Your scribe had himself a busy day, delivering copies of GunNews Magazine (click to here to download the latest issue) to Guns Save Life‘s Chicagoland distribution team. In the course of my travels across The Land of Lincoln, I spoke with three Illinois gun dealers. The topic was the Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms carve-out from the prospective Illinois gun dealer licensing law and the companies’ political contributions to anti-gun politicians came up at each location.
I got pretty much the same story from each of the shops I visited. All three described how The People of The Gun have chosen to vote with their wallets when it comes to the two companies behind the Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association.
I asked if a member of the sales team at a suburban Chicago gun shop and range if they were selling many Springfield firearms. He laughed out loud. “The only people still looking at Springfields aren’t ‘gun’ people,” he said. “We did get a nice pad of flyers to hand out to folks encouraging them to oppose SB-1657 though.” There was no shortage of derisiveness in his tone.
Hollow Point, Inc.
Further south, I pulled off Interstate 55 and stopped at Hollow Point, Inc. in Dwight, Illinois. Located in a small town, it’s a charming little gun shop with some good deals and even better service. Alan, the owner, welcomed me warmly.
“You’ve been busy, haven’t you?” he asked when he saw me walk in with a couple of bundles of GunNews.
“You could say that,” I replied. “You’ve probably heard the news about Springfield and Rock River.”
Shaking his head, he proclaimed, “I can’t give Springfields away right now.”
He wasn’t the only gun dealer to report that, but he was the first willing to go on record publicly.
Further south at a larger retailer, the salesperson I talked to pointed to the pack of “Oppose Illinois SB-1657” flyers left for customers. “Have you seen these?” he asked me.
The salesperson told me the shop has sold a few Springfields since the news of their political machinations broke, but only to “non-gun” people. “Most people don’t have a lot of nice things to say about Springfield or Rock River.”
He said the Springfield rep came by on Wednesday, May 17th. When the rep learned the person he wanted to see was unavailable, the rep gave the salesperson a Springfield cap. As soon as Mr. Rep left, the cap found its way into the back room’s circular file.
Further up the food chain, we’ve heard rumors that a major distributor is thinking about dropping the Springfield line once they unload their existing inventory. We’d appreciate reports from other gun dealers and customers around the country. Are Springfield Armory and/or Rock River Arms firearms selling where you live?