Essential Business and Winning the Fight
These are trying times for our industry. The firearms industry is changing at a dynamic pace with the widespread shutdown of plants to do its best to slow the spread of this awful pandemic. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been deemed essential business, but on the same note, some gun manufacturers have shut their doors for the time being. I can only assume that more shutdowns are on the horizon. Will we come out on top?
Think of this moment in our history as a revitalization. We are seeing growth in our industry and renewed faith in our fellow man. If you see the shutdown as a devastating blow to our industry, I do feel sorry for you. We are witnessing an unprecedented amount of first-time firearms buyers.
By mid-March, the National Shooting Sports Foundation reported that gun sales jumped 300 percent above where they were at the same time last year. Don't tell me that it doesn't boast our growing industry.
I entered the local gun shop the other day and asked how business was and if they’d been selling new or consignment guns? The owner was eager to exclaim that he was selling everything. It didn’t matter what it was, revolver, semi-auto, rifle, or shotgun. He went on to explain the number of newcomers was overwhelming, and that they wanted to learn. Purchases that began based out of fear transformed during purchases.
NICS reports 3,740,688 checks were performed in March, which is the most recorded checks since the National Instant Check System began in 1998. This marks the first time in NICS history that the agency has conducted more than 3-million background checks in one month. The previous record of 3,314,594, set in December ’15 pales in comparison to the 3.7 million checks performed in March.
We are also witnessing many converts that were on the fence about firearms. They are finally seeing the light that our 2nd Amendment rights are undoubtedly necessary in times like these, and when all is calm. What industry was deemed critical infrastructure by our country, the firearms industry was one of them. We are crucial, and it's not just the government proclaiming it. How many calls have you received over the past few weeks from friends that had no interest in guns? I've had no less than 10 friends reach out to chat about a subject where we stood miles apart, but we've closed the gap.
So, what are we to do? How do we continue the upward trend in times like these? Now, more than ever, we take heed of Tom Gresham’s advice and continue to push his 20 in 2020 initiative. It might look a little different right now, but the premise remains. Continue the push for 20-minutes a day advocating for the 2nd Amendment. That should be a bit easier for us to know that many of us are nestled in our homes.
This is a time when we band together and push harder than ever. We cannot let off the gas. It only takes 20 minutes. Here's an idea. With the rise in conferences, meetings host one yourself. Get logged into Zoom, a secure conference call service that puts you face-to-face with folks. Host brainstorming sessions with friends and let all your friends join in the conversation.
So, are we winning right now? I’d say we are winning for the time being, but we’ve got to continue the push. ~ KJ
Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter and often finds himself in a bass boat. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, Jarnagin always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind.