Steve Comus – GUN TALK

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Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Weaver 40/44 Scope
Thursday, February 09, 2012
Remington Model 700

Gun industry on roll
As it comes off a record-setting sales year, the shooting sports industry is poised to have a banner year in 2012.

The good news comes from The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry and owner of the SHOT Show.

NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti and firearms retailer Joe Keffer, chairman of the NSSF Retailer Advisory Board, are announcing the good news this month during the SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Details also come from NSSF Director of Research and Analysis Jim Curcuruto and NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane.

The NSSF explains why they think firearms sales have hit all-time highs during the past year as brisk sales continue into 2012.

“More and more law-abiding citizens are choosing to exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, and they are doing so in a safe and responsible manner. This multi-year trend is nationwide and newsworthy for national and local media outlets,” the NSSF reported.

“Indicators reveal a record-setting year in 2011 for firearms sales--a positive sign for industry in 2012 and for overall participation in the shooting sports. Indicators also reveal growing interest among citizens, particularly women, in owning a firearm for personal and home protection,” the organization noted.

NSSF uses indicators such as National Instant Criminal Background Checks to gauge sales. They also will discuss notable changes in customers who are purchasing firearms, their reasons for doing so and the types of firearms that are in demand.

“December marked an unprecedented 19th-straight month of background check increases when compared to the same period of the previous year. NSSF-adjusted background checks for December totaled nearly 1.5 million--the most ever for any month. This comes on the heels of the historic ‘Black Friday’ (November 25, 2011) record for the most background checks in a single day.

“Important to the discussion is FBI data released in December showing that violent crime in the United States continues to drop, falling 6.4 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same period a year ago. The FBI statistics undermine a favorite argument of anti-gun groups and some mainstream media that ‘more guns equal more crime,’" NSSF reported.

Two additional statistics have a relationship to America's growing firearm sales and decreasing crime rate; they are the historic low level of firearm-related accidents and the record lack of public support for gun control.

This is heady stuff. Western Outdoor News is a pivotal part of the picture by virtue of its communicative position between the industry itself (advertisers and their products) and consumers (readers).

WON continues to expand its presence in the shooting sports and the response has been outstanding.

It is a pleasure for me to be even a small part of such a great movement. Shooters and hunters are reclaiming their rightful place in modern society. Thank you, the readers, for being a part of it.

Steve Comus is a nationally recognized hunting editor with Safari Club International and a former WON Guns and Hunting Editor. His column appears every other week in WON and he can be reached at

firearms sales

were super strong last year, and promise to continue to be significant this year. In large part tactical models of rifles, handguns and shotguns bolstered sales.

Reader Comments
Steve That is an amazing statistic that crime drops as gun asles rise. That is probably not something you would read in the mainstream daily papers. Keep up the great work! I alwasys look forward to reading your stuff, both in Western Outdoor News and here on the website.
Joe Thomas
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