Tip The Scales: Get Out And V-O-T-E!


Image: freshidea / Adobe Stock

Election Day is Nov. 8. All 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are up for reelection, along with a third of the U.S. Senate. Democrats hold a slim majority (223–213) in the House, while the Senate is split 50-50. The balance of political power is on a knife-edge.

In a world full of hyperboles, overreactions and clickbait headlines, here’s an understated one: The results of the midterms will have a significant impact on our industry. If Republicans can regain control of one (or both) houses of Congress, the radical, anti-gun agenda’s momentum will be stalled. (And you can bet Republicans will have some fun with committee hearings of their own …) If the status quo is maintained, we’ll — collectively — need to dig in and get ready for additional rounds of anti-gun/anti-industry attacks.

As noted in this month’s lead Industry News story, the 117th Congress has been largely ineffective in accomplishing a number of President Biden’s anti-gun/anti-industry objectives. Yes, the swift passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act drew a considerable amount of ire from industry businesses and 2A organizations. And Democrats capitalized on their majority in the lower chamber by passing the so-called Assault Weapons Ban of 2022. However, it could have been a lot worse had a Democratic majority been more pronounced.

Online Survey Reveals Key Findings

Since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve reported on the surge of first-time gun owners and record-setting sales trends — mostly from insights gleaned by industry organizations, but also from other sources. One such source features some compelling data on gun ownership, something anti-gun politicians would be wise to acknowledge.

In what has been billed as the “largest and most comprehensive” survey of American gun owners, the “2021 National Firearms Survey” was published earlier this year and then updated in mid-September with more data. Professional survey firm Centiment administered an online survey of about 54,000 U.S. residents during Feb. and Mar. 2021. The survey identified 16,708 gun owners who were asked a series of in-depth questions about their ownership and use of firearms.

William English — a Georgetown political economist who commissioned this survey for a larger book project — recently presented the survey’s major findings on the Social Science Research Network. And what the survey found we already know: Gun ownership in the U.S. is both widespread and diverse.

According to the survey, 31.9% of U.S. adults own a firearm — translating to more than 81.4 million gun owners. The survey found nearly a third of gun owners (31.1%) have used a firearm to defend themselves in some capacity, resulting in an estimated 1.67 million such incidents annually. (In most cases, 81.9%, the gun was not fired, and the majority of defensive gun uses [74.8%] took place outside of the home.)

In his conclusion, English noted the growing diversity among gun owners.

“The demographics of firearms ownership and defensive use are diverse, with different demographic groups commonly owning and using firearms at substantial rates,” he said.

According to the survey, 42.2% of gun owners are female. Among minority groups, more than a quarter (25.4%) of Blacks own firearms, while 28.3% of Hispanics and 19.4% of Asians count themselves as gun owners.

”We need to do our part and encourage employees, customers and industry partners to get out and vote next month.“

The survey estimates Americans own more than 415 million firearms — with handguns commanding the largest share (171 million), followed by rifles (146 million) and shotguns (98 million). The also survey suggests as many as 44 million AR-15/MSRs and 542 million magazines with 10-plus-round capacities are in circulation.

So, to those looking to ban entire categories of firearms and magazines: How’s that for “commonly owned?”
English acknowledged the findings in this report come at a critical time.

“While many of [the report’s] estimates corroborate prior survey research in this area, it also provides unique insights that are relevant to timely public policy debates, particularly regarding the defensive use of firearms and the ownership and use of AR-15- styled rifles and magazines that hold over 10 rounds,” he concluded.

For more info — and to download a PDF of this report — visit: dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4109494.

When GUNSMARTS launched in mid-2020, it intially focused on welcoming the millions of
first-time gun buyers who joined the ranks of firearms ownership. GUNSMARTS Series 3
focuses on intermediate and advanced training tips for gun owners to further develop.

Smith & Wesson Launches GUNSMARTS Series 3

Smith & Wesson has launched its latest GUNSMARTS campaign, the third season in the series.

Launched in Aug. 2020, Smith & Wesson GUNSMARTS was initially designed to welcome first-time gun owners into the firearms community and highlight key resources available to those who made their initial purchase. Series 3 focuses on intermediate and advanced training topics to further promote skill growth and continue the journey of firearm education and ownership, starring Smith & Wesson Brand Ambassadors and Professional Shooters Jerry Miculek and Julie Golob, in addition to new industry partners.

“Our third year of S&W GUNSMARTS takes an even deeper dive into gun ownership, skills and knowledge,” said Julie Golob, GUNSMARTS host and brand ambassador. “Each episode features useful tips, helpful drills and plenty of insight. I love being able to share what has helped me become both proficient and confident as a shooter.”

The GUNSMARTS video library can be categorized by topic or experience level.

/ smith-wesson.com/gunsmarts

NSSF President and CEO Joe Bartozzi (center) addresses the media during an event to
kick-off a monthlong “Don’t Lie For The Other Guy” campaign in Phoenix last month.
Also pictured: (Left) Brendan Iber, ATF special agent in charge, Phoneix Field Division
and (right) Gary Restaino, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona.

Phoenix Campaign Targets Illegal Gun Purchases

As part of an ongoing national effort to prevent illegal “straw” purchases of firearms, NSSF, ATF and DOJ combined to remind the Greater Phoenix area that stiff penalties are in place for individuals convicted of such unlawful purchases. The monthlong campaign launched Sept. 7, at a press event held at Tombstone Tactical, an FFL dealer with a location in Phoenix and Chino Valley, Ariz.

Billboard, radio, social media, streaming audio and digital advertisements for the “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” program were purchased by NSSF in key locations throughout the region with the message: “Buy a gun for someone who can’t and buy yourself 15 years in jail. Don’t Lie for the Other Guy.”

The Phoenix area “Don’t Lie” campaign will total more than 44 million gross media impressions, including more than 57 outdoor billboards, digital bulletin boards and posters. There are also more than 460 radio spots playing and 520,000 digital streaming radio service impressions. On social media, “Don’t Lie” advertisements total more than 2 million targeted geofenced online mobile advertisements on Facebook and Instagram impressions. Phoenix was chosen for this special campaign by ATF. No taxpayer dollars are used. The program is funded in full by the firearm industry.

“The firearm industry has always been fully committed to keeping firearms out of the hands of those who should not possess them. We’re proud of our more than two-decade cooperative relationship with the ATF, DOJ and the entire law enforcement community to assist them in their collective efforts to reduce criminal acquisition and misuse of firearms,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF president and CEO.

This public awareness campaign constitutes only part of the “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” outreach effort. The “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” program also involves educating firearm retailers to better detect and prevent illegal straw purchases. Federal firearms licensees are provided a “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” retailer kit containing a training video and information for storeowners and staff, as well as point-of-purchase displays aimed to deter illegal straw purchases.

/ dontlie.org

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