Information: Industry News - January 22, 2015
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Mk-47 'Mutant': AR-15, AK-47 Hybrid Makes Debut at Las Vegas Gun Show

The Mk-47 "Mutant" — a fusion between the AR-15 and AK-47 rifles — was unveiled by a U.S. gun maker at the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas this week.

Missouri-based CMMG Inc. brought its new creation to the industry event, which routinely attracts 1,600 exhibitors and 60,000 attendees from around the globe.

Brandon Novotny, mechanical design engineer for CMMG, told Military Times Tuesday that the rifle has "all your familiar AR-15 controls: drop-in trigger, safety selector, stock, safety grip."

The "Mutant" weighs just over 7 pounds, has a 16.1-inch barrel, and a bolt carrier group derived from the .308-caliber AR-10, Military Times reported.

CMMG Inc. told the newspaper that it has already shipped 500 rifles to customers, with its base model selling for roughly $1,500.

By Douglas Ernst, The Washington Times

Gun Maker Remington Gets Newtown Lawsuit Moved to Federal Court

Gun maker Remington has moved a lawsuit filed against it by families of those shot in the Sandy Hook school massacre from state to federal court, where at least one expert says it has less chance of succeeding.

Nine families sued Remington and others in Bridgeport Superior Court in December arguing the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle used in the shooting should not have been sold for civilian use because of its overwhelming firepower. A 10th family joined the lawsuit adding a wrongful death claim.

The case was placed before U.S. District Judge Robert Chatigny last week after Remington argued that since they are located in North Carolina and not Connecticut, federal court was a more proper jurisdiction.

Timothy Lytton, a professor at the Albany Law School who has written extensively about suing the gun industry, said getting the case into the 2nd U.S. Circuit, of which Connecticut is a part, is a victory for the defendants.

“The 2nd Circuit has previously refused to hold gun manufacturers liable or permit lawsuits against gun manufacturers for injuries caused by third parties,” he said. “It has a history of knocking these types of cases down.”

A 2005 federal law shields gun manufacturers from most lawsuits over criminal use of their products, but it does include an exception for cases where companies should know a weapon is likely to be used in a way that risks injury to others.

That exception, known as “negligent entrustment” was designed for cases such as when a gun store sells to someone who is obviously intoxicated and threatening to kill someone, Lytton said.

The lawyers for the Newtown families are arguing that the Bushmaster is a military weapon that was negligently entrusted to civilians, who should not have been allowed to purchase it.

The plaintiffs in the case stemming from the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre include the families of Mary Sherlach, Vicki Soto, Dylan Hockley, Noah Pozner, Lauren Rousseau, Benjamin Wheeler, Jesse Lewis, Daniel Barden, Rachel D’Avino and a teacher, Natalie Hammond, who was injured and survived.

In addition to Remington Arms, which makes the rifle, the defendants are Camfour, a firearm distributor, and Riverview Gun Sales, the now-closed East Windsor store where the gunman’s mother purchased the Bushmaster rifle in 2010.

By Pat Eaton-Robb, Associated Press

State Bill Aims to Ban Citizens from Taking Guns in Church

Should people with conceal and carry permits be banned from bringing guns inside churches without permission?

Alabama Democrat Representatives Thomas Jackson and Darrio Melton think so. They are co-sponsoring a bill that seeks to ban the practice.

"I would rather see my pastor praying than packing," Melton tells ABC 33/40.

Melton adds churches can be soft targets for violence. He believes churches should continue having police officers with weapons. But he thinks there could a problem with citizens doing the same.

Don Dixon, administrative pastor of First Baptist Church of Pelham, says his church hasn't had any problems with people bringing guns to services. However, there was an issue during a recent election when someone tried to bring a gun inside the church's polling precinct. Dixon contends, in that case, poll workers put up the gun restriction sign not the church.

"We don't have a gun policy," Dixon says. " I would be very surprised if there weren't people here who did conceal and carry as I think the state law allows them to do."

Dixon adds the church has security cameras as well as police officers on-site Sunday mornings. He believes churches should set up their own rules.

"In recent history there have been situations in churches throughout our country where people have come in and done things and done harm to people, even killed people. I think churches do talk about this more than these [lawmakers] think they do," Dixon stresses.

ABC 33/40 also spoke with other local church-goers.

Larry Burch is against the bill.

"No matter if it's a Southern Baptist, Jewish congregation or others, they all have the right to defend themselves against extremists,"  Burch says.

Michelle Woodard wonders if the bill is necessary.

"It's hard to say because there are going to be some bad people everywhere," Woodard says.

The Republican Chairman of the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee Randy Wood says the group will give the bill a fair shake.

However, Woods doesn't know how people would feel about legislating private entities, like churches.

According to the bill, violators will face a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable up to three months behind bars and up to $500 in fines.

Melton admits the chances of his bill passing are slim. But he hopes it opens up conversations about church safety.

Stay with ABC 33/40 for more on this developing story.

By Marissa Mitchell,