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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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Louisiana: House Passes Constitutional Carry, Now Headed to Gov. Landry’s Desk for His Signature

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Louisiana: House Passes Constitutional Carry, Now Headed to Gov. Landry’s Desk for His Signature

Today, the House voted 75-28 to pass Senate Bill 1, the NRA-backed constitutional carry legislation that passed the Senate last week.

Louisiana: Constitutional Carry Advances to the House Floor – Final Vote Imminent

Monday, February 26, 2024

Louisiana: Constitutional Carry Advances to the House Floor – Final Vote Imminent

Today, the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee passed the NRA-backed constitutional carry legislation, Senate Bill 1, by a 10-3 vote. The bill now heads to the House floor for a final vote this week. SB 1 ...

Maine: PETITION: Stand with Maine Gun Retailers

Monday, February 26, 2024

Maine: PETITION: Stand with Maine Gun Retailers

Gun Control groups are launching an all-out assault on the Second Amendment in Maine. Their most recent tactic?

Washington: Two Anti-Gun Bills Advance Through the Legislature

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Washington: Two Anti-Gun Bills Advance Through the Legislature

On Tuesday, February 27th, HB 2118, the “FFL Killer” passed the Senate, and SB 5444, "sensitive places" expansion, passed the House. Both bills were amended in the second chamber and now must return to their ...

Maine: Gun Registries, Red Flags, Universal Background Checks and more.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Maine: Gun Registries, Red Flags, Universal Background Checks and more.

It has been a busy week for Maine’s anti-gun politicians. From releasing a new bill that would implement Universal Background Checks and Red Flag laws in Maine, to Rep. Jared Golden (ME-02) pushing for a ...

Minnesota: Two Anti Gun Bills Scheduled to be Heard in Committee

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Minnesota: Two Anti Gun Bills Scheduled to be Heard in Committee

On Thursday February 28th at 10:30 am, House File 601 and House File 4300 will be heard in Room 200 of the State Office Building by the Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee and the Children and ...

South Dakota: Enhanced Conceal Carry Bill Passed in Committee

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

South Dakota: Enhanced Conceal Carry Bill Passed in Committee

Yesterday, Senate Bill 203 was passed in the House Judiciary Committee with a vote of 11-1 and will be heard on the House floor today, February 27th. The bill allows gun owners with enhanced concealed ...

Minnesota: "Assault Weapons" Ban Referred to the Committee on Public Safety Finance and Policy

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Minnesota: "Assault Weapons" Ban Referred to the Committee on Public Safety Finance and Policy

On Monday, House File 3570 was referred to the House Committee on Public Safety Finance and Policy and would ban so called “assault weapons” by expanding upon an existing statute used to define these firearms. The bill ...

Louisiana: Senate Passes Constitutional Carry - Take Action Now!

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Louisiana: Senate Passes Constitutional Carry - Take Action Now!

Today, the Senate passed Senate Bill 1, NRA backed constitutional carry legislation, on a 28-10 vote. The bill will next be considered in the House. Please contact your state representative and ask them to SUPPORT Senate Bill 1.

Georgia: Gun Owner Credit Card Data Privacy Bill Passes House

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Georgia: Gun Owner Credit Card Data Privacy Bill Passes House

On Tuesday, February 27th, House Bill 1018 was passed in the House by a margin of 106-60. HB 1018 prohibits the use of firearm/ammunition specific merchant category codes by payment processors. 

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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.