Executive Order Previews Next Focal Point


President Biden’s March 14 executive order represents another case
of demonizing the firearms industry and its backbone, the storefront dealer.

A consequence of a divided government meant it was a matter of “when” — rather than “if” — President Joe Biden would use executive orders to carry out his anti-gun/industry platform.

“With the Republicans taking control of the House, Biden’s ability to use Congress as a means to implement his anti-gun agenda will no longer be an option once the new session is underway,” observed Adam Kraut, executive director of the Second Amendment Foundation, in the Dec. 2022 running of this column.

It didn’t take long: March 14, two-and-half months into the 118th Congress, President Biden signed an executive order that took aim at the firearm industry. In short, the order increases background checks, encourages additional “red flag” resources and will “hold the gun industry accountable” through a variety of measures, including directing the ATF to publicly release records of FFL dealers cited during an inspection. 

The order also has directed Attorney General Merrick Garland to “clarify the definition of who is engaged in the business of dealing in firearms” — which, if anti-gun groups have their way, would expand the scope of “who” is an FFL.

The NRA-ILA summed up the executive order well: “Biden’s latest executive order is not so much a roadmap as a declaration: Gun ownership and firearm-related businesses are bad and a ‘whole of government approach’ must be used to suppress them.”

What The President Said

The move doesn’t come as a complete surprise — especially since an executive order can advance a president’s agenda sans bipartisan support. When announcing the order, the president acknowledged as much.

“First, this executive order helps keep firearms out of dangerous hands, as I continue to call on Congress to require background checks for all firearm sales. And in the meantime … my executive order directs my attorney general to take every lawful action possible to move us as close as we can to universal background checks without new legislation,” he said during an event at the Boys & Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley in Monterey Park, Calif.

As he’s done in previous speeches, President Biden called on Congress to “do something big” and repeated a familiar refrain to abolish the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).

“Let’s be clear: None of this absolves Congress from the responsibility of acting to pass universal background checks, eliminate gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability,” he said.

He continued, “I am determined once again to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.”

The Industry’s Response

Industry organizations took exception with these latest gun control measures.

“The Biden administration should demand soft-on-crime prosecutors and lawmakers use the laws already in existence to lock up criminals who misuse firearms to prey on innocent Americans,” said Larry Keane, NSSF SVP and general counsel. “Instead, this administration continues to scapegoat the firearm industry for its unwillingness to address crime.”

In a similar vein, Alan Gottlieb of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) labeled this order as “just another chapter in Joe Biden’s war on gun rights.”

“This is textbook Joe Biden,” Gottlieb concluded. “Talk tough, make it appear he’s doing something about crime when he really isn’t and ultimately just

continue penalizing law-abiding gun

owners for crimes they didn’t commit. The only people who will be any safer

are the criminals who ignore gun control laws already.”

In some ways, the limited scope of this executive order is emblematic of the failure of the anti-gun groups to restrict gun rights. However, there are potential pitfalls with government agencies being emboldened to “get creative” in how they can make life difficult for a lawful industry. We’ll continue tracking any other developments in Shooting Industry’s weekly Dealer Advantage e-newsletter.

Southwick Associates ID’s Top Brands

Southwick Associates has identified top brands purchased in 2022, based on more than 9,000 surveys of hunters and shooters conducted through the year. Surveys were fielded through the Southwick Associates’ online HunterSurvey and ShooterSurvey consumer panels and to the general public to help reach casual participants.

According to Southwick Associates, “Hunting and shooting equipment sales were steady in 2022, allowing retailers the opportunity to continue replenishing store shelves hit during the pandemic surge. With more products and brands to choose from, some brand shifts are occurring again.” 

Some of the most frequently purchased brands in 2022 include:

-Traditional Rifles: Savage Arms, Ruger

-Handguns: Smith & Wesson

-Shotgun Ammunition: Federal

-Reloading Dies: RCBS

-Reloading Components: Hornady

-Laser Rangefinders: SIG SAUER

-Red Dot Sights: HOLOSUN

-Non-powered Aftermarket Sights: Meprolight

-Scope/Accessory Mounts: Leupold

-Hunting Apparel Camo Brand: Mossy Oak

-Tree Stands/Ladders/Towers: Big Game Treestands

-Foot Plot Seed: Deer Creek

-Trail Cameras: Cabela’s

-Game Calls: Primos

-Benches & Rests: Caldwell

-Shooting Sticks: BOG GEAR

-Gun Cleaning: Hoppe’s

-Choke Tubes: Carlson

-Magazines: Magpul

-Trigger Assemblies: Timney

Results of the Southwick Associates consumer tracking study are available in the Hunting & Shooting Participation and Equipment Purchases Report. This in-depth resource tracks consumer reported hunting and shooting participation and equipment purchases for approximately 100 products. 

Purchase information includes the percentage of sales across different types of stores, brand purchased, price paid and demographics for hunters and shooters buying specific products. Additional participation information tracked includes total days spent per activity, type of hunting/shooting activity, preferred species and where they hunt. 

Shoot United Launches 2023 Event Schedule

Shoot United is announcing 20+ events in 2023 that will be held at shooting ranges throughout the United States, with the focus of introducing participants to the shooting sports and responsible firearm education.

Each event provides individuals an opportunity to learn and ask questions of knowledgeable firearm instructors in a welcoming environment, have fun with friends and family and receive a supportive hands-on experience.

“Shoot United range events are designed to attract people who would like to take the first step in learning about firearms at their own pace,” said Jason Gilbertson, director of marketing for Shoot United. “We’re partnering with some outstanding ranges and educated trainers to create turnkey experiences.”

Shoot United events in the first half of 2023 include Intro to Pistol courses at Shooters World (Orlando), Ben Avery Shooting Facility (Phoenix), Peacemakers (Howell, Mich.), GAT Guns (East Dundee, Ill.); Intro to Rifle at Centennial Gun Club (Centennial, Colo.) and Shooting Experience: Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun at Hyatt Farms Shooting Complex (Polkton, N.C.). 

SLG2 Debuts Safe LivinG Program

SLG2 Inc., an event marketing company that empowers women to participate in shooting sports and includes brands Shoot Like A Girl and Hunt Like A Girl, has officially announced the launch of its new Safe LivinG program.

Safe LivingG empowers men, women, families and communities with confidence to live securely through interactive informational experiences and web resources. During SHOT Show 2023, SLG2 debuted the new Safe LivinG trailer — showcasing its offerings to media and industry professionals, and how it will promote the growing importance of safe living across the U.S.

“As the number of gun owners continues to grow, there’s an important need to share more than just the confidence that comes from shooting sports,” said Karen Butler, founder and president of SLG2 Inc.

Safe LivinG covers a wide range of topics including personal safety, family safety, community safety and much more. From situational awareness to first-aid tips and tricks, this expansion provides communities with authentic and factual knowledge to keep

themselves and those around them safe. 

Safe LivinG consists of multiple safety council members, providing audiences with a variety of articles, videos, daily tips and more covering important topics people may face.

The 2023 Safe LivinG tour began Feb. 4 at the Bass Pro Shops in Prattville, Ala., and will conclude at a corporate event in Prescott, Ariz., Nov. 6. 

Click To Read More Shooting Industry April 2023 Issue Now!