Long Island Residents Taking Responsibility For Their Own Safety

Politicians in states like New York and California among a few others have rarely found an impediment to armed self-protection that didn’t get their approval. Nonetheless, many citizens in those states are saying that government cannot protect their families during the COVID-19 (or CCP coronavirus) pandemic.

As a result, they are taking responsibility for protecting themselves and their families in spite of the impediments thrown up by government.

Here is an example from Nassau County, Long Island.

The lines are long for groceries and also for guns as dozens of people waited to get inside Coliseum Gun Traders in Nassau County on Tuesday morning.

“I woke up and said I want to be protected tomorrow,” Jonathan Sulay said. “Who knows what will happen.”

Shop owner Andrew Chernoff said sales are soaring as the fears of the coronavirus crisis continue to climb.

“We get inventory in every day, we received this morning already,” he said. “I’m sure by the end of the day, we’ll be out again.”

Some of the customers, who wore face masks and gloves, said they fear COVID-19 could lead to a breakdown of public order with looting and robberies.

Chernoff said he is mostly selling shotguns, which start around $300.

As to why Chernoff is selling mostly shotguns, I’m sure a lot of that has to do with the impediments placed in the way of handgun ownership by New York State and Nassau County.

To be able to merely possess a handgun for target shooting or hunting you need a Pistol License. That will cost you a non-refundable $200 to apply plus another $88.25 for the fingerprints. You need to provide a passport photo, character references, and a certified copy of your driving record. This is not a license to carry which requires you prove “proper cause.”

If you actually want to purchase a handgun, you will need a “Purchase Document” which will cost you another $10 per pistol. You get this after you have paid the FFL in full for your new pistol and have reported back to the Nassau County Police the details of your purchase. By the way, you haven’t actually taken possession of your fully paid-for pistol yet. You have 10 days to go back to the dealer with the Purchase Document to pick up your new pistol or it becomes void.

Of course, as you might expect from public officials in Nassau County, they are dismissing the fact that people are taking responsibility for their own well-being.

County Executive Laura Curran whose background is as a reporter had this to say:

“Guns aren’t going to fight the virus,” Curran said at a press conference. “What will fight the virus is people staying home and isolating themselves and not having birthday parties and weddings and clustering together in big groups.”

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder doesn’t want people to worry.

“We got you; that’s our job,” said Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. “Let the professionals do what we do. The right to purchase a firearm is your Second Amendment right, but to purchase a gun because you’re afraid of lawlessness or looting … our cops have you covered.”

That is all well and good but the cops can’t be everywhere. Even with the best response times, it is usually too late by the time police arrive.

County residents like Danny Coronado, a loan officer from Rockville Centre, understand this.

Coronado, who had already waited about 45 minutes (to buy ammo) and was still not close to getting inside the store, said many other patrons are still concerned. 

“I think everyone just feels the same thing I feel, you know, worried,” Coronado said. “Hopefully it’s just unnecessary worry, like with toilet paper.”

Better to be prepared and not have to use it than being unprepared and not have it is a good way to go.

The Sky Is Not Falling For Gun Sales

Gun sales in 2012, 2015, and 2016 were so high as to be outside the norm. They were at least one, if not two, standard deviations from the long term average. We know much of the difference was driven by outside events such as the Newtown murders and the widely-assumed probability that Hillary Clinton would succeed Obama as president. What we are seeing in 2017 is a return to the norm but at a higher level.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation just released their adjusted-NICS figure for December 2017. The figure of 1.6 million NICS checks was down 12% from the prior year. That said, it still was the 5th highest December for the adjusted NICS checks on record.

Elsewhere, I’ve read that 2017 was the fourth highest year on record for gun sales as measured by the NSSF adjusted NICS checks. In terms of unadjusted NICS checks, it was the second highest year on record after 2016.

It is important to remember that NICS checks in and of themselves do not have a one-to-one correlation with gun sales. There can be more than one firearm on a single Form 4473. Likewise, carry permits from states like North Carolina and Texas substitute for NICS checks. Finally, many states use the NICS system for their original and continuing checks on those that they’ve issued carry permits.

I will be heading to the SHOT Show which begins in two weeks. I will be reporting regularly on what I’m seeing and what I’m hearing. I am particularly interested in the tenor of conversations I have with dealers.

Doing My Part To Stimulate The (Gun) Economy – 2017 Edition

I have been doing these Black Friday posts annually since 2010. The state of the firearms industry is a bit different this year. After many years of double-digit growth, it appears the bubble has burst. In earlier years you would have been lucky to find an AR-15 upper for $400 or so. Now you can get the whole AR for that price.

Let’s just say it has not been a great year for the firearms industry in general. The thought that we would have a President Hillary and you better grab while grabbing is good was crushed late on the night of November 8th when Donald J. Trump was elected president. Dennis Badurina of Dragon Leatherworks who also owns a small gun store in Tennessee has been pointing out the state of the retail firearms industry with his posts on his Facebook page for a number of months. As Dennis notes, the industry is in freefall and is in a state of contraction.

I am going to make the assumption that the industry will be using Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a major tool to rid itself of excess inventory. If you are in the market for anything, I think you should find some good deals with careful shopping.

As with last year, I have decided not to reinvent the wheel and will point out some of the better aggregations of Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. I will be adding links to individual companies as I go through the weekend when I find something that might not be covered elsewhere.

Starting off, there is the Black Friday page of Slickguns.com. It has links to the sales at all the major big box sporting and outdoor stores.

Crowd-sourcing is a great way to put many eyes together to find the deals. The /gundeals subreddit page of Reddit is one such place. They have a Black Friday megathread going that has a little bit of everything. The other major crowd-sourced effort is on Arfcom. Their “official GD Black Friday” thread is at 6 pages and counting. The first thing that caught my eye there was $8 PMags. You can never have enough magazines! Now if I can find some less expensive CZ P-09 mags, I’ll be in hog heaven.

If you trend more towards the tactical, SoldierSystems.net has a dedicated post that is continually updated with Black Friday sales.

As for me, I’m good on most things. However, I’m in the market for a good quality handgun safe/strongbox with a mechanical keypad. My granddaughter Olivia Grace is almost three and has a little sister due in April. Little fingers can get in places they shouldn’t be and I want to protect against that.

Finally, I’d like to remind everyone that No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money is an Amazon affiliate. All commissions that I earn from your purchases go to non-profit gun rights organizations like the Second Amendment Foundation and the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund.

If you are in the market for an inexpensive tablet device, the Kindle Fire 7 is only $29.99. It was $33.33 last year. The Complementary Spouse uses her Fire daily to keep up with email, crafts, and family.

UPDATE:


There is a thread at 24hourcampfire.com with some more hunting related Black Friday specials.

My friend Andy Langlois of Ching and Rhodesian sling fame is having a sale on all his products. Save 20 percent off all his products from Nov. 22 – 28 and 10 percent off all products from Nov. 29 – Dec. 24, 2017. I have both his belts, both style of slings, and even a couple of holsters by Andy and the quality is top-notch. Go to https://www.andysleather.com/collections/black-friday-sale. Use the code “BlackFriday”.

UPDATE II:

Steve Johnson at The Firearm Blog has posted what he considers his Top 5 deals in firearms for Black Friday. You can find it here.

Tom Gresham of Gun Talk Radio has compiled his own list of holiday deals in firearms, ammo, and accessories. He has a special page for it.

Doing My Part To Stimulate The (Gun) Economy – 2015 Edition

In years gone by, I have worked hard to include every firearm, tactical, big box sporting goods store, and accessories sale that I could find for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Call me lazy but this year I will point you to two very good compilations that already exist. I don’t see any reason to reinvent the wheel or do extra work when others have already done it.

First, Slickguns.com has done an extraordinary job in compiling the Black Friday/Cyber Monday ads from all the major players and then some. It can be found here.

Second, for those who are seeking more tactical items, Soldier Systems has their Black Friday list which is sponsored by Tactical Distributors. You can find it here. If it is like last year, it will be a work in progress with more and more sales and discounts added.

One sale I got in my email box that I haven’t seen in either of these two lists is from Going Gear. If you are looking for a high lumen flashlight, then they can help. Find them here. Another sales going on is from ALG Defense. They are offering 20% off all their AK and AR triggers plus some other stuff. ALG Defense is connected with Geissele which is also having a Black Friday event. It is listed on the Slickguns page.

Feel free to add sales and discounts you come across in the comments section. I would welcome it and I’m others will find it helpful.

Surprising Numbers From IWI About Tavor Sales

I will admit that I was more than a little surprised when I read the following press release announcing that IWI US (Israel Weapons Industries’ US subsidiary) had shipped their 20,000th Tavor SAR bullpup carbine. The market for a bullpup like the Tavor SAR or the Steyr Aug would seem a bit limited given the design and the price but obviously I’m wrong in my estimation. And reading their press release below, it seems I’m not the only one wrong in my estimation. Sales were three times greater than IWI US projected themselves.

The press release announcing this milestone:

Harrisburg, PA (March 2014) – IWI US, Inc. a subsidiary of Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) Ltd., proudly
announces the 20,000th TAVOR® SAR has been shipped. The IWI US facility was officially opened in December
of 2012 and began shipments to distributors of the highly anticipated; Israeli designed and built rifle in late
March of 2013.

2013 became the year of the TAVOR® SAR, with unexpected demand that tripled projected sales and garnered
the receipt of two coveted awards: American Rifleman’s Golden Bullseye Award for Rifle of the Year and the
popular blog, TheTruthAboutGuns.com, Rifle of the Year. IWI US doubled their employee base to meet the
demand for the TAVOR® SAR, as well as hired additional management as the product found a receptive
audience in the law enforcement community.

IWI US expects to expand its facility in 2014 to accommodate continued growth. Additionally, IWI US will
launch an online store with a variety of IWI US approved accessories for the TAVOR® SAR in the coming weeks.

“This is a watershed moment for IWI US and our employees,” Michael Kassnar, Vice President of Sales and
Marketing for IWI US commented. “We could not have met our goals without the enthusiasm, dedication and
the Pennsylvania work ethic of the IWI US
team.”

The Anti-Anti-Gun Buyback

In some areas of the country, police departments conduct gun buybacks in the mistaken belief that it will “take guns off the streets”. The reality is that it allows people to dump old clunkers as well as allow criminals to ditch hot guns without a question.

In a refreshing turn of events, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department in Pine Bluff, Arkansas just had a gun auction that raised over $125,000 for the Sheriff’s Department and the Tri-County Drug Task Force. The auction was held in accordance with Arkansas law (A.C.A. § 5-5-101) that mandates the public auction of seized weapons and contraband by the law enforcement agency.

Courtesy of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department

This was the first auction that the Sheriff’s Department held since 2005 when they only netted about $15,000 in proceeds. This auction was the largest auction in the county’s history.

Approximately 600 people from across the state attended the auction with 380 registered bidders. Approximately 204 checks were processed through the NICS. However, 6 individuals hoping to leave with a firearm were disappointed after receiving 3-day delayed notices and one (1) individual was denied approval to purchase firearms by the ATF.


Each gun auctioned went to the highest bidder. The highest bid at of $2,375.00 was for a Winchester .38 WCF L.A. Rifle and the lowest bid was $5.00 for a Marksman 177 Caliber BB Pistol.

I like this quote from the JCSD’s press release: “Today’s auction provided citizens an informative, secure, and safe way to buy firearms at a bargain.”

I think this is a sheriff that get’s it.

Gun Sales Are Seeking A New Normal

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has released its adjusted-NICS figures for the month of November 2013.  It shows a drop of 14.2% from November 2012. 

The November 2013 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,308,100 is a decrease of 14.2 percent compared to the NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,525,177 in November 2012. For comparison, the unadjusted November 2013 NICS figure of 1,805,759 reflects a 9.6 percent decrease from the unadjusted NICS figure of 1,997,703 in November 2012. NSSF-adjusted NICS for November 2013 is the second highest on record — an 18.8% increase over November 2011.

In many ways this really shouldn’t be surprising. While the peak in November 2012 was pre-Newtown, it reflects the uncertainty for gun owners of another presidential term for Barack Obama. If you look in the chart below of the adjusted NICS checks for the month of November going back to year 2000, you see definite spikes in 2008 and 2012.

 As I wrote last month, gun sales as reflected in the adjusted-NICS checks are trending towards a new normal. They are coming off their post-Newtown peaks but are still at a much higher overall level than they were pre-Newtown. Firearms manufacturers are still trying to catch up with the demand and are working through their backlog of orders. Tom Taylor of Mossberg confirmed this last Sunday on Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk in the first hour of the show.

NICS checks are an indicator of trends in gun sales but are not perfectly correlated with them. This is because many states use the NICS database for initial and continuing checks on their concealed carry permit holders. Moreover, in many states such as North Carolina, a concealed handgun permit substitutes for a NICS check.

October NICS Show Slight Decline

The October 2013 NSSF-adjusted NICS checks are in and they show a slight decline from the same month in 2012. Nonetheless, if you look at the chart of NSSF-adjusted NICS checks for the last 14 years, both 2012 and 2013 are substantially higher than prior years.

From the NSSF:

The October 2013 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,113,818 is a decrease of 0.5 percent compared to the NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,118,994 in October 2012. For comparison, the unadjusted October 2013 NICS figure of 1,679,099 reflects a 4.6 percent increase from the unadjusted NICS figure of 1,604,743 in October 2012.

The next chart is quite interesting. It shows the last 12 months of year over year data. You can see the spike in December 2012 and January 2013 presumably caused the shooting in Newtown and the attendant rise in the call for more gun control. After that, it follows the more normal curve of trending down towards summer and then starting to show a rise as the hunting season arrives.

 

 As the distance from the tragedy in Newtown has grown, the year over year gains have diminished until in August and October they actually show decreases. I think that we are at a new normal with some months being higher and some months being less.That said, the slight increases and decreases will be at a much higher base than pre-2012.

While the NSSF-adjusted NICS checks are not a perfect correlation for gun sales, they are a good indicator of them. For the firearms industry the great growth spurts may be over and their backlogs decreasing but they are still producing at a level that is significantly higher than in the past.

Interesting Graphic On Gun Sales

A stock investing website, The Wall Street Cheat Sheet, had an article yesterday discussing the financial results for Ruger. The author of the article was looking at the impact of proposed gun control laws on gun sales.

The law of unintended consequences is hitting its mark with politicians and gun owners. Amid a push for tighter gun control laws over the past year, an increase in firearm sales is boosting the nation’s leading gun manufacturer.

 The article concluded that the big push for gun control post-Newtown was a big factor in the growth of gun sales.

The graphic below is from a presentation that Smith and Wesson made to stock analysts. It plots the monthly NICS checks for each calendar year from 2008 to the present.

And then there is this:

According to an analysis of the gun industry by the Associated Press, the federal government has conducted roughly the same number of background checks for gun owners and prospective buyers under Obama’s first term, as it did under George W. Bush’s first six years of presidency. For the first time since 1993, the number of federally licensed retail gun dealers in the U.S. increased in 2010 and 2011, adding 1,167 more licensed dealers.

I guess Obama really is the world’s best gun salesman. 

The February 2013 NICS Check Report

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has released their adjusted-NICS check statistics for February. Contrary to what I thought might happen, February 2013 checks were up 29.1% over the same period in 2012.

The February 2013 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,634,309 is an increase of 29.1 percent over the NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,266,344
in February 2012. For comparison, the unadjusted February 2013 NICS
figure of 2,298,561 reflects a 32.5 percent increase from the unadjusted
NICS figure of 1,734,646 in February 2012.

This marks the 33rd straight month with increases in NSSF-adjusted NICS checks over the same period in the prior year.

I had thought perhaps low inventories might have broken this string of increases but obviously not. In retrospect, visits to both small and large gun shops in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina should have told me that. In the early part of February I visited two small gun stores in the Kernersville area that were packed even though the inventory was down. I also visited the Winston-Salem Gander Mountain which actually had a decent inventory. That store was also crowded.

As always, it should be noted that there is not a direct correlation between NICS checks and gun sales. This is because a few states such as  Kentucky and Iowa use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System for CCW purposes. Moreover, in a number of states such as North Carolina, a concealed carry permit is accepted as a substitute for a NICS check.