Members Get 10% off at TALON Grips

As a member of U.S. LawShield, you have access to Member Perks from a national network of more than 3,000 affiliate gun ranges, gun stores, and various retailers. These 2A-friendly Perks provide a little something extra to our Members—a “Thank You” from us for your loyalty. This week, we’re taking a look at TALON Grips and what they offer you as part of your Member Perks.


TALON Grips improve your grasp on your firearms in all weather conditions. TALON Grips have a U.S. Patented design for a one-piece grip that wraps around the handle of your gun. The grip provides complete coverage while adding less than half of a millimeter in bulk. Every TALON Grip is designed in Northwest Colorado and 100% made in the U.S.A.

Each grip is specifically designed for each firearm model. Textures include granulate and rubber. Granulate texture is reminiscent of skateboard tape and is better suited for holster carry and competition shooting. The textured rubber is more commonly used for concealed carry and is less likely to snag on clothing.

History of TALON Grips

TALON Grips was founded in 2009 by Derik Losinger, an Arizona park ranger and boat sheriff. He created the first grip using an Exacto Knife and skateboard tape to combat his sweaty hands in the sweltering Arizona summers. When other law enforcement officers saw his work, they were impressed and asked him to create grips for their firearms—TALON Grips was born.

In 2010, TALON Grips stopped using skateboard tape and began producing their own granulate material grips. This new material was much thinner and was designed to cleanly attach and be removed from polymer. The next year, TALON Grips rolled out their rubber material and began creating more intricate designs in-house with laser cutting technology.

U.S. LawShield Affiliation

TALON Grips proudly offers a 10% discount online to our U.S. LawShield members (with free shipping and handling, of course). Simply log in to your Member Portal to take advantage of this perk. Not yet a member? Sign up now.

Supporting businesses like TALON Grips helps promote the rights of responsible gun owners across your community. For more information about TALON Grips, make sure to call 970-879-9600 or visit their website at

Gear Review: Top Concealed Carry 9mm Ammunition for Self Defense


With hundreds of duty and self-defense 9mm ammunition choices now available, do you know which one is right for you? Most first-time gun buyers will overlook the kind of ammunition that they are using, with many picking round nose full metal jacket rounds. These are sometimes not the best choice for self-defense.


Surviving a firefight can come down to the type and caliber of ammunition that you carry. Previously there was quite a hot and heavy debate over .45 vs .40 vs 9mm. However, with the advances in ballistics and bullet construction, the 9mm has pulled away from the pack 9mm ammunition offers a good balance of stopping power with lower recoil, and the added benefit of a larger magazine capacity.


Hollow points are nearly always the correct choice for self-defense ammunition widely used by law enforcement throughout the United States and private citizens in their own homes, 9mmis the best ammunition whether it’s for LAPD SWAT or your mother-in-law.


Here are our top five choices for 9mm self-defense ammunition!


Federal Hydra-Shok

Federal Hydra-Shok ammunition has been around for years serving everyone from law enforcement to everyday Americans with a cost-effective round that has the stopping power needed to neutralize the threat. Hydra-Shok has a center-post hollow-point design that optimizes the penetration after the hollow-point expands. The round is 124 grains with an 1,100 feet-per-second muzzle velocity and approximately 20 inches of penetration with a half inch expansion.


Its $1.25/round, $25/box and worth every penny.


Hornady XTP Custom

Hornady designed this round to mimic the ballistics and quality of hand-loaded match-grade ammunition, of which it does a fantastic job. The round is 124 grains with an 1,100 foot-per-second muzzle velocity. The round will penetrate just under 20 inches with .44 inches of expansion. This round offers similar performance to that of the Federal Hydra-Shok but at a lower price point.

Its $.72/round, $18/box available at most ranges and big box stores.


Remington Golden Saber

This 124 grain 9mm round has been a staple of Remington’s ammunition production for many years and was recently reintroduced with the Black Belt series  The expansion and penetration are both reliable through a variety of materials with minimal deviation between individual rounds, with Golden Saber you always know what you’re going to get. The muzzle velocity is 1,125 feet-per-second with just over 17 inches of penetration and an expansion of .38 inches. Although some of these stats are lower than other rounds on this list, it is worth remembering that the FBI recommends 12-18 inches of penetration for a self-defense round, this prevents over-penetration in an active shooting environment.

$1.05/round, $21/box available at most all big box stores.


Winchester PDX1

This round is a heavy hitter! It’s a 147 grain 9mm self-defense round with high expansion numbers we will be reviewing today. The muzzle velocity is 950 feet-per-second and an average penetration depth of 20 inches with an expansion of .52 inches.

$.85/round, $17/box.


Speer Gold Dot

The Gold Dot is another 147-grain load it has a hollow point design with a penetration depth of 17 inches, a muzzle velocity of 985 feet-per-second. The average expansion of .424 inches is great when considering Gold Dot’s cost.

$.46/round, $23/box of 50



U.S. LawShield® members enjoy hefty discounts on ammo at local gun shops and nationwide retailers as part of our Member Perks program. Sign up now to get started.


Original article can be found here.



Weirdest Question: Urban Legend Debunked

Since the launch of our First Aid for Gunshot Wounds course, we have been receiving many comments on our social media pages about using tampons for wound packing. 

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Dwayne McBride, Co-Author of First Aid for Gunshot Wounds is here to share stories from the battlefield and let you know why tampons are not what you should use to treat a traumatic gunshot wound.

Doing the Basics Right the First Time

On my first tour in Iraq in early 2004, the biggest urban legend amongst the guys in my Scout Sniper Platoon was the use of tampons to stop major bleeds on the battlefield. I use the words “urban legend” because I personally have never been trained or taught by professional medical personnel to use a tampon as a bleed stopper. Yes, they are absorbent. Yes, they are compact—but believing this is the end-all to an arterial bleed is getting away from the basics.

Wound cavities come in endless shapes and sizes. Terminal ballistics, angle of impact, projectile path, deflection of projectile from clothing or underlying bone structure, caliber of projectile, distance from target, and type of projectile all have an influence on temporary and permanent wound cavities and the destruction delivered to underlying tissue after impact.

Getting back to the basics of wound packing, our first goal is to begin our initial pack at the bleed source. We then pack the wound from the outside in by using a circular or crisscross packing method. We pack the entire wound cavity no matter what wild shape the laws of physics have dealt us. “Pack it to the bone” is the saying combat medics use to describe how tight we pack a wound cavity. In fact, you need to slightly over-pack the wound and place the leftover gauze, folded or bunched into a ball shape, centered over the wound cavity on top to give you the added value of a homemade pressure point. We maintain constant direct pressure while packing, and continue to hold direct pressure for up to three minutes to ensure the bleeding has stopped. If using standard gauze (as opposed to the preferred hemostatic gauze), apply pressure until the bleeding has stopped. Then, apply a bandage over the dressing to secure and hold it in place. Repeat this process for the exit wound, if present.

I have used up to five packs of gauze (3 yards of 3” gauze per pack) to effectively pack a gunshot wound. That’s 15 yards of gauze. So ask yourself: is a tampon the right tool for the job for a gunshot wound? The term “High Speed” is laughed at quite often by war-fighters. A true professional will tell you that high speed is just doing the basics right the first time, every time. Educate yourselves and stick to the basics and you will get the job done every time.

—Dwayne McBryde, Co-Author of First Aid for Gunshot Wounds

Stay tuned for the April 3 issue of the newsletter.  Dr. Rick Hammesfahr will bring you the medical reasons on why using a tampon is not the solution to a traumatic gunshot-wound injury.

Want to learn more, go to and sign-up for our First Aid for Gunshot Wounds online certification course, or take a live, in-person certification course. Go to to find a course in your area.

3 Things Movies Get Wrong About Tourniquets

When faced with an unknown, stressful situation, the typical first reaction is to do what you have seen other people do.  In cases where those people have reacted correctly, this can be great.  However, in situations where that person’s response was incorrect, the results could be catastrophic.

Unfortunately, how Hollywood approaches the presentation of life-saving medical interventions on screen is often wrong; but nevertheless, these flawed methods get repeated… and repeated…. and repeated until they have been shown so many times that the audience (you) remembers what they have seen and accepts it as fact.  It takes facing a life-threatening situation to finally realize what you’ve seen simply will not work, and at that point, it will be too late.  Perhaps the most common misinterpretation by Hollywood is effectively applying a tourniquet to yourself or an injured person.

What is a tourniquet?

A tourniquet is a device or object (commercially-made tourniquet, shirt, belt, triangular bandage, etc.) that is placed around the injured extremity between the wound and the heart and tightened.  As it is tightened, it generates a “cone of pressure” underneath the tourniquet material.  This cone of pressure compresses the underlying muscle, which then compresses the arteries and veins.  Once these blood vessels have been closed off, blood flow to the extremity stops.

Sounds like a simple concept, right?  Yet an amazing amount of science supports the hows and whys of proper tourniquet material selection, usage, and application.  Research and testing is done at the United State Army Institute for Surgical Research.  This is the research lab whose mission is to provide combat casualty care medical solutions and products for wounded warriors. In other words, they do the research and testing of life-saving interventions that may be used for battlefield wounds.

With that background knowledge, let’s look at some of the most common tourniquet mistakes.

3 Common Tourniquet Mistakes

Myth #1 How often have we seen the hero rip the phone cord (or electrical cord) out of the wall and tie it tightly around an arm or leg to stop the bleeding and save the day?

This improvised method of applying a tourniquet has a 100% failure rate.

The cone of pressure is specifically related to the width of the material used for the tourniquet.  A narrow piece of material (bungee cord, phone cord, etc.), when tightened, generates a very narrow and shallow cone of pressure which fails to penetrate deeply enough into the arm/leg to compress the muscles.  If the muscles are inadequately compressed, then the blood vessels will remain open and the bleeding continues.

Myth #2 Another popular method of improvising a tourniquet is to tie a shirt around the injured extremity or use a belt.  Unfortunately, while these are wider, simply pulling the belt as tightly as possible, or tying the shirt also has a 100% failure rate.  While the belt and shirt may be wider than the phone cord when generating the cone of pressure, they are ineffective because simply pulling the material or the belt tight will not generate a cone of pressure that is deep enough to compress the blood vessels.  Instead, a wide shallow cone of pressure is generated. Again, the result is failure to stop the bleeding!

Clothing material is too “stretchy” to be effective and belts are often too rigid to allow satisfactory tightening.  Either way, this has a 100% failure rate!

In reality, it takes time, knowledge, and practice to create an improvised tourniquet that works.  While this is being done, the victim continues to lose blood.  The Institute of Surgical Research has shown that under the best of conditions, an improvised tourniquet with a rigid rod (windlass) for tightening still has a 70% failure rate.  Far better to be familiar with, carry, and understand how to successfully use a commercially-made tourniquet such as the CAT (Combat Application Tourniquet).

Myth #3 Once the bleeding stops, that means the tourniquet is working.

How often have we seen a tourniquet applied, but nothing else is done to the injured extremity?

With massive arterial bleeds, it is critical to determine whether the tourniquet application has been successful.  Simply placing the tourniquet or looking at the wound to see if the bleeding has decreased is not the correct method to determine success.

The only way to tell if a tourniquet has been successfully applied is to check for the pulse.  If there is a pulse in the injured arm/leg below the tourniquet, then the tourniquet is not working, and this situation needs to be immediately corrected.

When using tourniquets, it is critical that the person applying the tourniquet knows where to check for the presence or absence of a pulse.  Otherwise, it is impossible to determine the success of tourniquet application.

Learn how to check for a pulse and how to properly apply a tourniquet in First Aid for Gunshot Wounds,  the educational course and guidebook, developed by U.S. LawShield. The course teaches the basic life-saving interventions that are necessary in any traumatic life-threatening situation (gunshot wounds, motor vehicle accidents, industrial accidents, etc.).  Learn how to treat the 3 potentially preventable causes of death—massive arterial bleeding, airway obstruction, and chest wounds.

Find a course in your area at or sign up for the online course at

It is far better to have the knowledge and not need it, than to need it and not have it!

—Dr. Rick Hammesfahr, U.S. LawShield Medical Director

Why Do I Need This? I Will Never Get Shot

Tactical Combat Casualty Care has identified three preventable causes of death that occur on the battlefield before a patient gets to a hospital:

  1. massive arterial bleeding
  2. airway obstruction
  3. a lung injury called a tension pneumothorax.

All three of these injuries, when untreated, lead to death. However, when the proper medical treatment is performed, the probability of survival increases!

But for Americans not involved in law enforcement or the military, is there any reason to learn these life-saving techniques?

The only answer is yes!

While America has an excellent Fire/EMS system, the national average EMS response time is 14 minutes. In rural areas, the Fire/EMS response time maybe two to three times the national average.  Unfortunately, in life-threatening injuries, “When seconds count, help is minutes away.”  Thus, it becomes critical that we understand how to help ourselves and others.

As we all know from the American Heart Association, the sooner that CPR is started, the higher the probability of survival. But how long do you have to act with traumatic injuries?

With traumatic bleeding wounds, it is possible to die within 3 minutes due to massive hemorrhage.

With airway obstruction (inability to get air into the lungs), death occurs within 4-6 minutes.

With a tension pneumothorax (build-up of air in the pleural space of the lung,) death occurs within approximately 20 minutes.

When treating these injuries, early intervention is critical, and time is not your friend!

Going back to the original question, “why do I have to know this? I will never be shot.”

Unfortunately, in today’s world, shootings are never really scheduled events that you can consciously avoid.  Just ask the victims at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando or the 700+ victims at the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Festival concert shooting.

More importantly, does this information have any application outside of gunshot wounds?  You bet it does!! Is there really any difference in the first aid treatment for an artery that has been cut by a bullet, or one that has been cut by a chainsaw accident, or by a kitchen knife while preparing dinner?

In a similar fashion, is there really any difference in the treatment of a lung injury due to a knife, a gunshot wound, or falling from a ladder and piercing the chest on a branch?

When you get back to the basics, there are multiple ways that a person may sustain an injury that results in massive hemorrhage (bleeding), airway obstruction, or the development of a tension pneumothorax.  While the cause of the injury may be different, the treatment is the same:

  1. stop the bleeding
  2. clear the airway
  3. treat the lung injury

First Aid for Gunshot Wounds enables you to learn the basics so that you are better prepared to evaluate and treat these three potentially preventable causes of death that may occur before a patient gets to the hospital. You should take the course, anyone can learn these techniques. We make it easy.

Get Certified today and learn how to save a life!

(See related story: January 30th, 2018)

Member Saves Own Life Using First Aid for Gunshot Wounds Training

– Dr. Rick Hammesfahr, U.S. LawShield Medical Director

Get certified by attending one of our First Aid for Gunshot Wounds Seminars. The online certification course is also available.

How American Heroism and Battlefield Medical Training Saved Lives on a Train in Paris

[L to R] Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone. Photo Courtesy of USAF.
[L to R] Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone. Photo Courtesy of USAF.

It was as if someone “flipped a switch.”

Spencer Stone, jostled from a catnap aboard a Paris-bound train, suddenly faced a shirtless gunman. He didn’t stop to think about what to do. Vowing not to die sitting down, Spencer rushed the man, later identified as Moroccan-born terrorist inspired by ISIS.

“Go, Spencer!” urged childhood friend Alek Skarlatos who with Anthony Sadler, another school buddy, joined the charge, unarmed, against a fanatic with an AK-47.

Who does that?

Of course “flipping a switch” is how we start gadgets, but these lifelong friends were no robots.

Each one’s character—and their friendship—forged at a Christian school in Fair Oaks, California. They were known as polite young men, but also hard workers, fit, primed for service, and loyal to each other.

Anthony enrolled to study kinesiology at California State University, Sacramento, while Spencer enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served at a base in Portugal.

Alek joined the National Guard in Oregon. After he completed a deployment to Afghanistan, the friends, all in their early 20s, reunited for a European vacation.

On Aug. 21, 2015 they were on a train that departed Amsterdam, destined for Paris. It passed through Belgium into France, but at about 5:45 p.m., Ayoub El Kahzzani, emerged from a restroom with the AK, a 9 mm pistol, and a box cutter.

Mark Moogalian, an American-born Frenchman, grabbed for the rifle, but El Kahzzani wounded him in the neck with the pistol.

Alek, hearing the noise, poked the napping Spencer who turned and saw the threat.

Spencer’s recollections are described in the trio’s shared autobiography, The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story Of A Terrorist, A Train, And Three American Heroes, soon to be a feature film directed by Clint Eastwood.

The book recounts that Spencer felt that, “Someone has to get this guy.”

The story continues: “A sliver of frustration sparks off something in his brain. I’m gonna die here—then an electrical charge surges through his entire body and one more final thought tumbles home with a flood of energy, a notion stored away from a classroom at Fort Sam two years ago that his brain now accesses like a hard drive retrieving a kernel of information: I am not going to die sitting down …  Spencer gets up and starts running. Alek’s voice comes to him as encouragement from another universe, cheering him on: ‘Spencer, go!’ and Spencer locks eyes with the terrorist …”

It was a powerful tackle, but the man sliced Spencer with the box cutter and nearly severed a thumb. Also in the fray was British businessman Chris Norman. With Anthony and Alek they disarmed El Kahzzani, and then Alek pummeled him into unconsciousness with the AK.

But their heroism didn’t stop there. They applied their medical training to Mark, who bled profusely.

Here, the book also explores Anthony’s thoughts:

“Through the fog lifting in his mind he understands they’ve just encountered a terrorist. We frigging stopped a terrorist.

“Mostly, it doesn’t make sense that Spencer got out of his seat so fast it was like he charged the terrorist before the terrorist even showed up … Spencer, how did you know? But Spencer is busy talking to Mark, the man with the bullet wound, who’s started groaning again. ‘I’m sorry, bud,’ Spencer says. ‘If I move, you die.’

“He has an arterial bleed, and is only alive because Spencer is plugging with his fingers, but Mark doesn’t seem to know or care all that much about the fact that he’s dying.

“‘I can’t move you,’ Spencer says. ‘I’ll lose the hole.’

“‘Just let me shift a little, my arm’s really sore.’

“‘Yeah. We’re not worried about your arm right now.’”

But Mark, an English teacher in his early 50s, survived. So did others on the train, which would not have been the case if El Kahzzani had been able to unload the multiple AK magazines he carried.

For their heroism, the three Californians and Norman earned the Legion of Honor medal, France’s highest decoration. The trio also received military honors and invitations to appear on TV. Alek even won third place on “Dancing with the Stars.”

And Eastwood, so impressed with the young men, chose them to portray themselves in the movie, due to hit theaters in February.

“Actions like this clearly illustrate the courage and commitment our young men and women have all the time, whether they are on duty or on leave,” said then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

El Kahzzani is jailed, facing multiple charges of terrorism.

“He seemed like he was ready to fight to the end,” Spencer said. “So were we.”

Anyone who aspires to be a civilian “sheep dog” can relate to these heroes who, at the core, are just ordinary people, but well trained to meet danger and its aftermath because of their willingness to serve.

— by Bill Miller, contributor, Texas, U.S. Law Shield

You can learn the same life-saving techniques taught to our soldiers by getting certified in First Aid for Gunshot Wounds. Go to to get certified today!

Teaching by Example—A Conversation with Dr. Rick Hammesfahr

What comes to your mind when you think of first aid? Is it CPR? Or perhaps the Heimlich maneuver? Both are lifesaving skills that everyone should know. But have you ever thought about what happens when someone is bleeding out from a gunshot wound? If you were faced with this scenario would you know what to do?

Tragedy strikes far too often these days, and accidents can happen too—often when we least expect it. Part of our mission is to educate our Member Family to become responsible gun owners. Part of becoming a responsible gun owner is educating yourself in first aid.

It’s why we created the First Aid for Gunshot Wounds Course through the U.S. LawShield Education Institute. This course brings you some of the most valuable lessons learned for treating gunshot wounds.

To make this course a reality, we partnered with leaders in battlefield medicine, including Rick Hammesfahr, M.D., past chairman of United States Special Operation Command Curriculum and Examination Board and editor of USSOCOM’s Tactical Emergency Medical Protocols for Special Operations medics.

From working with the military to developing Tactical Emergency Medical Support teams for SWAT teams to training officers from multiple law enforcement agencies in the principles of Tactical Combat Casualty Care, Dr. Hammesfahr was involved with battlefield medicine since 2002. He feels that everyone should learn these lifesaving interventions for gunshot wounds.

The Man Behind the Book

Dr. Hammesfahr refined his skill set in battlefield medicine by working with the USSOCOM Special Operations medics and physicians. “I had the opportunity to work with some great Spec Ops medical personnel. These people are all highly motivated, creative and think outside of the box in solving difficult medical issues that arise in remote, hostile environments.”

His foray into battlefield medicine began shortly after 9/11 when he was approached by the U.S. Special Operations Command Surgeon to join a combined civilian-military group. It was during this time that they developed many educational programs and training protocols to ensure interoperability among Special Operations medics responsible for taking care of the wounded in remote circumstances with limited medical supplies.

Dr. Hammesfahr further developed his experience in battlefield medicine when a SWAT team commander in Georgia contacted him to help develop a Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) team to aid SWAT teams in dangerous situations. He took the same principles that were developed for the military and modified them for use in the civilian setting.

Now, Dr. Hammesfahr focuses on bringing these lifesaving interventions used in military and SWAT settings to civilian groups, and now to our Member Family.

Teaching by Example

As someone who carries a gun, Dr. Hammesfahr knows anything can happen, so joining U.S. LawShield was an easy decision. “Just knowing that the professionals are readily available and want to help at all hours of the day or night is very comforting to someone who is carrying a gun,” Dr. Hammesfahr said.

As Medical Director of U.S. & Texas LawShield, a respected instructor, and proud part of our Member Family, Dr. Hammesfahr couldn’t emphasize enough that anyone who owns a firearm should educate themselves on the basics of battlefield medicine. One thing he has observed is that there is a deficit in the knowledge many gun owners have while carrying a firearm. Taking the time to get certified is not only beneficial to gun owners themselves but their families and other people.

This belief has led Dr. Hammesfahr to partnering with U.S. LawShield to created the First Aid for Gunshot Wounds course. “If you have never been exposed to the tragedy of a gunshot wound, then you are totally lost, and you have absolutely no idea how to handle the situation. The biggest advantage of taking a class like this is that you get exposure to it and learn how to prevent the loss of human life,” said Dr. Hammesfahr.


For more information on our First Aid for Gunshot Wounds Course, please call (877) 448-6839 or click here to find an event near you.


Get Your Ducks in a Row with Hunter Shield

Each year, about 400,000 hunters head afield in Texas in pursuit of doves, ducks, and other flying fowl. So you can bet that right now, bird hunting aficionados across the great State of Texas are shooting clays, rustling up game bags, and getting insect repellent and sunscreen in their field kits in preparation for the various bird seasons that open Sept. 1.

Wingshooters really need to be aware of stiff penalties that are attached to migratory-bird hunting regulations,” said Edwin Walker, Independent Program Attorney for U.S. & Texas Law Shield in Houston. “The penalties aren’t just monetary—they can involve jail time, and you can get caught and prosecuted even if you are unaware that you’re breaking certain laws.”

Walker explained that migratory game birds are those species designated in conventions between the United States and several foreign nations for the protection and management of these birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703-712).

By regulation, migratory game birds in Texas include all wild species of ducks, mergansers, geese, brant, coots, rails, gallinules, plovers, Wilson’s snipe or jacksnipe, woodcock, mourning doves, white-winged doves, white-tipped (white-fronted) doves, red-billed pigeons, band-tailed pigeons, shorebirds of all varieties and sandhill cranes. Does not include exotic collared-dove and Egyptian Geese.

In Texas, mourning-dove bird hunting tops most hunters’ prep list, and every year game wardens cite dove hunters for a variety of infractions related to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA, 16 USC 703 – 712), which many hunters may not know about. But ignorance of the game laws is no excuse, Walker said.

He notes that the MBTA creates two types of consequences for violations of its bird hunting provisions: criminal penalties and forfeitures. It is a misdemeanor to violate any provision of the Act, with punishment of a maximum fine of $15,000 or imprisonment up to six months or both. But it is a felony to “knowingly” take a bird with the intent to sell or to sell a bird, with penalty of a maximum fine up to $2,000 or imprisonment up to one year or both.  (§ 707(b)-(c)).

Bird Hunting: Shotgun Capacity Limited to Three Shells

In addition to the United States Code and federal regulations, Texas hunters are also covered by the laws of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Code and the regulations of the Texas Administrative Code.

For instance, one of the most common bird hunting mistakes is shooting a semi-auto or pumpgun that can hold too many shells.

Walker pointed out that the regulations define a “Legal Shotgun” as a “Shotgun not larger than 10-gauge, fired from the shoulder, and incapable of holding more than three shells. Shotguns capable of holding more than three shells must be plugged with a one-piece filler which cannot be removed without disassembling the gun, so the gun’s total capacity does not exceed three shells.”

“The capacity limit for shotguns is a total of three shells,” said Walker, “so that means one shell in the chamber and two in the magazine. The magazine must be plugged so it can’t hold more than two shells, and many shotguns come from the manufacturers without the plug installed. It’s a simple matter to open the magazine tube on most repeaters and install the plug, but customers sometimes overlook this simple step and get into the field with an unplugged gun. It can be disastrous.”

Hunting Over Bait

Another area that snares hunters is inadvertently hunting over bait. The law is very clear that it is the hunter’s responsibility to know whether or not he or she is hunting over a baited field.

According to the publication “Dove Management In Texas” produced by the Texas Cooperative Extension, (now called Texas A&M AgriLife Extension), regulatory changes adopted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1999 defined key terms relative to baiting to clarify the conditions to legally hunt migratory game birds, including doves. A printable version of the information created by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service can be found at the following link:

The document defines a baited area as “any area where salt, grains or other feeds have been placed, exposed, deposited, distributed or scattered if they could serve as a lure or attraction for migratory game birds.” A baited area cannot be hunted until at least 10 days after all bait is removed.

Walker said, “The distance a person can hunt from a baited area, including deer or quail feeders, is not absolute. Court rulings vary, depending on factors such as weather, topography and flight patterns of the birds. The definition of a bird hunting baited area does not make an exception for deer and quail feeders, so avoid hunting in areas where these feeders are located.”

Hunting over a field or food plot that has been manipulated by shredding, burning, or windrowing is legal for dove hunting, but not for waterfowl, according to the USFWS. For bird hunting doves, you can do anything to the crop except harvest and redistribute it onto the same field.

An exception to this rule is the practice of “top-sowing,” which is broadcasting seed of wheat or rice with a fertilizer spreader or from an airplane. Doves cannot be hunted in such fields unless this practice is considered a normal agricultural practice for that area. Before hunting, check with a local game warden to make sure you are in compliance with hunting regulations.


Bird Hunting: Other Infractions

Hunting citation figures compiled by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department highlight some other areas that accounted for the bulk of mourning dove and white-winged dove violations in recent seasons.

— Walker said bird hunting without a license is a common oversight. “Some hunters may feel the risk of being caught without the proper documentation isn’t that high,” he said, “but the cost of a license sure beats the cost of a citation.”

— Exceeding the bag/possession limit nabs a bunch of hunters, Walker said. “‘Double dipping,’ that is, shooting a limit of doves in the morning and then again in the afternoon, is a violation. Also, hunters shouldn’t ‘share’ birds to manipulate the possession bag limits.”

— Hunting without migratory game bird stamp endorsement. This is a separate fee that isn’t included on a standard hunting license.

Click here to see the opening-day dates, zone maps, and other bird hunting migratory bird regulations on the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department website. Or consult the agency’s Outdoor Annual regulations booklet when you buy your license and stamps.

Hunter Shield Protects Hunters and Anglers

Did you know that more than 16,000 violations are recorded by Texas Game Wardens every year? Mistakes in the woods and on water happen, and while unintentional, you could still be breaking the law.

If you have questions about year-round bird hunting regulations, Texas Law Shield is here to help. Members of Texas Law Shield’s Hunter Shield program have access to attorneys to get the answers they need concerning not only year-round game, but hunting and fishing laws in general. In addition, members are granted discounted entry to Sportsman Law Seminars. Seminars include access to former game wardens and attorneys who are also seasoned hunters. Add Hunter Shield to your existing Texas Law Shield membership for only $2.95 per month.

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Louisiana: Congressman Steve Scalise On The Mend After Shooting

Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise (R-1s Dist.) is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. It came as no surprise to his constituents back home that, even after he’d been shot by a gunman intent on a murderous rampage, Scalise neither blamed the firearm itself nor advocated for stricter gun control.

On June 14, 2017, Scalise and other Republican congressman were practicing for a congressional baseball game at a park in Alexandria, Va., when James T. Hodgkinson of Illinois opened fire on them with a rifle. Hodgkinson, according to multiple news sources, had a list on him with the names of six members of Congress—all Republicans—and planned to kill them. A supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders during Sanders’ failed run for the presidency, Hodgkinson apparently hated President Donald Trump. That day, he ended up wounding five people before he himself was shot and killed by police.

Seriously wounded in the attack, Scalise has had multiple surgeries to repair the damage he suffered. He was readmitted to the hospital last month because of an infection related to his bullet wounds.

As Scalise’s congressional website notes, “In the 112th Congress, Scalise introduced H.R. 58, the Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act, which improves law-abiding citizens’ ability to purchase firearms. The bills Scalise has recently cosponsored include H.R.645, a bill to restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia and the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, H.R.822, which would ensure national reciprocity for concealed carry permit holders. Congressman Scalise’s pro-gun stance has earned him an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association. A member of the Congressional Second Amendment Task Force, Congressman Steve Scalise will continue fighting to protect every citizen’s Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”

After the shootings, gun-control supporters demanded ever more firearms regulations. But the congressmen who had been shot, all of whom are Scalise’s colleagues, called for something different: new laws to allow concealed carry in Washington, D.C., so people could protect themselves in the case of another similar event.

As the New York Times reported in early July, in the weeks following the shootings, “Conservative lawmakers, some of whom were nearly the victims of gun violence, have pressed to loosen gun controls. Three bills introduced in the Republican-held House during the past two weeks would allow lawmakers to almost always carry a concealed weapon. A fourth would allow concealed carry permits obtained in other states to be recognized in the District of Columbia.”

The Republican Majority Whip, Scalise has been working when his health has allowed, including taking conference calls with other members of Congress. He will no doubt be reasserting himself as a strong proponent of the Second Amendment for his constituents back in Louisiana once he is fully recovered.

Brian McCombie, U.S. Law Shield Contributor