Set In Stone


With a full house of two wild toddlers and an infant, my wife Kelly and I don’t watch a lot of “live” TV these days. However, we were forced to pause when Kelly recently experienced a sudden onset of appendicitis and had surgery to remove her misbehaving appendix. (Thankfully, all worked out — we’re grateful this happened six weeks after our baby girl’s safe arrival).

During the surgery I was in the waiting room looking for things to keep my mind occupied, when I noticed the TV was tuned to Localish (for the uninformed, like I was, Localish is “dedicated to telling positive stories that celebrate our communities across America”).

The “feel good” factor from the various segments was certainly a welcome distraction. In one of them, an 82-year-old stone sculptor grabbed my attention. Richard Bailey has been a sculptor for over 60 years, and he delivered a statement so profound I immediately had to write it down. When talking about the pride he has in his work, Bailey said, “When you make something in stone, it’s going to be here a long time. It’s history.”

Drawing a parallel to my world and Shooting Industry, I couldn’t help but feel the same way about our monthly publication. Every word published in Shooting Industry is purposeful and has immediate staying power. Whether it’s sitting on a dealer’s desk, posted on a bulletin board in an employee breakroom or dog-eared for future consideration, every issue is “set in stone,” and we stand behind what’s printed in it.

While we maintain — and continue to grow — a robust digital presence, there’s still nothing quite like the tangible feel of a printed publication. It’s one of the many reasons why Shooting Industry has been trusted by thousands of dealers and industry professionals for more than 60 years.

Newton’s Third Law In Action

I’m no physics expert, but Newton’s Third Law played out in real time recently: For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction.
March 9, Visa and MasterCard announced a “pause” in their plans to implement a special Merchant Category Code (MCC) to track credit card purchases at firearms retailers. (American Express and Discover quickly followed suit.)

The pause was celebrated by the industry — but in an “equal and opposite action,” President Biden announced an executive order targeting the industry a mere five days later.

In short, the order pushes for universal background checks without legislation, 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 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.”
Industry organizations, such as the NSSF, took exception to these latest gun control efforts.

In California, momentum has swung in favor of gun rights after a U.S. District Court order granting a preliminary injunction for the plaintiffs blocking enforcement of California’s Unsafe Handgun Act. The case, Boland v. Bonta was filed shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen decision.
This ruling will inevitably be challenged, but there’s a glint of hope for us living behind enemy lines. As of this writing, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has yet to respond, but I’d wager a guess he’ll look to fulfill Newton’s Third Law in short order.

Howard Leight is called out as a top-selling brand in “First Off The Shelves: Eye & Ear Protection.”

A Focus On Safety In June

June is National Safety Month. It has grown in stature each year among firearms industry businesses and organizations, so we made the decision to brand the June issue of Shooting Industry as its first-ever Safety Issue. This edition will highlight sales of safety products, such as eye/ear protection and secure storage products, feature tips to keep inventory (and team members) safe, as well as for securing the range.

If your company or client offers products or programs for retailers in this space, drop me a line:

CLICK HERE for more April 2023 Inside News

Inside Shooting Industry’s June issue, dealers will learn stocking tips for safes of all sizes.