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Donald Trump Jr’s 2A Task Force Needs Closer Scrutiny by Gun Owners by David Codrea

Donald Trump, Jr.–shown at an NRA convention–dismissed reports he was interested in becoming the association’s new CEO. Dave Workman photo

U.S.A. – -( “Donald Trump Jr. launches gun rights group, vows to fight Democratic gun control proposals,” Fox News reports. “The Second Amendment Task Force plans to build its operation around Trump’s high social media visibility and following, as well as his national media appearances.”

“The Second Amendment Task Force is the first advocacy group that Trump has launched and been directly involved with,” the report elaborates. “The group plans to make a push in the upcoming midterm elections this year, especially in the voter registration sphere.”

Except it’s not the first. Remember that “Second Amendment Coalition” his father announced and made him chairman of back in 2016?  The one he co-chaired with fired NRA-ILA honcho and bump stock “regulator” Chris Cox? If you don’t recall that group, it’s probably because it didn’t actually do much of anything and the webpage was taken down a half-a-year later.

As for “plans to make a push,” it’s fair to ask for whom. His father’s Mehmet Oz pick comes to mind. Are there any other candidates gun owners may have concerns about?

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It’s also fair to ask what that push consists of. The Fox News piece gives us plenty of high-sounding platitudes but specifically, how will the “entirely devoted” Second Amendment Task Force “ensur[e] the Left is never successful in disarming American citizens”?

As an aside, that rhetoric is kind of hyperbolic. Ultimately, isn’t ensuring they never will be something each of us will decide?

“Today, the group is laser-focused on engaging grassroots activists to defend their Constitutional rights,” the Task Force website claims“Like a special ops team of advocates, the group rapidly mobilizes when Biden nominates personnel who could infringe on the Second Amendment and to oppose executive or legislative action that curbs the rights of gun owners and families.”

What group? Who is on board with this, and might we check their creds?

The only name that is listed under “Our Team” is Trump Jr’s, and while gun owners should appreciate his efforts that “helped sink” the David Chipman nomination to head ATF, many hands were involved with that and, candidly, did more. And if his Task Force truly lives up to its rapid mobilization claim, why have he — and it — been silent to date (this is being written on 4/28) on the new and equally threatening nominee, Steve Dettelbach?

Fleshing out the details of the “group,” its organization and specific efforts it intends to make is important because getting visitors to register and donate seems to be the purpose of the 2A Task Force home page. That being the case, what does it intend to provide gun owners that they can’t already get from established national and state “gun groups”? Considering that those groups are also involved in activities like education/outreach, alerts/grassroots coordination, legislative efforts, and, importantly, mounting legal challenges, what unique return value, besides the occasional supportive tweet, editorial or media appearance by Trump Jr. does this new venture offer that makes it a superior donation priority?

No one can argue that it doesn’t help to have a high-profile personality using his bully pulpit to promote the right to keep and bear arms. One could also argue that attaching one’s famous name to a hot button issue, one that affects millions, yields significant personal and political returns.

Sure, it’s great to see him proudly posing with an AR-15 and driving the left nuts. Good job!

It would be greater to see him using his New York City concealed carry permit as a springboard to highlight how unjust and un-American it is to limit such permits to the sell-connected elites and to lead the charge for demanding change. For someone presuming to be a leadership voice for gun owners, it would be not just appropriate, but crucial for Trump Jr. to also explain in principle and detail:

The object here is not to attack him or to start a feud with Dad; it’s to see if the guy who says he wants to lead us knows where he’s going and why.

It’s also to see whose interests funds being solicited to bankroll that leadership really serve and if that’s the most effective way for gun owners to offset attacks against their rights. Note 2A Task Force donations are “Powered through WinRed,” a GOP fundraising platform that has been dominated by Donald Trump-related interests.

They take their cut of the proceeds. We’ve all gotta eat and there’s nothing wrong with that, and in fact, the left (which benefits from its ActBlue counterpart) is trying to shut WinRed down with breathless allegations of irregularities and “politically-motivated investigations” by four “blue state” attorneys general. Like with speech, political opposition is seen as something to be smeared and canceled.

Just to clear something up, because I won’t be surprised to see this piece result in some “Would you rather have Joe Biden?” reactions: I got this task force news sent to me from a few different readers, and what they sent included some enthusiastic posts and videos from commentators with substantial numbers of followers. None of what I had seen dug any deeper and addressed the points this raises, and I believe gun owners ought to be able to evaluate all fundraising appeals against other deserving options before digging into limited personal resources.

If you think Donald Trump Jr’s Second Amendment Task Force is a serious contender for your financial support, feel free to explain why and persuade those of us who may not be convinced yet in the comments, below.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

David Codrea

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How Well Do the Army’s New Guns Perform? That’s Classified, But Soldiers Will Carry More Weight, Less Ammo By Steve Beynon

XM5 Rifle on display at the Pentagon.

The new guns and ammunition the Army just married and is expected to issue to combat arms units within the next decade will require soldiers to carry an even heavier load.

But information on how those weapons should outperform the guns they’re replacing — the justification for troops to shoulder extra weight on top of mountains of gear already injuring soldiers — is classified.

In April, the Army announced that Sig Sauer will produce replacements for the M4 rifle and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, or SAW, starting with a trial run of about 40 new guns late next year. Production is expected to ramp up when the Army opens a new ammo plant to produce the new 6.8mm rounds for those weapons around 2026.

Army officials have touted that the new XM5, the M4’s replacement, and XM250, set to replace the SAW, pack a much harder punch and will improve the combat performance of ground troops. But thus far, the service has declined to disclose evidence that those weapons outperform the M4 and SAW, including how far they can shoot accurately. And it’s unclear whether the Army has verified the ranges at which those new weapons can engage an enemy before committing to a multimillion-dollar contract.

“During the prototyping phase of the program, the [weapons] demonstrated the ability to significantly outperform the M4A1 and M249 with lethal effects at all ranges,” Lt. Col. Brandon Kelley said in a statement. “Following production qualification testing and operational testing, the Army will establish and validate the maximum effective ranges.”

Prototyping and the Army’s selection of which vendor would supply its new weapons took only 27 months. For comparison, the service spent more than a decade developing its new fitness test.

A spokesperson for Sig Sauer declined to comment, directing to the Defense Department regarding questions on its weapons.

Information on the maximum distances other Army weapons can engage targets is no secret; it’s one of the first things a new recruit learns and is easily searchable online. According to Kelley, the new weapons’ capabilities eventually will be disclosed, but there is no clear timetable.

The M4, the Army’s current standard-issue rifle used in the post-9/11 wars, can effectively engage targets at 500 meters. The SAW can suppress targets at around 800 meters.

For comparison, the standard-issue rifle for the Chinese military is the QBZ-95, which has a maximum effective range of 400 meters for a target.

Those distances are critical for troops to be able to confront an enemy force accurately, and anything less could alter U.S. soldiers’ effectiveness and even require changes to tactics. An Army report in 2009 on U.S. troops’ performance in ground combat in Afghanistan found that the average gunfight was well beyond 300 meters and that any training or equipment not built for at least 500 meters would be “inappropriate.”

But holding those details close to the chest before weapons are distributed to the force might be done out of fear of the Chinese government getting a sneak peek at the new guns.

“You don’t want the Chinese getting it,” Kelley told “They steal tech all the time. Let’s get ahead while we can.”

The plan is for the new weapons to be issued only to troops in combat arms units, such as infantrymen and cavalry scouts. The Army plans to buy 107,000 XM5s and 13,000 XM250s for active-duty soldiers and National Guardsmen. But that total purchase could take the rest of the decade. Eventually, the XM5 will be renamed the M5, and the XM250 will be designated the M250.

Yet when soldiers eventually get those new guns, they will carry significantly less ammunition, given the 6.8mm is much heavier than the 5.56mm rounds the M4 and SAW use. The idea is those heavier rounds will be more effective against body armor and light vehicles. However, the Army has not disclosed any evidence on that being the case.

The XM5 weighs 8.38 pounds, or 9.84 pounds with the suppressor, much heavier than the 6.34-pound M4. That new rifle will also use 20-round magazines, smaller than the 30-round magazines troops currently use. A soldier’s basic combat load will be seven of those 20-round magazines, a total of 140 rounds, weighing 9.8 pounds altogether.

The M4’s combat load, also seven magazines for a total of 210 rounds, is 7.4 pounds. In total, a rifleman with the XM5 will carry roughly four pounds more than today’s M4 rifleman.

“Hopefully, these are worth the bang for the buck,” one Army infantry sergeant major told on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press on the subject. “Asking [soldiers] to carry anything more than they already do, and having less ammo, that is a hard pitch.”

How ground troops pack is meticulously planned, with even an extra single ounce taken into account as their total load has ballooned in recent decades. Soldiers often carry between 30 and 80 pounds, or possibly more depending on the mission, lugging around batteries, radios, water, food, protective gear and grenades.

“Soldiers will carry less ammunition, but the performance of that ammunition provides an increase in lethality, accuracy and range across a broader range of targets,” Kelley added in a statement.

The XM250, however, weighs less, at 14.5 pounds, than the SAW, which weighs 19.2 pounds. That XM250 weight includes its bipod and suppressor.

But like the new rifle, light machine gunners will still carry that heavier 6.8mm ammo, and less of it. That could be a challenge, given a SAW gunner’s job is to fire a lot of rounds, quickly, to suppress enemy movement.

A soldier with an XM250 will carry a basic load of four 100-round pouches of ammo, weighing 27.1 pounds. SAW gunners carry three, 200-round pouches, weighing 20.8 pounds.

In total, future light machine gunners will carry 200 fewer rounds of ammunition and about one extra pound when accounting for the weapon and its ammo. It is unclear what the spare barrels for the XM250 weigh.





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