The National Shooting Sports Foundation has conducted an anonymous survey of our manufacturer and distributor members, to better assist our members during this time of national crisis.
According to the survey results, 80 percent of companies have not closed any facilities in the past month. The vast majority report no cases of COVID-19 among their personnel. Those that did have cases reported undertaking sanitation and preventative measures to stop any potential spread.
Common themes throughout the survey include challenges to meet high-volume orders, with reduced capacity to ship due to the busyness of shipping companies and reduced number of workers both in the facilities and at supplier companies, some of which are overseas.
When asked about inventory levels compared to pre-COVID-19, about 47 percent reported the “same” inventory levels, and another 49 percent reported inventory levels lower than before the pandemic.
At least one-third of manufacturers and distributors are facing challenges obtaining raw materials.
A larger challenge appears to be obtaining component parts and supplies, with 54 percent of respondents citing that as a challenge.
About half of respondents also rated their ability to ship from factories as “more difficult,” with the remaining half characterizing their shipping ability as “the same.”
As firearm manufacturers and distributors continue their essential work to meet the increased demand of federally licensed retailers and the law-abiding citizens nationwide, NSSF remains dedicated to helping our members meet these challenges.
Over the past month, NSSF has been working around the clock to keep firearm and ammunition manufacturers, distributors, retailers and ranges open and able to provide critical products and services to members of the law enforcement and military communities as well as to law-abiding citizens. A full list of NSSF’s COVID-19 resources, alerts and information is on our website here.
Key to the ongoing, multi-pronged approach is NSSF’s hard-fought success in getting the entire industry included on the Department of Homeland Security’s list of essential workers. On the state level, NSSF’s team has been on the ground since “Day 1,” working to ensure that every state adopts similar guidelines and deems our industry as essential to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As local governments tried to force FFLs to close, NSSF was there working to keep our industry’s doors open. Thanks to NSSF’s efforts, the industry is open and running in at least 45 states, including less-than-friendly states such as Illinois and Connecticut.
NSSF’s efforts are continuing as the team learns of sporadic closures driven by local officials. Only a small number of states have forced retailers and ranges to close even if they were practicing social distancing and following CDC guidance.
Staff at NSSF knew being allowed to remain open wasn’t the only obstacle. That’s why NSSF secured guidance from ATF to clarify the definition of “building premises” allowing retailers to lawfully conduct transactions curbside or on the sidewalk to help prevent the spread of the virus. NSSF has also been in continuous contact with FBI NICS and its state-run counterparts to address the problems retailers have reported with the background check process.
This is a critical time for the entire country and the industry. NSSF applauds the manufacturers, distributors, retailers and ranges on the front lines of our industry and stands ready to continue working to help our members provide safety and security for Americans and crucial products for members of the law enforcement and military communities.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.