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As RF recounted back in September, former contributor Dan Baum’s contention is that the US firearms industry is demographically doomed. Old Fat White Guys will be dying off with with too few interested in backfilling the following cohorts as gun owners. Or something. Except that, if you frequent the Intertubes at all, state after state is reporting ever-increasing sales and NICS check volumes continue to rise. The latest example: Maine. As details, due to the relentless volume, the state’s background checking gnomes can’t seem keep up to a state mandated thirty day turn-around time for concealed carry licenses . . .

No matter how quickly the state’s little gerbils spin their wheels, applicants are waiting anywhere from six to twelve weeks for a response.

Maine towns and cities that handle their own applications for permits to carry concealed handguns are telling permit seekers they should expect to wait more than 30 days.

In Auburn, the wait is averaging around six weeks; in Lewiston, applicants are told it can take as long as 12 weeks.

As more people buy handguns, more gun owners are applying for permits.

Gun dealers say demand for handguns has shot up.

What’s not to love? Other than the delay, of course.

“Sales have been very good,” said Jamie Pelletier, manager of Reid’s Guns and Cigars in Auburn.

At G3 Firearms in Turner, handgun sales have doubled over the past year, owner Chris Jordan said.

Enrollment at firearm-safety courses has kept pace with brisk sales. Pelletier said every class offered by the shop has been full.

Paul Mattson, a National Rifle Association certified firearms instructor in Harrison, said he has seen demand for his course in personal protection climb by nearly one-third over the past three years.

Dan and other deniers will dismiss the Maine examples as nothing more than anecdotal. But no matter how loudly they cover their ears and whistle past the graveyard of gun controllers’ dreams, those dreams continue to be deep sixed at an alarming rate.

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  1. Okay, this is anecdotal, but there are so many young guys shooting at the local range, there’s almost no room left for the OFWGs.

    Guns are on the way back to becoming an important part of popular culture. FPSRussia, Tex Dribbles (or whatever his name is), and a host of online commandos are spreading gun love among the twenty-somethings, and they’re responding. In droves.

    Guns are the new cool.

    • +1
      My wife and I took and passed our Ky. CCDW class yesterday. There were 32 people in just this one class and NOT ONE was an OFWG! (I’m just old). Except for the two of us, the average age appeared to be late 20’s with a good mix of white, black, asian, and hispanic–this is Kentucky remember.

      There were two early 20’s black women who admitted they were total newbies who just took up pistol shooting in the last few weeks. They put everything on paper so someone must have taught them the basics pretty quickly.

    • I agree with Ralph. Unfortunately guns are cool with too many young people, guys I should say.

      But, you keep confusing requests for NICS background checks with number of gun sales or worse yet number of gun owners. It’s not even close.

      • “But, you keep confusing requests for NICS background checks with number of gun sales or worse yet number of gun owners. It’s not even close.”

        Each state keeps its own records regarding weapons sales, and some states do a pretty poor job of it. Consequently, the ATF and the FBI accept the validity of the use of NICS checks as a proxy for sales figures.

        In other words, no, it’s not perfect, but it’s as close as you’re going to find.

        If you doubt those figures, there’s one more way to get fairly accurate numbers – look at the excise tax receipts.

        Check out this graph:

  2. If you make someone wait a half hour for an abortion, the outrage police kick into high gear and the lawyers trample over each other to get through the courthouse door. But here you are telling people they have to wait 3 months to exercise a right that is spelled out in the constitution. Something is wrong here.

    • Hmmm. I don’t really see the correlation there fella. Maybe we should compare to driver’s licenses or something a bit less biological?

      • The rallying cry of the feminists has been “A right delayed is a right denied!”

        Well, berts is just taking them at their word(s). To delay the exercise of a right is to deny people the exercise of that right.

        Their words, not berts’.

        • BULLSEYE !! Dyspeptic Gunsmith!!

          Abortion is not even mentioned in the constitution, it was created out of penumbras an emanations. Yet any minor restriction or delay is met with hysterical rants from liberals.

          But the right to bear arms is specifically listed in the constitution, yet those same liberals have no problem with a 90 wait for a handgun permit.

          Take any other constitutional right and try to limit it. Tell a newpaper they can publish news only after a 24 hour delay. Or tell a church they can hold services, but first they have to apply for a permit and wait 90 days for approval. You couldn’t pull that nonsense, but liberals will throw out all kinds of roadblocks, delays, conditions ($100 application permit?? Psychological evaluations??) in order to hinder or outright deny gun rights. It’s an outrage.

  3. It should be interesting to see if the Millenials or Gen Y or Echo Boomers will have different ideas about guns than the Jane Fonda Generation did.
    I think the winds of change are blowing and I think more people are realizing that Gun Control has been a failure.
    I am not really sure that Millenials see the government as a Panacea that Governor Moonshine’s generation did.

    • Tom, I’m a member of the jf generation, and I’ve seen the light. Many of us have. In my youth, I thought all those old farts were full of sh*t and I didn’t care what they thought or said.

      I shoot, I own guns, and I store food and other products against the time they may not be so easily available. I have not denied the oath I took in 1972 to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America; I hold it dearer now than ever. I’ve done my best to raise our children similar values to what I was raised with. I believe we’ve done a good job. My son is still in high school and gets flack from some of his teachers for being a conservative. Oh well.

  4. I can’t wait for the OFWGs to be replaced by the next generation – maybe then a visit to the LGS or range won’t seem like inadvertently stumbling into a Ku Klux Klan meeting, and reading a gun blog won’t burn the eyes with the Timothy McVeigh anti-gummint, cop hater rhetoric that is so unfortunately prevalent.

    Remember, people don’t change their minds. They grow old and die and are replaced by people with different ideas.

  5. I’m 26 and I gotta ask. Where the hell are all these Old Fat White Guys I keep hearing about? Seriously, 26 and the only OFWG with a gun I’ve seen is our local sheriff. My freinds are between 20 and 28 and we’ve been gun owners since our early teens. We all have little brothers and sisters that we taught how to shoot when they were young. Everytime I go into a gun store, a pawn shop, or even the local flee market, it’s always peaple in their 20s buying guns. There was even a turkey shoot at the American Legion Post not to long ago with shooters as young as 14 and nobody over 30. Has anyone actually seen one of these OFWGs with guns or are they just a legend like Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster. At least Nessy has pictures and Big Foot has grainy videos. Until I see proof, I won’t believe they ever existed.

  6. While I doubt that guns sales are completely doomed in America, background checks aren’t the correct metric to measure gun sales buy. The correct metric to measure guns sales by is guns sales to private individuals at local gun shops.

    Similarly volume at any individual gun shop isn’t a valid measure. Gun sales at local shops in my area are up, but the local Wal-Mart took out its gun counter and a couple of other shops have closed. Has the total # of sales gone up? I don’t know, but since Wal-Mart decided to close its gun counter and a couple shops went tits up my guess would be that total sales are down. That’s just a guess as I don’t have the numbers.

    Wait times for CC permits is also not a valid metric for anything other than how long it takes to get a permit. Cities and counties are laying off people so it could be that there’s fewer people to do the checks and that the checks take longer do to reduced staffing. However the story you linked to about permits in Maine contained this gem: The number of applications for concealed-carry permits processed by his agency shot up 46 percent from 2008 to 2011, he said. Bingo, there’s your valid metric. But only on CC permits, not gun sales, and only in Maine.

    • Firearms related deaths in Maine from 19999 to 2006 look pretty flat with a high of 113 and a low of 82. Unfortunately Google doesn’t have any newer data.

    • “The correct metric to measure guns sales by is guns sales to private individuals at local gun shops. ”

      How about the metric of gun sales to the gun stores by the manufacturers – you know, the eeevil corporations who are only interested in profits? S&W, Ruger, Remington, FN, SIG, etc. have all started making and selling those eeeevil “assault rifles”, concealable handguns, and 1911 clones, and they have a hard time meeting the demand. Ammo factories (CCI here in Idaho) have added shifts of workers to respond to the demand for ammo. All of this has increased since late 2008 (hmmm, wonder what hapened then?). Firearms and ammo makers are the only manufacturing sector with consistently increased sales over the 4 years of Obama’s Recession. If gun sales and gun ownership is declining, where are the gun stores hiding all of their unsold inventory? And why can’t I buy an FN .308 for less than $1500?

  7. I think this is true, though I also like Dan Baum. My recent visit to the “big” Portland gun show found plenty of OFWGs (whom I increasingly resemble, much to my chagrin), but mostly they were the guys at the tables around the edges. Only one guy I met went off on an unprovoked right-wing rant. I nodded and smiled. Lots of young, long-haired, body-modified people, and even some (gasp) non-white people were checking out the wares.

    I think that lots of young (and not-so-young) people have taken an interest in arming themselves. They see that the Democratic Nanny State and the Republican Daddy-Knows-Best State are not going to look out for their interests. We all see the daily erosion of all of our constitutional rights.

    However, these armed young folks are not necessarily signing on to the Right Wing, Fox News orthodoxy that some would like to think is permanently tied to gun rights. Nor are they signing on to my more lefty populist worldview. They just want to protect themselves. Also, I’ve heard that guns are fun.

    I’ll agree with Ralph that the more odious TTAG commentors (white supremacists, etc.) seem to be younger, but there is a certain amount of white supremacism among a lot of TTAGers – not overt, but simply an underlying assumption about the way things are. Examine your assumptions.

    Let’s get our freedom back, then we’ll have an honest argument about politics.

  8. Michael says:
    While I doubt that guns sales are completely doomed in America, background checks aren’t the correct metric to measure gun sales buy.

    Exactly. I live in SC where background checks aren’t required for private sales as long as both people involved are SC residents. Out of 7 rifles and 4 hand guns in my safe, only one pistol is registered. Also if I buy 2 guns at the same time only one background check is done. That alone throws off the numbers. Wait times for permits could be anything from being understaffed to just plain laziness on the part of the county or city. If you realy want to see the future of guns, use your eyes. CC classes filled with young people. OWFGs can’t get range time in because of all the young people. And I’m sure most of the OWFGs (if they exist) have children that they are passing a love of firearms on to. Also to pair-o-dee, I don’t know what range you go to that is like a Klan meeting, but you should find a new place. I personly haven’t seen anything like that around here. As a matter of fact, there is a pretty even mix of differant races on the local range.

  9. Also to pair-o-dee, I don’t know what range you go to that is like a Klan meeting, but you should find a new place. I personly haven’t seen anything like that around here. As a matter of fact, there is a pretty even mix of differant races on the local range.

    My last trip to my local indoor, I commented on this to my friend. Six lanes, in order: a young white guy and two girls, my friend and I, an OFWG, two black guys, two guys and a girl speaking Spanish, and three Brits. I don’t think you can find a much more accurate example of “melting pot.”

  10. I am a OFWG. But I notice in all the rambling I do around the Internet, that the vast majority of the shooters, are young guys and now gals. I see 30 somethings as the majority and that means they will be gun fans for at least 40 more years. 40+ years of a large number of shooters is NOT a decline in the popularity of guns.

    Be interesting to see the ages of those background checks.


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