NSSF’s Joe Bartozzi and USCCA’s Tim Schmidt on America’s New Gun Owners

Fromt the NSSF . . .

NSSF President and CEO Joe Bartozzi joined USCCA President and Founder Tim Schmidt for a YouTube webcast talking about the phenomenon of the spike in firearm purchases during the coronavirus pandemic. NSSF released the adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check figures and March 2020 topped the record for the busiest month on record for firearm transactions.

Bartozzi watched this recent trend and understands it’s a critical time for the firearm industry.

March 2020 gun background check data FBI

Courtesy NSSF

New gun owners should be welcomed and educated to be confident and encouraged to remain in the gun-owning community. Bartozzi and Schmidt outlined the themes they see in the firearm industry and what it means for the future. Bartozzi explained whether for reasons of national security, public safety or personal security, “This virus has created a paradigm shift in people choosing to exercise their Second Amendment rights and I think it’s absolutely unbelievable.”

Keeping Industry Open

NSSF worked diligently to keep the industry open and working as essential critical services while emergency orders were issued. The firearm industry trade association worked with the White House and Department of Homeland Security to list firearm manufacturers, distributors, retail and ranges in the revised Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) “essential critical infrastructure” guidance. Governors are now agreeing, gun stores must remain open. They are critical for law enforcement and the exercise of critical rights.

“You know the right under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms really begins at the retail counter,” Bartozzi explained. “That’s where you can really manifest that right to take lawful possession of a firearm. So really, if you’re shutting down gun stores…certainly if you’re shutting those down, that’s an infringement on the Second Amendment right.”

Beyond the Counter

Bartozzi stressed that responsible firearm ownership begins with understanding and practicing safe firearm storage. NSSF urges all gun owners to lock firearms when not in use or being carried. That can be as simple as the free gun lock included with every new gun sale, or a variety of lock boxes or safes.

NSSF’s Project ChildSafe is an industry-driven initiative that’s provided 38 million safety kits with free gun locks to more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies for their communities. These efforts are paying real dividends as even though firearm ownership is at an all-time high in America, unintentional firearm fatalities were at an all-time low last year.

New gun owners, though, must know where they can seek out reputable and qualified training.

“Now, more than ever, organizations like yours – the NSSF – and the USCCA, really need to help people, especially all these new gun owners understand that being trained is very important,” Schmidt said.  “It’s so important to know when to use and how to use that powerful tool, that firearm.”

Bartozzi credited the USCCA for the training videos offered on their site, which he said he watches on his own handheld devices.

Growing New Owners

Schmidt credited NSSF’s +One Movement, which is focused on inviting someone who has never had the opportunity to be introduced to firearms to a gun range or out hunting. The idea is to grow one more responsible gun owner. NSSF challenged gun owners to do this. They responded.

“We figured if we could get 100,000 people to sign up, take our pledge and really commit to bringing one new person to the field or the range, we’d be doing really well,” Bartozzi explained.  “At the end of the first year… we had nearly 600,000 people take the pledge. That was absolutely astonishing to us. We’re trying to get that number to a million this year.”

Growing Safe Owners

Schmidt spoke of his recent appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight and the discussion of new gun owners.

“I want to make darn sure that all those brand new gun owners know how to use a gun,” Schmidt explained. “It’s important they know what to do, what not to do, how the thing operates, the laws in their jurisdiction, and now we’re in this situation where now you can’t just go down and sign up for a gun class because so many of them have been shut down.”

Schmidt’s response was to task the USCCA team to build out their online training programs.

“We’ve added more and more resources to our website that are free, but when you’re ready to take it to the next level, there’s tremendous resources on our member website as well,” he said.

Both Bartozzi and Schmidt agreed on the need for continuous training for new and seasoned gun owners. This is where those with experience can make a difference in teaching and demonstrating proper technique and skills. This is the responsibility of all, they said, which also creates new passions for the shooting sports and Second Amendment rights.

comments

  1. avatar Debbie W. says:

    My advice for newbes is to fully understand the penalities associated with firearm misuse, etc. Law Enforcement does not accept excuses or apologies…Now proceed to memorizing the first 4 rules of firearm safety.

    1. avatar LifeSavor says:

      Debbie,

      Good advice. I would add, purchase an insurance plan that will provide legal protection if you ever need to use your firearm defensively. That was the second purchase I made when I bought my first gun three years ago.

      Practice stringent safety, study, get some training.

      Recognize the greatness of our Bill of Rights and vote only for those who will defend it.

      1. avatar Debbie W. says:

        Agreed…Insurance, Bill of Rights and by all means…Vote.

      2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        Today I guided a newbie gun owner as he built his first gun (P80 Glock). Took him three hours to finish the frame and install the LPK, but he now knows what’s inside his gun, more than probably 99% of handgun owners do. First gun he’s ever had, so this entire world is new to him.

        After confirming the fit and function were solid, I took him through the Four Rules, which he had never heard before. Showed him how to safely handle, disassemble, clean, reassemble, holster, unholster, load, and chamber check. Then loaded his first mag with dummy rounds to allow him to manually slide-cycle them through the action and out the port onto the ground. The next step is to go to the outdoor range for actual live fire training, whenever that will be. In the meantime, though, he at least has the basic training I myself never had when I (bought) my first gun almost 30 years ago.

        Due to the ammo shortage, he only has one box of 100 FMJ rounds, so until he’s able to acquire more at some point in the future, we’ll make the best of 80 rounds for live fire (I might gift him a couple extra mags’ worth to allow for additional training time), and use the remaining 20 to keep his two mags filled and at the ready.

        1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

          Well done.

          Might I suggest dry fire practice until he can get to a range? He can work on sight acquisition, target acquisition and trigger pull without using ammo.

        2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Yes, of course, but I’ll go through all of that at the range. How to dry fire, “feel” for the trigger break and reset, etc. I want him to first go through one or two full mags of live rounds to experience the recoil, report, and muzzle rise so he’ll know what he’s working with during the dry fire exercises.

          But yes, you’re correct. Dry firing will be a big help.

    2. avatar The Rookie says:

      Excellent advice.

    3. avatar cgray says:

      Good thing “Law Enforcement” doesn’t even remotely have the final say, huh?

  2. avatar Chief Censor says:

    The fudds are very angry that guns sales doubled overnight, that many lefties are now gun owners, that ARs and larger capacity mags flooded America, that the struggling gun industry just got more money than they have ever seen, that CCW classes are overbooked, that there is lines going around the block, that common folk are buying ammo in bulk, etc.

    The 2A supporters should be excited. They should feel like they won a major victory. This is better than a million people showing up in D.C. to protest for the 2nd Amendment. Americans are buying guns, even those anti gun Americans. That means more women, more minorities, more youth. You know what that means? That means a lot more long guns are being bought for self/home defense and there is a lot more larger capacity mags out in the wild. This is better than what the NRA could ever achieve. Common use, commonly owned. These new gun owners are buying guns not for hunting, not for sport, not for investment, not for collecting, not for recreation… They bought all those evil black guns to kill other humans whom attack their life and property; for self defense.

    This is why the anti gun industry is so pissed during this pandemic. Their best argument right now is: You can’t shoot the virus.

    Yes, we can’t shoot the corona-virus, but we can shoot the criminals. That is why we keep and bear these dangerous black guns.

    Now the challenge is to retain as many of these new gun owners as possible. Don’t fuck it up.

    1. avatar LifeSavor says:

      Chief,

      Nicely said.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        not bad for a stroke.

  3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Okay. We get it. There’s a virus. Social distance. Wash your hands. A shortage of toilet paper.

    There are lots of new gun buyers. The four new safety rules. What a former antigunner should buy. Shortage of ammo. Guns aren’t as easy to buy as the media said (lied about.) Ad nausium.

    For the love of God! Can we talk about something else? It’s boring enough just staying at home all day. Stewart invited me to go fishing with him and his friend Chris today. Chris is a paramedic. I said no for obvious reasons. If this keeps up I’m going to wish I said yes and caught Covid-19. At least it would be something different.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Raining here, again, still, so fishing’s out.
      Going to till the ground for our garden.

      1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Tom, sometimes I envy the rain you guys get in the Pacific NW. We got a 1/2″ last Tuesday. First we had in at least two weeks. It had been bumping 90 every day. Way too warm. Even for Florida this early. I pay for my 91 year old mother’s lawn service. I had them on hold until we had some moisture. Agriculture is the number one industry in my county. Hope this isn’t a portent of things to come.

        1. avatar Well Hung says:

          Your wife gets a 1/2” every time you engage in coitus.

      2. avatar jwm says:

        Tried to go crabbing the other day. Perfect weather. Perfect swells. But they closed the effin ocean here in CA.

      3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Well Hung, you’re right. But, your wife never complained about my six in tounge. Ever wonder why she always says, “Not tonight?”

    2. avatar LifeSavor says:

      Gadsden,

      Well, yeah. Of course. But victory dancing is good exercise…and fun.

      Other than that, yup, seemed kind of slow on TTAG today.

      Cut the lawn, cleared two slow drains, bought some groceries, cooked dinner, read the news, posted on TTAG. Just about to set up the Ion Cleanse for my wife. Then, workout, find a show on Roku, go to bed (shower first).

      1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        The last time a did a victory dance was in the wee hours of the morning when it was declared that Trump had defeated Hillary.

        1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          I did. Typo.

        2. avatar LifeSavor says:

          Same!!!

          The next morning, I went out to Heritage Guild and pumped 400 rounds through paper targets. It was my first gun, my first time at the range (outside of training), and evil had been defeated at the polls. It was exhilerating.

  4. avatar DesertDude says:

    My! Aren’t we gun owners a forgiving bunch! Some of the people buying guns now have called us knuckle-draggers, child killers, ammosexuals, and even worse. They”e encouraged governments at all levels to restrict our rights, seize our firearms, tax us into oblivion, round us up into camps, and even worse. If this crisis ever settles down, do you think these “new gun buyers” will hold onto their new found enlightenment?

    Don’t get suckered. Welcome them politely but warily. Explain to them the consequences of their past political choices in a friendly but firm voice.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Do we still hold a grudge against the Germans and Japanese for ww2? I hold no hatred or anger towards the Vietnamese. My barber is Vietnamese.

      Lets fight the battles in front of us. Not those behind us. Welcome these folks and even if a small % of them convert to our side we’ve won a great victory.

      1. avatar Red in CO says:

        The Germans and Japanese weren’t actively attempting to destroy us as recently as a month ago

        1. avatar jwm says:

          True. And not all the new gun buyers will be our friends. But none of them will if we extend a fist instead of a hand.

        2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          ^^What jwm said^^

      2. avatar frank speak says:

        Vietnam never attacked us and threatened our existence the way the germans and japanese did…

  5. avatar Kyle in Upstate NY says:

    It isn’t just guns. The whole damned prepper culture is getting a huge re-evaluation by lots of regular folk. Turns out most preppers are not silly adult children living in fear of the world ending but rational, educated people who actually have quite a bit of useful knowledge for a time like this.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I do not consider my self a prepper. I’ve seen flood, storm, blizzard, tornado, earthquake. All up close. That does not include man made strife. I’ve seen that, also.

      I consider myself educated by life and prepared for what it can bring.

      1. avatar Kyle in Upstate NY says:

        “Prepper” is a wide term. A lot of what many consider “prepping” is what many others just view (IMO rightfully so) as just basic common sense.

        1. avatar former water walker says:

          I don’t call myself a “prepper” either but being prepared & prudent seems to be a lost art in America. On fakebook I was directing a dude to my favorite gunshop for ammo. He quizzed me how long it’s been since I went there. I’ve prepared by buying ammo(on sale!)every month for a year. And it’s way beyond what I used at the range. Not flush with cash either. Same with food,water and lot’s of other stuff. Oh and jwm I don’t hold a grudge. I just DON’T trust Leftard’s!

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Katrina taught a lot of Americans that ‘civilization’ is a very thin veneer…

      It’s just taken some people longer than others to realize that it wasn’t a one-off issue.

  6. avatar neiowa says:

    Screw the idiot locks. BUILD PUBLIC RANGES. EVERY American should have access to a 300yd range no further away than their guberment school.

  7. avatar N Texas says:

    Check out USCCA or some other type insurance provider for being a weapon , gun owner ,
    If ever have to use in self defense , lawyers , courts will be involved , stay safe , stay alert ,
    God Bless America

  8. avatar Nanashi says:

    Telling someone who just got a gun for protection to lock it up is terrible advice. Not only does it keep the firearm from being used for its intended purpose, it encourages people to support “safe storage” laws that make it mandatory.

    But hey, what else to expect from the NSSF after they endorsed flat out gun control?

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      depends on your situation…if there are kids around or unstable individuals…yes, you should lock it up when it’s not on your person…absent that, we’ll leave it to your discretion

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