chaos of a cataclysmic event.

Italian gunmaker Chiappa, however, has taken a different approach. Their new "Caliber X" rifle looks like a straightforward over/under minimalist rifle/shotgun combo. The primary difference is their "foam and steel stock."

But the reason it's called "Caliber X" is one of those big differences. The rifle itself comes set to shoot 3-inch, 12-gauge shot shells over the venerable .22 LR. The buttstock is a foam composite that contains a cleaning kit along with room for two 12-gauge shells and five rounds of .22 LR.

An 8-piece adapter kit, however, is available that slides barrels into the 12-gauge tube and gives the ability to shoot .380, 9mm, .357/38 Special, 40 S&W, 44 Magnum, .45 ACP, 410/.45 colt or .20 gauge shells.

In other words, they've incorporated the idea of barrel inserts and the survival rifle to give you a packable rifle that can accept a variety of sight options via the picatinny rail system and use virtually any popular caliber handgun round along with the two most common shotgun gauges. According to booth workers, the Caliber X, with the gauge kit, sells for considerably less than $1,000.

Go to NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits 2014

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