What Shooting Readers Are Saying

See The Future.

I cannot say “thank you” enough for Shooting Industry’s annual “U.S. Firearms Today” report (July 2013). Your data means a lot to me — it guides CCW Breakaways’ investors and me.

The best predictor of the future behavior is past behavior. This data shows the firearms industry and the cultural trends in our country in a nice concise package. Our patented designs are forging a new trail in the industry. There is no roadmap for us to follow, but your charts help us see the future by understanding the past.

Earlier this week, I attached this document to our business plan, which we revise every year. Starting up a business has never been easy. In today’s world, it seems to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I appreciate the work you’re doing for the industry; it complements our company’s mission of “Protecting Families and Saving Lives.” Thanks for helping fulfill that goal!
Jay French, President
CCW Breakaways
New Cumberland, Pa.

Jay, thank you for the kind words. Assembling our annual report is a major task, and we often ask, “Is this data relevant? Is it of value?” In today’s near-instant data streams, the ATF data is very dated — the July report presented the ATF’s 2011 manufacturing numbers — the most recent data available. Yes, it is dated, however; you, and others throughout the industry, have made it clear the report is widely discussed and studied in boardrooms, investor presentations and sales and marketing meetings. We will continue to produce the report.

The report may be read in our all-digital edition. Visit www.shootingindustry.com and click “Digital Editions,” then “Firearms Industry Today” headline on the cover of the July issue.

Constant Competition

Is the challenge of Internet competition more severe today? I would say it is constant. I do have a web store, but unless you also have a brick-and-mortar operation, it is more difficult to get web sales.

The big competitors with a credit line and large store have more available to sell, even more so than any of us in the NFDN (National Firearms Dealer Network). The Internet taxes would help level the playing field, but since there are different tax rates, it would be unmanageable. You would have to establish a flat tax rate, and it would have to be high enough to cover every state. That probably won’t happen.

Of course, after the Connecticut shooting, there were so many sales it set the industry behind two years.
Scott A. Brantley
North Texas Armament
Carrollton, Texas

All letters above published in The October 2013 Issue Of Shooting Industry.

Biggest Challenge:

Our biggest challenge right now is ammo. No ammo means no guns or accessories going out the door.

I’m the only dealer in this county (Okanogan County, 5,200 square miles) with .22 LR ammo, so I limit purchases to 200 rounds a week. I don’t see this letting up anytime soon, until Obama is out of office.

This side of Washington state — east of the Cascades — is very conservative. It’s those stinkin’ liberals on the “westside” that are trying to control you for “your” benefit. We’ve been able to nullify any actions taken in Olympia, but you have to stay informed. You snooze, you lose.
Mike Murphy
Murphy’s Outdoor Sporting Goods
Tonasket, Wash.

Noticeable Slowdown

When you look at the May NICS background check data, there is a real sense the ammo shortage has led to a noticeable slowdown in shooters and new buyers. Some dealers say spring is having an impact on consumerism, as the ads on TV, radio, etc. are all promoting as well. This new audience, that was the driving force in the buying over the last several months, is still passionate about the sport, but needs to be encouraged to reconnect.

With a large inventory of guns still coming in, the demand for ammo is still the top story. The Oklahoma numbers are lower than neighboring states, and that is due to the storms that hit our area in May.
Miles E. Hall
H&H Shooting Sports Complex
Oklahoma City, Okla.

False Security

The issue of Internet sales vs. the storefront dealer has not changed. Small shops, aided by strong demand for certain guns and most ammunition, are in a relatively good position now, but this is false security.

Larger chains also benefit from this increase and show record earnings. These earnings are invested in new store locations and stronger Internet presence. That’s not good for the small shop. At least these chains provide a valid service to the hunting and outdoors market, plus they provide employment and pay taxes.

Internet-only stores do little of the above, while avoiding local and state taxes as well. Once the demand for firearms and ammo slows down, and it will, small storeowners will once again have problems operating a profitable store.

As long as storeowners continue to buy from manufacturers that sell to Internet-only establishments, they are contributing to their own demise. This group should lobby that Internet sales are subjected to the same taxes as “brick and mortar” sales, and that firearm and ammo sales are only allowed from licensed dealers with a “brick and mortar” presence.
Reinhard Seipp, General Manager
Meopta U.S.A Inc.

Shooting Industry® welcomes letters to the editor. We reserve the right to edit all published letters for clarity and length. Due to the volume of mail, we are unable to individually answer your letters or e-mail. In sending a letter to Shooting Industry, you agree to provide Publishers Development Corp. such copyright as is required for publishing and redistributing the contents of your letter in any format. Send your letters to Speak Out, Shooting Industry, 12345 World Trade Dr., San Diego, CA 92128; e-mail: editor@nullshootingindustry.com

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All letters above published in The August 2013 Issue Of Shooting Industry.

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