The Gun Explosion

Why the firearms boom is good news for the American economy


In a February 2012 fund-raising appearance, President Barack Obama expressed his desire to keep America's assembly lines humming. "I want to make sure the next generation of manufacturing isn't taking root just in Asia or Europe," he told a crowd of supporters. "I want it taking root in factories in Detroit and Pittsburgh and Cleveland and California.…I want to reward companies that are investing here in the United States and creating jobs all throughout this country." Perhaps because the president was speaking in San Francisco, where most of the local factories had long ago been converted into luxury condos for venture capitalists and software designers, he was short on specifics. Or maybe he just couldn't think of any American manufacturing industries that still seemed salvageable. 

Two weeks earlier, however, a federal agency had released a report that suggested at least one component of the manufacturing sector was not only still making stuff in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, California, and thousands of other places in America, but making more of it than it had in decades. According to the "Annual Firearms Production and Export Report" from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), American manufacturers produced 5,459,240 handguns, rifles, shotguns, and miscellaneous ordnance in 2010. (To comply with the Trade Secrets Act, the BATFE waits one year to publish these data; numbers for 2010 therefore are not published until January 2012.) It was the second year in a row the industry had attained numbers not seen since the glory days of the late Carter administration.

A little more than a decade ago, the domestic firearms industry was staggering like a villain on the wrong side of Dirty Harry's .44 Magnum. "The future has never been more uncertain for America's oldest manufacturing industry," a Businessweek cover story reported in 1999. Flat sales, the specter of more stringent regulation, and dozens of lawsuits filed by cities and counties seeking damages for the costs associated with gun violence threatened to destroy a uniquely American business. U.S. companies were going bankrupt, foreign competitors were claiming a bigger piece of the action, and even industry executives were expecting the market to "steadily shrink over the long term."

Yet here it is, 13 years later, well into America's great manufacturing exodus and the post-financial-crisis economic slump, and the domestic firearms industry is enjoying near-record productivity. According to Smith & Wesson, one of just two U.S. gun manufacturers that are publicly traded and thus publish their sales figures, the company ended its 2011 fiscal year with a backlog of $187 million in orders after enjoying "record fourth quarter sales and units shipped." Meanwhile, Sturm, Ruger & Co. is on a quest to become the first U.S. gun manufacturer to build and ship 1 million units in a single year. In May 2011, the company announced its intention to donate $1 to the National Rifle Association (NRA) for every firearm it sold from April 2011 through March 2012. At the end of nine months, in January 2012, it had donated $871,000 and seemed well on its way to meeting its goal.

One possible reason for the surge in gun making: feminism. According to Bloomberg News, approximately 250,000 women have served in combat zones in Afghanistan and Iraq during the last decade, and when they complete their service they are "returning with a familiarity of firearms their mothers never had." 

Lawrence Keane, senior vice president at the National Shooting Sports Foundation, an industry trade group, cites war as a factor too. "Returning vets who went into the military without much experience with firearms have now been exposed to them," he says. According to Keane, his organization recently conducted a survey of consumers who had purchased modern sporting rifles, a type of semiautomatic weapon that resembles the M-16s the U.S. military started using in Vietnam. "Half of the folks buying these firearms in the last several years are current or former military and law enforcement," Keane says. "They're buying modern sporting rifles because they're very similar to the rifles they carried while in the military."

Other factors behind the boom include the widespread adoption of right-to-carry laws, which require that carry permits be issued to people who meet a short list of objective criteria; two key Supreme Court decisions that found the Second Amendment protects an individual right to arms against federal and state infringement; and an expanding array of products. "A little over a quarter century ago the majority of Americans owning or carrying a handgun had far fewer choices than today," the February 2012 issue of Combat Handguns notes, "and the majority deferred to the same guns being carried by FBI agents and police detectives. Now, Smith & Wesson alone produces 166 different models of handguns—and 46 of these have been introduced in just the last two years." On a similar note, new products accounted for 32 percent of Sturm, Ruger's sales in the first nine months of 2011.

But it's not just market leaders that are driving the industry's renaissance. "Computer control is making the small firearms manufacturer a practical possibility again," says Clayton Cramer, an adjunct faculty member at the College of Western Idaho and author of the book Armed America: The Remarkable Story of How and Why Guns Became as American as Apple Pie (Thomas Nelson). Computer numerical control (CNC) milling machines reduce both the equipment and the manpower it takes to produce firearms. "Instead of having a dozen craftsmen, each working on a particular step," Cramer explains, "you can now have one skilled programmer setting up a CNC mill to do all those steps in one machine." 

All across America, hundreds of regional manufacturers are popping up, producing anywhere from a few dozen to a few thousand pieces a year and marketing them to their local communities. There may be no such thing as an organic bolt-action rifle, but the contemporary firearms industry has more than a little in common with locavorism, craft brewing, and other artisanal manufacturing movements of the last few decades. The gun show is the .44 caliber equivalent of the farmer's market.

So far President Obama has not championed this industrial resurgence on his watch. But many in the firearms industry are happy to give him credit. Indeed, while Newt Gingrich has tried to brand Obama "the food stamps president," it would be equally fitting to call him "the firearms president." In 2004, when a 10-year federal ban against so-called assault weapons expired, the industry enjoyed only a mild uptick in production numbers. When Obama took office in January 2009 and almost immediately started floating the notion of resurrecting the ban, that mild uptick turned into an explosion, as consumers raced to purchase guns while they still could. One industry news service, Outdoor Wire, dubbed the president "Gun Salesman of the Year."

While Obama has subsequently shown about as much interest in controlling guns as he has in controlling the deficit, some detractors believe his inaction has been part of a careful strategy to lull gun owners into complacency. In a February appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre suggested that Obama won't make any dramatic moves to disarm America until he is re-elected, at which point he will proceed to "destroy the Second Amendment." The threat of a second term for Obama should keep the firearms industry humming throughout 2012, and if he wins, expect sales to shoot through the roof. 

All of which just shows how thoroughly the industry has won over the trigger fingers of America during the last decade. At this point, a victory for Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum represents the anti-gun activist's best hope of curbing the nation's appetite for small-frame semiautomatic pistols.

Contributing Editor Greg Beato writes from San Francisco.

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  1. Again somewhere a weak sister like Tony…or any and all of his sock puppeteers are under their respective kitchen tables curled into the fetal position sobbing quietly!

    1. Again somewhere a weak sister like Tony…or any and all of his sock puppeteers are under their respective kitchen tables curled into the fetal position sobbing quietly!

      Yep. They’re there alright.

      I remember thinking that when President Obama gave a speech just four days after Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head by a deranged gunman, our nation would finally wake up to all the nasty violence that plagues our country. A CONGRESSWOMAN WAS SHOT IN THE HEAD! But despite all of the pain our country felt during that time, it was revealed that Jared Lee Loughner, the shooter of Ms. Giffords, despite being mentally ill, was able to legally purchase a Glock 19 semi-automatic handgun that he used to killed six people, while injuring 13 others. So, we sort of felt helpless because the law was on his side to own a weapon . . .

      [. . .]

      I was convinced that this was the wake-up call to our fellow citizens that maybe there were some guns in America that were in the hands of the wrong people. But, unfortunately we hit the snooze button on our alarm and went back to sleep.

      1. The Sheriff’s Department was too lazy and incompetent to document their many encounters with Loughner – which would have barred him from purchasing a handgun.

        Your solution is to bar everyone from owning since some cops suck.

        Fuck you.

        1. cops are not (generally) supposed to write reports on noncriminal matters unless there is some good reason – iow merely contacting a crazy doesn’t warrant a case report. apartg from the issues of collecting non-criminal intelligence, …

          iow, if i have a conversation with joe wackjob that in and of itself doesn’t merit a report

          w.o knowing the specifics of those encounters AND their agency’s policies, you don’t know if it was right or wrong.

          a substantial # of cases where people WANT a report, we don’t take one – mostly stuff that is civil, that they try to make criminal, or stuff like that.

        2. Check your sarcasm meter. When someone quotes a passage, it doesn’t necessarily mean he agrees.

  2. Personally I bought 1 shotgun and 1 rifle out of fear they’d soon be banned.

  3. Obama has created manufacturing jobs.

  4. Too bad the Colt Python was not around when the first couple of Dirty Harry films were done. The Python is way better looking than the S&W .44 mag. Now, I suppose office Callahan would be swinging a S&W .500 magnum.

    “Did he shoot six rounds, or only five?” The 500 mag only holds five rounds so it would be an easier guess.

    1. The Python is a .357Mag, and that wouldn’t work with Harry’s lines (written by John Milius, by the way). The Anaconda is a .44Mag but looks stupid.

      1. My mistake. Wrong snake. I still think the Anaconda is way more cool than the Smith.

        1. “My Anaconda don’t want none, unless you got guns, hon.”

        2. The Python blows them both away for looks. I still remember the first time I saw one: it was on an episode of The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents when I was a kid. And it was beautiful.

          1. I’m legally blind. I have almost zero use for firearms, and even I want a colt python. They are beautiful, as you say.

          2. Hutch carried a Python in the Starsky and Hutch TV show.

          3. I’ve come close to buying one so many times, but 2000 dollars for a Python in DECENT shape is a lot of money.
            Shit, for 2000 dollars you can get a modern custom shop revolver from S&W PC or Freedom Arms that is going to outperform the Python, although they’ll never be as cool.

            1. Don’t believe the hype : a S&W PC revolver is EVERY BIT as cool as a Python, and a helluvalot more functional. Colt products are just charging for the name. Gimme a vaquero over a peacemaker ANYDAY…

              1. But the Colt is sexy!!!
                My 627 is a PC gun, and it’s the most accurate and best shooting handgun I’ve ever shot, but a Python I shot was pretty damn close.

        3. Unfortunately, the forcing cones on the python and the anaconda are prone to cracking. Replacement barrels are very steep.
          Smiths are workhorses and last forever.

      2. Didn’t the bad guys in the 3rd Dirty Harry movie use Colt Pythons?

    2. I did like that movie where The Rock was blowing people away with a .454 Casull.

  5. Survey:

    Guns inventory among the commentariat?

    We have three handguns, a shotgun, three rifles, and a switch-barrel muzzleloader with a rifle barrel and a shotgun barrel.

    1. I have a lot more than that. And I sold a number of guns a few years ago.

      1. I can’t fathom selling a gun. You disgust me.

        1. If I never shoot it, and have no desire to, why would I keep it?

          1. have no desire to

            There’s the problem. Fag.

      2. I have a lot more than that.


        I can’t fathom selling a gun. You disgust me.

        I only sell a gun when I’m in the market to buy another.

    2. 4 handguns (.22, 2 9mm, and a .45ACP)
      4 rifles (Garand, SVT-40, M1 Carbine, .22)

      1. I forgot the .22. Make that 4 rifles.

        1. Hey, let’s give the government a reason to come get us!!!! Good job, Dean, I’m sure there are NO gov’mint monitors of THIS website and anything we might say! BTW, NOOOOOO guns in my possession! Not even a butterknife! Nothing to see here, officer….

    3. In order of acquisition:

      A Romanian SAR-2
      A Finnish M39 Mosin-Nagant
      An AR-180B
      A West German Walther P1
      A Remington 870
      A Bulgarian Makarov
      A Garand
      A 1903 Springfield
      A Ruger SR9C

      I think that’s it. What a pathetic arsenal. I need more.

      1. You are shamefully pistol and shotgun-light. How embarrassing.

        1. I know, right? Get this: I only have two barrels for the 870, one for shooting burglars, and one for shooting deer. I have shit for killing flying orange disks.

          1. At least you don’t have one for cops.

            1. Shut up, Tulpa. Jesus. Can you try to not be retarded some of the time?

              1. Of course he can’t. He’s an utter moron. Why do you pay any attention to him, anyway?

              2. Your intellect isn’t fit to wash my intellect’s jockstrap, glibster. Which is a shame since it’s really sweaty and my intellect had an accident.

                1. Thinking with your dick again, eh?

                2. “it’s really sweaty” “my intellect had an accident.”

                  Wow, you really DO struggle to write intelligent comments. Seriously, stop insulting yourself.

          2. and one for shooting deer

            That’s right: you live in one of those fucked up states where you can only hunt deer with a shotgun. Poor thing.

            1. It’s horrible.

      2. S&W Performance Center AR-15
        Winchester Canadian 30-30
        S&W model 627 .357 mag
        S&W model 66 .357 mag
        S&W ultralight .357 mag snubbie
        Kimber 1911
        Browning Maxus 12 ga.
        Browning Buckmark Target
        S&W .32 (old)

    4. I got nothin’.

      1. I’m actually amazed that everyone is listing their guns here.So where do you all live? Anyway the one thing I was taught as a child in the early 60’s was don’t tell people what you’ve got, that is until you have to use them.

    5. A Winchester Rifle from (I think) the early-to-mid 1900s.

    6. Pretty vanilla for me.

      S&W 22A
      Remington 870
      Ruger 10/22
      Ruger SR9c (Warty and I are carry brothers, whoda thunk it)
      Ruger Blackhawk 357
      Ruger LCR 38

      And of course now I’m suffering from caliber drift.

      1. My dad took me and one of my sisters out shooting once when I was a kid. He had a ruger single action 357 mag. We stand behind him while he cracks off a shot. The report and muzzle flash are terrifying for us wee tots. Next, his hand slips and the hammer takes a huge chunk out of his thumb. He’s out in the middle of nowhere with hand gushing blood, trying to keep it together because he’s got two kids with him.

        If his goal was to make us think twice about messing with guns, he succeeded. It must have taken 2 or 3 days for the testosterone to re-convince me that GUNS ARE AWESOME!

      2. That’s some cheapskate shit. A plastic revolver?

      3. I have a S&W 22A – I stink with it, like all pistols. At least I’m not wasting much money as I shoot giant groups.

    7. Let’s see:
      16 ga pump shotgun
      20 ga single shot
      .308 rifle
      Couple of .22 autoloading rifles
      Romanian SKS
      Antique .22 single shot
      Walther PPK
      Cheap .22 Revolver
      2 Antique Civl war era guns (for historical value only)

      I think that the next buy will be a more powerful handgun of some sort.

      1. I was thinking about getting a Super Blackhawk (.44Mag) before I got the ordinary one. Problem is if you ever actually have to use it in self defense you’re likely to have to explain the choice of an grizzly-hunting caliber to a probably gun-phobic jury, particularly if you’re not in grizzly country.

        1. Arent you in PA?

          Just get the jury shifted a county or two east of Pittsburgh and you should be okay.

          Im in KY, so I dont need to worry about location.

          1. Yeah, I’m sure the prosecution would happily move the trial.

            Pittsburgh’s county is actually pretty gun friendly once you get outside the city, but we all know how things go in voir dire.

            1. Just make sure your lawyer strikes anyone who doesnt own a firearm.

            2. Yeah Tulpa, you need to be armed just in case one of your students whips a protractor at the back of your head.

        2. I have one and it’s very cool. I kinda wish I had gotten a Redhawk though, because of the longer grip. I wanted a cowboy style gun, but the short cowboy grip is not as comfortable as the longer cop style grip, especially with a heavy load like the 44 mag. It’s also slow to reload by it’s nature, so it’s not like it would be great in a gun fight. Also have a Glock in 40 S&W. Great gun, but I would prefer a real safety – Glock leg, you know. I have a couple of rifles I really like – a Henry Big Boy in 44 mag and a Marlin 336 in 35 Remington – the Amityville Horror gun. My son has a Saiga and an AK 47 as well as a Beretta 9 mm.

      2. I had a .454 casull that cost a fortune to shoot, and wasn’t even remotely practical. Traded that in on an AR gladly.

        God, were those 4 or 5 shots when you took it to the field awesome though.

    8. Dragunov firing 7.62mm x 54mm – its like an AK-47 with a turbo, the cheap bastard’s .50 cal.

      And I got the Missus a Polish Mak. Never did like Commies, but they sure done made me some neat guns (cue banjo).

    9. I certainly don’t have any guns, that’s for sure. No guns in my house, nope. Not me.

      1. Xeno and I will be the undercover collaboorators selling you dumbass braggarts out to Mistah Guv’mint Man…. There they go!!

        1. I sold them all officer. Really, nothing to see here, yeah the grass is nice, it was time to re-sod the yard.

          Shit where I live the government enforcement loves guns, every cop I’ve ever talked to was pro-2A and pro CC, and have you ever actually talked to any military vets? None of the national guard or regular military I’ve ever met would follow an order to seize weapons from the citizenry. The military tends to attract gun people….

    10. What I had before the boating accident:

      3 AR-types in 5.56, plus 8 bazillion magazines
      1 AR upper in .22lr (CMMG)
      1 AK (MAK-90) in 7.62×39
      1 Ruger 10/22 .22lr
      1 Remington Speedmaster .22lr
      1 9mm Smith & Wesson M&P9c; (my carry pistol)
      1 Sig Sauer P220 .45ACP
      1 Bersa Thunder .380
      1 S&W Patrol Special revolver .357
      1 American Arms .22lr auto pistol
      1 Winchester Defender 20 gauge
      1 Remington bolt action 30-06

      I think that’s it.

      1. Does no one have any custom rifles?

        I have a GAP with a Templar action in 6.5 Creedmoor.

      2. Damn boating accidents. I had an Remington 870 12ga., a Mini-14, a Remington 700 in .30-06, a 10/22 and a Stevens Model 66-B bolt action .22LR before they all went into the briny deep.

        Last time I take my guns with me for a day out on the water…

        1. I’m pretty sure no one’s buying the whole boating accident line. And why be afraid here. If you want to see gun nutty, go to a place like Snipers Hide.

          1. Been to Snipers Hide. Good place to find information on mods for bolt actions.

        2. I take it you had more than a rowboat.

    11. None. Mine were all stolen.

    12. R C Dean|4.19.12 @ 4:44PM|#
      Guns inventory among the commentariat?”

      Sufficient to not have to rely on those guys who are only “minutes away”.

    13. Contrary to spousal opinion, I don’t have one of everything. But I have enough to teach a beginner to shoot about anything but black powder.

    14. just a walther pps (9mm) and 12ga mossberg 500

    15. FNH PS90
      DPMS LR308 with Tac Quad Rail
      Custom AR15, 16″ Gas Piston
      Winchester 30-30
      Mosin Nagant 7.62 x 54 bolt action
      1915 Springfield 22 long rifle
      Benelli Supernova 12 gauge
      Yugo AK47
      Sig 229
      Springfield XD 3.8″ Compact

      1. oooh… I want a PS90 so bad. Really I want a P90, but that’s less possible…

        1. Why? I’ve heard nothing good about the caliber if you get the 5.7.

      2. I love my old Mosin. It makes for a fun day at the range.

        Plus after you cycle the first fifty rounds through it, the iron butt-plate can give you a nice sized welt on your shoulder.

    16. Glock Model 23 40 cal.
      20 guage remington (870)

    17. No guns as of yet. I’m a broke college student who lives in a college student-intended apartment complex. No weapons allowed, even if I could afford one (though I TECHNICALLY could, it’s not worth it to me right now).

  6. My neighbor, who was recently discharged from the Air Force, is helping me convert my RC aircraft into a formidable drone- for self-defense.

    1. Hi Terry!

      Do you still use anthrax for duck hunting?

  7. A couple .22s that are almost never fired and are kept in a safe at another location. When the kids were small I wanted to be sure they could not get into the guns, and I did not want to buy a $500 safe for $100 worth of guns, so they reside with a relative who has a safe. I’ve still got my assault baseball bat and combat putter.

    1. Trigger locks (and obviously keeping them unloaded) would do fine for keeping kids from playing with them. You only need a safe if you’re worried about malefactors getting a hold of them.

      1. Or you could get a $100 locking metal cabinet which will keep the kids and most malefactors out too.

        1. That probably would have worked as well. I just remember how curious I was as a kid, and how careless my parents were. I remember messing with my dad’s .357 and 9mm. Damn things were probably loaded, and I could easily get to them. It was one tragic accident that I could at least avoid in own home. And they are only .22s, so not the best for defense, or anything else other than making holes in paper.

          1. Dude. You need to be ready for the zombie squirrel apocalypse.

          2. I wouldn’t get a .22 specifically for defense, BUT pick up any random NRA magazine and look at the Armed Citizen column and you’ll see at least a couple of successful uses of them.

            1. i had a burglary the other day where the suspects made off with a heavy (500+ lbs with contents) rifle safe

              hint: bolt it through the garage floor. any quality safe has that option.

              they made off with over 10 gunz. of course he didn’t have serial #’s for them (rolls eyes)

            2. .22 is a very popular round for assassination. close up… to the head is very effective round … plus, pretty quiet

              1. Given my shitty eyesight, that’s probably my effective working range. Actually, I’m safe at home defense distances. Well, my home anyway, about 25 feet away max. After that things get blurry real quick.

              2. Given my shitty eyesight, that’s probably my effective working range. Actually, I’m safe at home defense distances. Well, my home anyway, about 25 feet away max. After that things get blurry real quick.

                1. most shootings happen well w/in 25 ft and you are supposed to focus on the front sight anyway!! so yer good to go!

          3. Couldn’t tell you how many guns without doing an inventory, over 20, less than 30. Kids (2) both shot since they were pre-teens. Both today shoot competetive skeet/trap (daughter is 20ga state runner-up)and son is a match rifle shooter. Never had a need for trigger guards (bring on the criticism) as the guns were always accessible, being cleaned or on their way to the range. Depends on your family culture as to whether carelessness is present.

      2. When I was all of eight years old I was taught how to fire all of our guns and taught to treat all guns as if they were always loaded, and they were. There was never any problems with kids playing with guns in our house. Thats the deal if you teach them, their curiosity is quenched and no need for them to sneak a peak at the forbidden fruit, much like our WOD.

    2. When my nephew was living with us (his mom had to go to rehab), I noticed he had a fascination for robots. Lucky him that I build them. It took me about thirty hours to completely disarm an old design of mine and nerf it down for his safety, but once prepped, he got the coolest gift a kid could get. You should have seen his eyes grow big, Mickey Mouse would have been jealous.

      1. Very cool. Having parents with substance abuse issues is a real trial for a child. I’d be curious to know the capabilities of the robot before you neutered it.

        1. His mother (my wife’s sister) is doing much better now. I still see the little rascal at least once a week. He is two years older than my own kid who doesn’t have his own robot yet.

          The one I gave to him was pretty much a fixed position tri set of band saws (creating a hammering like effect but better distributed than what can be achieved with a ball point) on swivel point wheels that survived a few tourneys close to intact.

          I do have one on loan to my bro that has an airsoft cannon attached. It creates a line of sight in the vector of the moving target (motion detector) pops out five rounds and then recalculates before popping out the next. The second set of discharges is highly effective. I can’t claim all the credit though. Bro designed the weapon system (what he did in the Navy, btw), and I bought the equipment and committed most of the physical labor.

          1. Bro designed the weapon system

            For the sake of accuracy, calibrated existing systems on ships.

          2. I replaced the band saw set up with giant laminated rubber bands I bought from Toys R Us. Great for terrorizing cats which just happens to be my nephews favorite hobby.

            1. That’s fantastic! I bet there are no small animals safe from that kid.

    3. I have all bolts removed from the rifles and kept in a small safe in the boudoir along with the ever ready SD pistol. Small safe only 150.

  8. Phased plasma rifle in a 40-watt range…

    1. Look, only what you see, pal.

    2. “I’ll be closing up early…”

    3. Fuck you, asshole.

    4. I love you guys.

  9. Why in the hell would you discuss your weapons on the internet. You know uncle shitbag is watching. Now they gotta “investigate” you to make sure you are in compliance.

    1. You do know that there are whole websites where even crazier people than comment do nothing but discuss their guns, right?

      I’m not too worried.

  10. Also, since the current rallying cry is “jobs”, I doubt the prez would want to trumpet yet another industry saved by robots.

    Also, I’m pretty curious as to how long the NRA panic machine can keep the industry in overdrive without any credible gun control threats. (Ammo goes nuts every time anyone so much as uses ‘California’ and ‘Serial Numbers’ in the same sentence.)

    1. There is ALWAYS a credible gun control threat, otherwise there would be Constitutional Carry: You’re 21, not a felon, not crazy?…you can carry, anywhere, anytime, in sight, out of sight, no “permit”, no annual fee, no “man” shining a light up your ass. Until then, the threat exists everywhere except Vermont, it’s only a matter of where you live and to what degree the government prevents your 2nd amendment excercise.

      1. Even with nominally legal open carry, all it takes is a loony-lefty calling 911 and falsely claiming you brandished your firearm to put you in a world of hurt and have your firearm taken away.

        1. that’s wonderful, but just like other ‘what if’ hysterias, it pays to look at actual evidence…

          sure, it’s possible . just like as cops, we know it’s always possible to get some bullshit complaint against us. and it happens

          that’s why i support video/audiotaping extensively. brings bad people to justice and protects innocents from false complaints

          that aside, in states that have open carry, such incidents are rare. open carriers being charged with brandishing JUSTIFIABLY OR BASED ON FALSE COMPLAINT (since it may be difficult to distinguish as you note) are exceedingly rare.

          the open carry forums involve tons of people and i have been reading them for years. i have yet to read of even one such incident, nor in 20 yrs of police work have i seen such an incident – where an open carrier was charged with brandishing

          i had one incident years ago where i took a guy into custody upon two complainants saying he brandished at the teenager (teenager and mom complained)

          he gave a complete statement, post miranda, and the prosecutor decided not to prosecute based on his statement since it established a prima facie case of self defense

          (note guy wasn’t open carrying, but brandished upon being placed in fear by the teenager)

          i know plenty of cops in my dept. who open carry sometimes off duty. they have no problems

          go to the open carry forums if you don’t believe me.

          if it happens, it is shockingly rare

          1. oh also, based on his statement, i did not book him./ after he gave the statement, i released him./

            1. “i know plenty of cops in my dept. who open carry sometimes off duty. they have no problems”

              Duh. “Cops are the same as us in this case” doesn’t cut it as a sound argument, because – as in most cases – they are NOT like us. They have a badge that they can use off-duty as well, and MOST cops I know are this biggest statist fucks this side of Nancy Pelosi. I could count on one hand the number of cops I have met that have a FAVORABLE view of the second amendment, preferring to paint the entire citizenry with the narrow brush of their experience with career lowlifes. Cops almost always regard the “little people” with the attitude “2nd amendment for me, but not for thee…”

              1. What part of the country do you live in? In the South, cops tend to be relatively cool about people with firearms as long as they are following the not very restrictive laws.

      2. True “Constitutional carry” would not have age, insanity and ex-felon restrictions.

      3. Arizona, Alaska, and I think I read some parts of Montana don’t require a permit to carry concealed. I am probably wrong on the last state, but it was one of those upper tier Rocky MT states.

        1. According to the Wikipedia, Arizona, Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming has constitutional carry.

          1. You are correct. What’s interesting is, in states that offer reciprocity to CPL holders, no provisions are made for the citizens of those four states. I, as a resident of Michigan, will have my CPL honored in all but 10 states (the usual suspects). However the citizens of the four Constitutional Carry states have no reciprocity, because their state issues no permit and hence has no age restricitons, has no personal information, keeps no file on them. FUBAR

  11. i am seriously outgunned, but then i am not a ‘gun guy’, i am a GUN RIGHTS guy.

    all i own is a compact glock. that’s it. i don’t even particularly like glocks, i just like the fact that the mags are interchangeable with my duty weapon.

    i do have LOTS of ammo, though – since i get two free boxes a month due to union contract !!!!!

    1. How big are the boxes? Is it FMJ or JHP?

      1. 50 rds per box. oh, and we get free shotgun ammo too (slug or buck) every month. i have literally NEVER bought ammo in my life.

        so, we get 100 rds of jhp, the same round we carry… the modern firearms training philosophy is ‘train with the same equipment you will use on the street’, so we get our practice ammo in the exact same type as we use on the street.

        it’s changed a few times, but currently using 180 grains jhp in .40 s&w

        1. If you get free shotgun shells, you should go and buy yourself a pump shotgun. They can usually be had for fairly cheap. The most popular ones currently are the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500, and you should be able to find a used one of either for $150-$250 dollars, depending on condition. New, I think they’re between $300 and $500 now.

          1. i have my dept one i keep in the house, so it’s just as available. 870. very reliable and a good way to get lead downrange fast.

  12. Guns are an easy like.
    They’re neat, fun to use, loud, phallic, frighten homosexuals, make liberals hysterical, southern girls wet and California detests ’em.

    1. i know a few homosexuals on my dept who would call bullshit

      1. Best time I ever had at a gun show was hanging with the Pink Pistols guys. Nobody was visiting their booth until we started chatting with them, then a crowd gathered. I suspect that for a lot people, it was the first time they knowingly talked to a gay guy

      2. Best time I ever had at a gun show was hanging with the Pink Pistols guys. Nobody was visiting their booth until we started chatting with them, then a crowd gathered. I suspect that for a lot people, it was the first time they knowingly talked to a gay guy

        1. Amazing how music and firearms are the ultimate ambassadors and facilitators of dialogue.

          Also, squirrelz, counselor.

  13. America: Dont educate the people, just make them ignorant and paranoid and then sell them guns…..AWESOME!!!!

    1. some guy666|4.19.12 @ 7:58PM|#
      “America: Dont educate the people, just make them ignorant and paranoid and then sell them guns…..AWESOME!!!!”
      Was that supposed to mean something?

    2. In 2010 my fellow Texas Hunter Education instructors graduated 41,785 new students. I don’t have figures for the other 49 states, but they are reporting records a well. Education is something we take very seriously, and do a lot of.

  14. I won’t list them all but to indicate the quantity – when I shoot photos for my gun porn photo book I lay down a bed of EBR’s or handguns (depending on the main object which is on top) which blots out the floor beneath.

  15. I’ve only ever bought one gun myself – Glock 17 I picked up a couple years ago (LOVE IT).

    The rest (20 or so) were all my dad’s I got after he died – all c. 1970 and older. He taught my brother and me to shoot with these guns. I want a 1911 and an AR and I’ll be all set…for now…

    Oh, and a S&W 686. And a Remington 700 in 30-06. And…

  16. The president certainly earned the gun salesman of the year for 2009. However, if you go back and look at the numbers (National Shooting Sports Foundation has some interesting charts on NICS checks and Pittman-Robertson receipts) the trend toward more gun owners starts back in 2002 or 2003. That’s long before Candidate Obama’s sun broke the horizon.

    One of my theories is that 9/11 convinced a lot of people that the Neville Chamberlain Theory of Crime Management (If he wants the plane, give him the plane. Otherwise someone might get hurt.) really sucks.

  17. Reading this story depressed me.
    But the comments made me realize that most of the guns are owned by short-dingled wackjobs with persecution complexes. So I’d like to think non-insane Americans don’t have as many ways to over-compensate for their shortcomings, other than to buy a Corvette or trade in the old hag for a trophy wife.

    1. Why do I picture you kneeling obediently in front of a ditch, head bowed, urine soaked, with that piteous forlorn look on your face, hoping against hope that the cur behind you will suddenly morph into an altruistic human being?

      1. @Harvard…Why do i picture you butt ass naked with a constitution rolled up sticking in your ass, kneeling obediently to a big poster of Ayn Rand that you are wacking off to?

        1. Unlikely. Rand wasn’t that attractive. Not ugly, but not that purty either. And you’re much more likely to put the constitution up your ass. As toilet paper, of course.

    2. I agree with you Head Scratchers.

      1. “I agree with you Head Scratchers.”

        Course you do, bitch. You are trained to be compliant with the dominant liberal narrative. Have fun when they come for you, and don’t say Harvard didn’t get the image right…

    3. Why would the story depress you? Why would it really bother you what other law abiding citizens choose to do with their money? Do you have some moral agenda toward armaments, booze, fireworks, prostitutes, etc? If so, please try and reason those out before posting such ignorant and derogatory tripe.

    4. Paranoid much?

    5. other than to buy a Corvette or trade in the old hag for a trophy wife.

      Then you shouldn’t have a problem. The way things are going the new wife will come with a pink baby Glock, a purple AR-15, and a hunting license.

      You get to butcher the feral hogs she brings home.

  18. Time to kick it on up a notc or two!

  19. sheriff dept to lazy to document man who shot gifford. that i can believe. here in the flathead valley in montana the sheriffs here will do nothing. in most cases you are on your own. to rely on the law for your own security is endangering your family. look no further than cities with strict gun control, crime is rampant.

  20. Hope you’re wearing Depends, headscratchers and someidiot666 – I was at a party in rural Ohio a few years ago where the host had a fully automatic .50 caliber machine gun. He said it’s registered with the Sheriff’s Office. I would have had a chance to fire it but I was busy consoling my young daughter, who was frightened at the sound of the exploding targets. (black powder in plastic tubes) I do know of two nice, safe countries where only the gov’t totes guns – North Korea and Cuba.

    1. Back when we had Real 4th of July that wasn’t a problem. Kids knew the proper response to explosives was, “Oooooo. Ahhhhh.”

  21. Thanks, this is self-same powerful stuff.

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