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Growing the Gun Community in Unlikely Places

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Growing the Gun Community in Unlikely Places

We mentioned a Beverly Hills gun shop last week in an article about the continued increase in background checks and gun sales. We spoke with the proprietor of that shop, and he offered a very humanized take on a story often told with large numbers and broad strokes concepts.

Russell Stuart is the owner of Beverly Hills Guns. Stuart has appeared in several media interviews in the last few weeks, perhaps because his shop sits in one of the most exclusive zip codes in the country. Beverly Hills may seem an unlikely place for a gun shop to thrive, given the state’s zealously anti-gun policies and the perception of the city’s residents as wealthy celebrities in gated communities. Beverly Hills, like a lot of other areas, is suffering from an increase in crime. The glitz and glamor Beverly Hills make for a clickbait headline but gun stores serve a real need, and shops in seemingly unlikely places offer an opportunity to grow our community.

Stuart opened Beverly Hills Guns in the summer of 2020, when the pandemic and societal unrest presented real threats that gave people cause to take responsibility for their own safety. California is a bastion of anti-gun policies and sentiment but that’s changing, at least on an individual level. Stuart, and other gun dealers in the state, report that even some people with very strong political beliefs who had never held a gun now recognize the value of their own safety. Stuart’s gun shop may be in Beverly Hills, but his story is the same as any other shop in the country. His customers come from every socio-economic class, from the person barely getting by to the very wealthy. Gun owners, including first time gun owners, come from every race, ethnic origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and political affiliation. If nothing else, they have a common interest in protecting themselves and their families – and the protection of the Second Amendment.

Some gun owners in places like California have always kept their status and hobby to themselves, as it isn’t easy to be a gun owner in anti-gun locales. Stuart has heard stories of customers bumping into friends or neighbors in his shop or the parking lot, surprised to discover a shared but unspoken interest. Another increasingly common scenario happens at a get-together or party. Someone mentions a recent firearm purchase and other people chime in to acknowledge that they, too, are gun owners – or want to be.

This reveal is important, as responsible gun owners are our community’s best advocate. Some people may consider themselves anti-gun because that’s the message pushed by local media, their politicians, and perhaps even outspoken activist friends (or professional activists).  Learning that friends, family members, or neighbors are gun owners can help them recognize that gun owners are just like them. A trusted friend could offer a comfortable introduction to firearms. This is how we grow our community.

That is especially important when soft-on-crime policies empower criminals and put people at risk. Gun ownership and carrying are common in the United States and becoming more common when elected leaders and bureaucrats fail their communities.  People, including anti-gun people in anti-gun places, want and should have the options to protect themselves available.

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Monday, January 30, 2023

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On Monday, January 30, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) published the final Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached “Stabilizing Braces” rule for public inspection in the federal register.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

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On Friday, January, 13, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) posted the “final” Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached “Stabilizing Braces” rule to its website.

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Monday, February 6, 2023

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Monday, February 6, 2023

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New Jersey’s losing streak trying to defend its recent gun control laws in court continued last Tuesday when a federal judge – appointed by Joe Biden, no less – issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of a ...

Minnesota: Gun Control Bills Committee Hearing on Friday!

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Minnesota: Gun Control Bills Committee Hearing on Friday!

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Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Invalidates ATF Bump-Stock Rule—Holds that Congress, Not ATF, Declares What the Law Is.

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Monday, January 9, 2023

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On Friday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, invalidated the ATF’s Rule classifying bump stocks as machine guns under the Administrative Procedure Act.

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Friday, February 3, 2023

New Mexico: Radical Gun Restrictions on Deck in Committee Next Week: Magazine Limits, Waiting Periods, Semi-Auto, Suppressor & NFA Bans

On Monday, February 6, the New Mexico Senate Health & Public Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 171 by Sen. Bill Soules (D-Las Cruces), legislation that attempts to supersede federal law and make it a ...

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ATF Mass Denial of Suppressor Form 1 Applications

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Monday, March 7, 2022

ATF Mass Denial of Suppressor Form 1 Applications

On February 28, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) denied approximately 850 Form 1 applications for prospective makers of suppressors. These denials were apparently made due to a change in ATF policy ...

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.