MANDEVILLE, LA –-(Ammoland.com)- Five years ago I was telling gun makers that this surge in gun buying was not a bubble, but was the new normal.
The history of spikes in gun sales, followed by sharp drop-offs, understandably frightened them away from making big investments to increase production.
One ammo maker told me that the last time there was a spike, they cranked up production, and when the bubble burst, it happened almost overnight, and this company was left with months of production in the warehouse and almost had to give it away.
(Sure wish I could buy it now at those prices!).
Yes, those of us who are into guns are buying more guns and buying more ammo. But, the really important factor is new shooters.
Handgun makers tell us that about a third of their warranty registration cards indicate the guns were purchased by first-time gun owners. This means that the number of gun owners has grown by millions recently. These folks are buying more guns, more ammo, more accessories, and they are potentially (but not automatically) a new force for gun rights.
The gun and ammo companies now get it. Sig Sauer is doubling the square footage of its production facility. Ruger is shopping for a site to build a new factory. This is in addition to their other factories. I'm told that Remington is pumping 30-plus million dollars into its Loanoke, AR, ammo plant.
In chaos is opportunity.
The “chaos” of gun and ammo buying, and the new people buying guns, means opportunity in building our gun rights supporters. It carries the promise of more business for local gun stores. Shooting ranges are booked solid. Hmmm. Maybe an opportunity to add to the ranges, or build more ranges. If there is no good range in your area, perhaps a smart business person needs to build one. There are a lot of empty stores around which could be converted into nice indoor ranges.
Millions of new handgun owners need training. Concealed carry instructors everywhere tell me they are booked out for months. There's opportunity there, but also in getting some of those folks into real training. (You know that most concealed carry classes are definitely NOT training.) This would seem to be a great time to become an NRA certified instructor.
For anyone with an entrepreneurial bent, these are great times in the firearms industry.
About:In its 18th year of national syndication, Tom Gresham's Gun Talk Radio airs live on Sundays from 2PM-5PM Eastern, and runs on more than 135 stations, plus on XM (Ch. 165) Satellite Radio. All Gun Talk shows can be downloaded as podcasts at http://www.guntalk.libsyn.com and Apple iTunes, or through one of the available Apps: the Gun Talk iPhone App, the Blackberry Podcast App, and the Gun Talk App for Android on Amazon. The Gun Talk Minute on XM also airs on XM 165, 166, 168 and Fox Sports every day throughout the week. More information is available at www.guntalk.com.