Industry News: February 1999
By Robert M. Hausman
Blount, International, the shooting sports conglomerate, has acquired the assets of the premium optics maker Redfield from Norwest Business credit, a secured lender. Redfield ceased operations last June amid allegations that leaking chemicals from its plant contaminated area homes. Blount plans to relocate Redfield’s manufacturing operations to its Sporting Equipment plant in Onalaska, Wisconsin. Repair service on existing Redfield scopes will be provided by an optics repair center in Miami, Florida.
California-based shooting industry retailers should be aware that the state now has a law banning the possession of body armor by convicted felons. The measure, drafted in response to North Hollywood Bank of America shootout involving two body armor clad gunmen, was signed into law by then Governor Wilson last August. A 21-year old New Jersey man, Kareem Prunty, pled guilty August 12 to a charge of guilty in a gun-running scheme. Four others have been indicted in the case involving the purchase of 62 handguns from a West Virginia dealer and the sale of the guns in New Jersey.
In one of his final executive acts, California Governor Pete Wilson vetoed three anti-gun bills in September. The first would have banned affordable handguns commonly used for personal protection. The second bill would have accomplished the same purpose by establishing arbitrary “safety” and performance standards for firearms. The third measure would have expanded the definition of “assault weapons” under the state’s 1989 Roberti-Roos gun ban.
Industry To Launch $15 Million Public Relations Effort Echoing the call, “The Time Is Now,” leaders of the firearms industry attending the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Shooting Sports Summit recently, voiced their support for a $15 million public relations effort designed to improve the image of firearms ownership. The effort will be funded by a one-half of one percent surcharge on the gross receipts of guns and related merchandise to begin January 1, 1999.
Premium walnut gunstock maker Reinhart Fajen is ceasing production. The firm’s 80,000-square-foot plant in Warsaw, Missouri is being closed due to unsatisfactory financial results. The brand name is expected to live on via a line of gun stocks to be produced by outside sources.
Dealer Inventories Expected To Rise As Result Of NICS One “good” aspect of the five working day waiting period requirement in the Brady Law, was that it allowed smaller dealers to maintain low inventory levels of handgun “samples.” When a customer indicated a desire to buy a particular model, the dealer had five days to order it in time for delivery to the consumer. But with the onset of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), dealers will have to provide “instant” delivery of a desired firearm after the background check is conducted. The higher inventories at the retailer level will help many wholesalers.
Importer KBI, Inc., reportedly intending to capitalize on the success of its recently introduced Charles Daly 1911 standard sized pistol, is planning to release compact version in the near future, according to trade sources.
Wisconsin, one of seven states that did not have a constitutional guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms, got one in the last election. Voters approved an amendment to the state constitution by a four-to-one margin which reads: “The people have to the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.”
Camfour, Inc., a Westfield, Massachusetts wholesale firearms distributor, has been purchased by a group of investors led by Peter A. Picknelly of the Springfield, MA-based Peter Pan Bus Lines firm. The purchase from Al Ferst, who owned Camfour since 1952, was private and no financial terms were disclosed. The distributor will remain at its present location.
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