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2010 presents challenges, opportunities.

The industry begins 2010 facing a struggling marketplace, high unemployment and an ever-lingering anxiety about Washington, D.C.-based anti-gun assaults. Ironically, these elements fueled greater-than-expected sales in some segments of the industry in late 2008 and most of 2009.

Initially, there was fear of an all-out push by President Obama to make good on his campaign promise to seek reinstatement of the Assault Weapons Ban. That ignited what became known as the Obama Gun Run. Records were set in the number of firearms sold.

Mixed with the uneasiness of firearms being banned was the fear of increased crime, driven by the high rate of unemployment. Self-defense purchases, many of them by women, created brisk business.

These factors continue into 2010.

It would be wise not to be lulled into complacency by a lack, thus far, of Obama administration-driven anti-gun initiatives. Nor should anyone take comfort in Attorney General Eric Holder's reported written comments to senators in November 2009,

indicating the Obama administration may be softening its position concerning pushing for reinstatement of the Assault Weapons Ban.

Remember, Holder told reporters the following in February 2009:

"As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-re lated changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons."

Remember, then-candidate Obama featured on his Web site the statement concerning his and then-candidate Joe Biden's position: "They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets."

We must remain on guard and diligent, and continue to build our resources to address proposed anti-gun efforts, launch counterattacks and defeat assaults designed to destroy gun ownership and the industry.

Keys To Success

While 2010 unfolds with many challenges, it also holds great opportunities. Firearm sales, while not at a white-hot level, continue at impressive rates. Ammunition sales persist at a record pace. Self-defense products are hot. Accessories, especially those for AR-style firearms, are sure sellers. Even the hunting segment is beginning to see movement in the marketplace.

Yes, there are businesses that continue to struggle. But others are more than surviving, they're expanding--finding ways to address a very volatile market.

Good planning, with built-in flexibility, and seeking new ways to reach consumers with quality products--these are the keys to success in 2010.
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Title Annotation:Industry watch
Author:Thurman, Russ
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Jan 1, 2010
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