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The State of Our Hobby

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Hammy
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The State of Our Hobby

#1 Post by Hammy » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:25 am

Hey all. Just have to vent. I live in west-central Illinois, and I'm starting to think we've been transported to Cali. I was in a small gunshop in the Capitol City and the owner was telling me that he doesn't know how much longer he's going to be in business. Illinois has done what it feels is the first step in reducing gunplay in Chicago by clamping down on dealers downstate. There may be one or two dealers in Chicago, where as we all know the gun laws are very strict but the shootings continue. What the dealer was telling me is just unbelievable. To be a dealer in this state, you have to have a state-issued permit, at $1500 every three years. You also have to have an audio/video security system that basically covers the entire sales area. Audio/video from this system has to be stored on the cloud in a retrieval system that can be accessed by overwatchers. That is going to cost him around $80 a month, and it has to be saved for 90 days. Then, you have to electronically store the transaction paperwork to a certain site that can be accessed by the overwatchers. This is going to cost him money each month. The inventory has to be entered into another site, accessable by you know who. There's more funds being paid out. There was something else but I can't remember what it was. He has a small shop, he told me he may be getting out of sales but will keep the gunsmithing part going. What got the conversation started was that I went in to see about selling an M1 and a Mosin to help pay some medical bills. He offered an amount that was half then what I paid for the M1 when I bought it from him 4 years ago. He has quite a bit of inventory, and when I asked about it he said he's been getting calls from other small shops in the area who can't afford to pay for all the requirements. He said prices are depressed because a lot of inventory is getting dumped for what they can get out of it. Another shop across town has already gotten rid of his inventory. He had a #4Mk1* that I've been slobbering over for a few months, he was asking $425, he sold it for $295 out the door. The first dealer I was talking to said that as of the first of the year Illinois had 2400 dealers state-wide, after the end of the year it's estimated to be down to 1100. Who knows how many will be around in 3 years when the license comes up for renewal? And I'll be willing to bet the Chicago situation won't be any better. Sorry for the rant, I just can't see how shutting down legal gun shops get's guns out of the wrong hands. It's like the old saying, when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Jim....
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Re: The State of Our Hobby

#2 Post by HectorFuego » Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:23 pm

I think another part of the problem is that not as many young people are taking up the hobby. Simple supply and demand economics. I was at an NRA Action Pistol event at my club a couple of weeks ago, and at least half the guys there were over 50 (I'm 72) and only one guy looked like he was under 40. Also, there was not one woman participating. The young folks who do want to buy a gun, usually end up at Academy or Bass Pro. I'm sure you could negotiate a better deal at a small shop. but the convenience of the big box store is what draws them in.

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Re: The State of Our Hobby

#3 Post by 72 usmc » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:28 am

I see the 25-45ish group that collects military gear, knifes, bayonets, patches, uniforms, helmets --but not firearms. I see less hunters, unless they are young Menominee at the college. But high school in the city, few take off to go deer hunting. In the 1950s-1970s the entire class was almost empty of boys and a few gals during deer hunting. This is a thing of the past. Few actually hunt ducks or deer. There is no longer bow & arrow shooting in gym class and no .22 caliber rifle shooting for boys. Heck you could bring in an old gun to refinish a stock in woods class or do repairs in the machine shop class. No more. Only on the reservation do kids still have rifles for hunting in their cars at school. They still respect the flag, religion, and elders & know that a rifle is a tool to be handled with responsibility.

Gun shows are geriatric wards. Prices are nuts -too high and ammo is costly. Some gun shows do not allow ammo or gun powder- smokeless or black due to insurance costs. There is no more fun getting a $70 Mosin or Turk mauser at the local farm store to shoot at the farm. More are into paint ball or airsoft toys. Few have fathers, or have fathers that go fishing, trapping camping, hunting, or sport/target shooting. Few go into the service. Dealer cost & fees are also nuts. Too few FFLs. STORE FRONTS COST BIG BUCKS. If Democrats kill off private sales, then guns shows will be dead because few will pay the extra cost of an FFL transfer. Paper work is OK if it was free and the FFL transfer also free, then most would not care about a background search on the seller and buyer. I believe the added cost will be the killer like tax on ammo or things like other fees to dissuade a buyer from getting into sports shooting. Heck if you have a C&R , or conceal carry, there should be no need for the cost of another background check. Maybe they need a B&R( black rifle fed. license like a C&R). They also need to consider most military & cowboy firearms produced up to WW II as obsolete and extend the relic/antique status. They also need to allow for a federal conceal carry, good in all states, but I do not see that happening.

Then you got the public & private rifle ranges closing due to lead complaints- pollution, noise, liability and an anti gun political climate. With insurance risks & liability most public county owned ranges are closing. Our private range went from $50 to $125 and no guests. Less places to bring a friend that wants to learn how to shoot unless you live on a farm. People are into golf- there should be a background check for golf clubs and baseball bats :lol: :lol: :lol: I'd like to see people scream if the transfer/private sale of used cars and trucks had to go through an auto dealer with mandated safety check & its associated fees to complete a sale. :roll: :roll:
Last edited by 72 usmc on Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The State of Our Hobby

#4 Post by Rapidrob » Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:40 pm

Over the years I have only had five young people shoot with us. Only one ever stayed with my club. They found out real quick that shooting farther than 25 yards was a skill and not a video game.
I'd love to have the young folk show up and shoot with us,their minds are so poisoned against firearms there just aren't very many out there where I live.
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Re: The State of Our Hobby

#5 Post by 72 usmc » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:03 pm

They found out real quick that shooting farther than 25 yards was a skill and not a video game.
I am always surprised at some of the first time CC students that think you just shoot the pistol and and hit a large CMP rifle target at 25 feet. Most miss, too many movies... I agree, but we are getting a few more young gals that CC and are going to the indoor ranges to actually target practice so they can hit something. One was surprised her laser grip, snub nose 38, did not work out side in the sun. She had to learn how to use an iron sight. Totally different from inside. Then we teach them the rush job- pick a pistol up, aim, and fire as if someone was running up on them. A whole different story under stress & a time factor. :shhh: Some buy autos and do not have the arm/hand strength to pull the slide back, then go after a revolver. First time buyers that did not actually work the action. Dealer sharks just out to sell expensive pistols. We have a class on gun safety, cleaning, loading, aiming ... shooting prior to actual shooting. Some gals & a few guys have never had a hunter safety class. Some it's the first time shooting. :doh: :think: They take a 3 day course, none of the 4 hour classes stuff.
But then we also have a BAM out of the Corps that can shoot a tick off a dog if she had too. Eyes like a hawk. Pity the fool that messes with her while she is jogging in Milwaukee. :shifty: :shifty:
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Re: The State of Our Hobby

#6 Post by bitrclngr » Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:43 am

I've met several people at gunshows that are younger than me and collect military firearms. I see younger people at shooting ranges frequently. Some with milsurp stuff. It's not as bad as some would have you believe. There is interest in the older stuff from younger people.

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Re: The State of Our Hobby

#7 Post by Hammy » Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:54 pm

72, it's kind of funny that you said background checks for trading in/buying a vehicle. In Illinois, you pay taxes when you buy a vehicle. Now, when you trade a vehicle in, you have to pay a tax on what the trade-in value is. Double taxation without representation, and they wonder why the population of the state is dropping.
As to younger folk getting involved with the shooting sports, I taught all 3 of my kids firearm safety, starting with the good ole Red Ryder bb gun. When they proved they could handle it safely, they stepped up to .22's. Then on to the good stuff. My oldest daughter is a good shot, my son ain't too shabby, my youngest daughter is very good, hell my wife surprised them all with her prowess. To my great delight, my kids have called out violations on their friends who lapse on their gun safety.
I guess my first post was more about the disappearing gun shops in this state, and how I hope I don't have to drive two or three hours north or south to find a shop to browse and buy from. I still can't wrap my coconut around the idea that squeezing dealers out will prevent gun violence. I have bought a couple of rifles at different gunshows over the years, and I always had paperwork to fill out and then the waiting period. I myself have not seen anyone buy one and walk out with it unless they had paperwork proving they were FFL holders. I have heard guys begging to be allowed to take it now, but they were not allowed to. Oops, suppers ready.
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Re: The State of Our Hobby

#8 Post by shoggoth80 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:19 pm

I'm in my late 30s, and 9 times out of 10 non surplus, or non military guns don't hold my interest. Generally the older the better in my book, though there's a few exceptions. I could be an oddball or outlier, but I like my stuff unbutchered, and with history behind it.

That said, I don't know a lot of younger folk who have an interest in guns, let alone the old stuff. There's a couple exceptions, but most I know who like milsurp are generally older than I am.

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Re: The State of Our Hobby

#9 Post by jardows » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:11 pm

Just really need to get out and meet people, invite them in, etc. The university where I am currently working and enrolled in a Master's course has their own gun range. I went shooting there this weekend, and it was mostly younger, college kids. Plenty of people took interest in my 98k, and one of the guys came up to me and was talking about his Yugo mauser that was missing a firing pin. I'm helping him in locating one, and may just be able to get another young person hooked on milsurps!

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