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Shooting Industry November 2012 - Page 30
tability For fi ro P d e d d A s te a re C t e Shifting Mark Dealers By Greg Staunton I n today’s market, many dealers consider safety products to be the first add-on to every firearm purchase. From eye and hearing protection to gunlocks and mini- and full-size safes, protecting consumers and everyone who may come into contact with a firearm is of paramount importance. In fact, today’s younger gun owners, many of whom are women, demand it. At Nagel’s Guns in San Antonio, Texas, the sales staff does not allow a firearm purchaser to leave their shop without filling out a form that contains 30 safety tips. This drives the safety message home in a concrete way. “Especially with first-time buyers, we really try to make them understand the safety part of owning a gun. We recommend safety products to them, whether or not they buy them here,” said Mark Mercer, Nagel’s assistant manager and 30-year firearm business veteran. That same strong emphasis on safety and safety products is also in place at Town Gun Shop Inc., which has been in business for 30 years and has stores in Collinsville and Richmond, Va. “We make safety a good option. Some smaller dealers may have the mindset that if they just sell that gun, they’re good. But safety is an important part of it, especially for new shooters,” said Kary Manion, retail manager at Town Gun Shop. And safety products are good for business. “They are very profitable add-on items,” Manion said. “And a lot of companies are making an effort to market safety products specifically to youth and women, even making some of the items in pink.” Are there differences in how younger consumers and women view the issue of firearm safety? Mercer says he doesn’t have to sell the “new generation” of gun owners on safety, whereas the older generation — those who grew up in an era where guns were a natural way of life — may need some encouragement. Additionally, more and more women are becoming firearm owners today, and they are helping to push the safety message, according to Mercer and Manion. The Browning Sporter Series Pro Steel Safe is available in four models, ranging in gun storage capacity from 23 to 60 firearms. Safes feature a 12-gauge steel body and 1,200-degree, 45-minute fire protection. New Attitudes 30 NOVEMBER 2012 Subscribe to SI DIGITAL www.shootingindustry.com