Gun control has gone full-auto. There are a staggering number of anti-gun, anti-industry bills being debated — and passed — throughout the country, some in states that heretofore rarely addressed restricting firearms or gun ownership.
Those in legislative power appear unwavering in their rush to enact laws to address gun violence, even if those laws do little, if anything, to prevent such violence — and serve only to punish law-abiding gun owners, and in some cases, criminalizes them.
In legislative hearings, NSSF officials and company executives from throughout the industry are testifying. In addition, hundreds — in some cases, thousands — of gun owners and their supporters are attending the hearings, many of them testifying in strong opposition to the proposed laws.
These new restrictions present a real threat to existence of the industry as we know it. There is no need for hype — the industry is facing possible changes that will alter the way we do business, significantly. While the major fight in the past has been at the national level, in recent years, it has shifted to the states. And since December, state governments are leading the anti-gun/anti-industry campaigns.
Companies in Gun Valley are facing significant challenges, as are other companies — large and small — throughout the nation. Can they continue to operate in states that ban the firearms and accessories they make? Can they even stay in business when their products are severely restricted or outright banned?
Such challenges call for every company — every person — in the industry to become involved, to contact their legislators at the national, state and local levels. “Ever Vigilant” now needs to be “Ever Involved.”
A number of major companies — led by Ruger’s “Protect Your Rights!” campaign — have established “take action” features on their websites to make it easier for everyone to contact their government representatives. As of mid-February, nearly five million letters had been sent to representatives via the Ruger website: www.ruger.com. Thank you, Ruger! Smith & Wesson also has established a take-action feature on its website: www.smith-wesson.com.
NSSF has a long-established Government Relations section on its website where users can track what is going on legislatively throughout the nation. Visit www.nssf.org/govrel, and make sure your voice is heard by selecting “Legislative Action Center.”
We at FMG Publications have placed “Do Something — It’s time to take action” banners on all our magazine’s websites, with links to NSSF’s Legislative Action Center. We strongly recommend you do the same.
Get involved — take action now!
In the midst of all these challenges, the industry is setting records in the sale of firearms. Even before the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., firearm sales were at historical levels. In November, NICS conduced 1,525,177 (NSSF-adjusted) background checks, an increase of 38.5 percent over November 2011, and, at the time, the highest monthly figure in the history of the FBI system.
In December, NICS conducted 2,237,731 (NSSF-adjusted) background checks, an increase of 58.6 percent over December 2011. This was followed by 1,790,154 (NSSF-adjusted) checks in January, a jump of 94.4 percent over January 2012.
By Russ Thurman
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