American Rifleman - December 2013 - 86

HOW GUNS ARE SOLD
continued from p. 64

mail-order business to Cabela's in 1996. Formerly
traded on NASDAQ, Gander Mountain was turned into
a private company under the majority ownership of
David Pratt and the Erickson family.
Then there's Sportsman's Warehouse, an outdoor
sporting goods retailer that operates 47 stores in 18
states. Sportsman's Warehouse calls itself "America's
Premier Outfitter." To interact with its customers
Sportsman's Warehouse offers concealed-carry classes
and more. (Go to sportsmanswarehouse.com/events
to see what they're up to in your neighborhood.)
All these competing chains and more are
expanding and trying to grab a piece of the hot and
growing gun market. According to the research firm
Southwick Associates, Inc., ammunition sales were
up 15 percent from 2011 to 2012, shooting accessories were up 30 percent and the share of rifl e
sales chambered in .223 Rem. was up 14 percent (in
2012 one in five rifl es sold was chambered in .223
Rem.). Of course ammunition, especially .22 Long
Rifl e, .223 Rem. and 9 mm Luger, has been in such
high demand during the past few years that there
have been wide and prolonged shortages across the
country. Gun sales have generally been going up
every year since 2000, surged in 2008 (just before
President Barack Obama was elected), and haven't
fallen off since.
"The biggest change I see this year is that people
in their twenties and thirties have become a bigger
part of the market," says Rob Southwick of Southwick
Associates, Inc. "Those in this demographic are now
buying rifles-especially modern sporting rifles-and
they're shooting for fun."
Scott Blackwell, president of Freedom Group, an
American firearm manufacturer holding company that
includes Remington, Bushmaster and DPMS, notes that
they sell their firearms with standard pricing that doesn't
give the larger stores an advantage over smaller retailers. He says, "It's an increasingly diverse marketplace
and that's good for those buying guns and for us. Last

year Wal-Mart sent a flier to millions of households that
advertised Remington guns. Meanwhile, larger retailers
have deep inventories, but the small and medium-size
gun stores have a knowledge base that's hard for the
big stores to compete with. This increasingly diverse
marketplace is good for America's gun owners and our
American-made products."

Local Firearm Superstores
New online options and destination stores get most
of the national attention, but there's something else taking place in the center of the market, without which this
article would have a hole. Some regional stores have
been growing even as they keep their local appeal.
Gat Guns in Dundee, Ill., located about an hour and
half west of Chicago, for example, has expanded several times since first opening in 1979. After a recent
expansion it now has 63 shooting positions. Greg
Torino, owner of Gat Guns, says, "We're excited and
are big supporters of the NRA. We're the 50th state
to win our right to carry concealed. This is a boon to
freedom and to our bottom line."
Randy Potter, Gat Guns' store manager, says, "Ten
years ago we had two women working behind the counter. We now have nine. We have women-only classes
continued on p. 100

86 D

ECEMBER

Regardless of the venue, such as a Cabela's gun
library (l.), a BATFE Form 4473 (above) must be completed by, and a background check conducted on,
every purchaser of a new ļ¬rearm.
2013

AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

Photo courtesy of Cabela's


http://www.sportsmanswarehouse.com/events http://www.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

American Rifleman - December 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - December 2013

Contents
American Rifleman - December 2013 - Cover1
American Rifleman - December 2013 - Cover2
American Rifleman - December 2013 - 1
American Rifleman - December 2013 - Contents
American Rifleman - December 2013 - 3
American Rifleman - December 2013 - 4
American Rifleman - December 2013 - 5
American Rifleman - December 2013 - 6
American Rifleman - December 2013 - 7
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American Rifleman - December 2013 - Cover3
American Rifleman - December 2013 - Cover4
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