I haven’t posted in over a week and it’s driving me crazy. I’m like a crack addict that hasn’t had a fix in a while. Considering my recent SHOT Show binge, the withdrawl’s pretty sucky. The reason for the hiatus: I moved from Fairfax, VA to San Antonio, TX, driving the whole way with my guns and ammo in the trunk and my loyal carry piece on my hip (most of the way, at least). I made a slight detour through Minnesota, stopping for some range time along the way in Wisconsin with some friends we met at SHOT Show. What the gun blogger saw was incredible.
Wisconsin only recently recognized their citizens’ right to keep and BEAR arms. Recognition of the right to carry has had a remarkable effect on the firearms industry.
I stopped by an undisclosed range in Wisconsin (the same one used to make the video at the top of the article) and had a chat with the owner. According to the man, business has picked-up dramatically since the new law went into effect, specifically training classes and concealed carry firearms sales.
In terms of self defense training, the shift in demographics within the classes is the biggest indicator of the law’s effect (according to the shopkeep). Before the law went live, the classes were patronized mostly by OFWGs, 40+ years old. No surprise there. After the law passed, the average age sank closer to 25, including more women. A lot more. The fairer sex now accounts for somewhere around 51 percent of his self-defense business.
Sales have been picking up at the gift (i.e. firearms) shop, too. Smaller handguns of the 9mm and .38 special varieties have been flying off the shelves. The shopkeep said the Kahr Arms CM9 and a S&W J-frame .38 (whose model number escapes me) were his new most popular models; two handguns that seem perfectly suited for CCW. While he’s happy about the extra cha-ching, he’s been encouraging aspiring CCWers to use their existing firearms instead of buying new ones, even if they are gigantic.
The biggest and most obvious indicator of the new concealed carry law: a massive increase in range attendance. The shopkeep says the range doesn’t see it. TTAG reviewer and YouTube rave sensation FateofDestinee (and, yes, her dad) disagree. [Video above.] They say the range used to be lightly attended. Since the law passed it’s been packed, many of whom are firing guns for the first time. [ED: don’t forget to duck] On Wednesday night, there was a waiting list. FOD says it’s an increasingly common occurrence.
Like you didn’t see this one coming. The Badger State liberalized its concealed carry laws (to include law-abiding, tax-paying citizens) and – whaddaya know? – more people are carrying guns. The streets remain river-of-blood free. Meanwhile, a lot more money is running through the registers at gun ranges and gun stores. It’s win-win time in Wisconsin.