In the United States, small arms manufacturers booming despite the violence

Despite the killings, arms sales continue to increase in the United States. The American firearms and ammunition industry represented 70 billion dollars in 2021. In 20 years, sales have increased by 694%.

One of his clients ordered a personalized gun from him when each of his children was born: Buoyed by demand, independent gun makers like Tony Hook’s business in the northeast of the United States, are booming and are making a place for themselves alongside the giants of the sector.

“So here is his son’s name and his date of birth” engraved on a rifle, shows the boss of RTD Arms & Sport on his phone, in his workshop located in Goffstown, in the State of New Hampshire.

Sometimes customers request that a passage from the Bible or the American flag be engraved.

“It’s like stitching your name on your baseball glove or having custom stripes made on your car,” the boss explains, adding that the ability to personalize the item attracts a clientele that wouldn’t ” never thought before” to buy a gun.

Production tripled

The millions of firearms produced each year in the United States are mostly produced by the behemoths of the sector, but more and more small operators have flocked to a market whose production has almost tripled between 2000 and 2020, reaching 11.1 million annual units.

These newcomers can produce parts for large companies like Sig Sauer or Smith & Wesson, enthusiasts and gun shops, or make specialized or custom guns themselves.

The recent killings in Buffalo (10 African-Americans killed in a supermarket on May 14) and Uvalde Elementary School in Texas (19 children and two teachers killed) have reopened the debate on the scourge of gun violence. , which causes about 40,000 deaths a year in the country, including nearly two thirds of suicides. But the culture of firearms is rooted in the country’s history, and the right to possess it guaranteed by the Constitution.

As a result, the market is sprawling. According to an industry trade organization, NSSF, the US firearms and ammunition industry was worth $70 billion in 2021. At RTD Arms & Sport, a gun can cost between $1,295 and $1,695.

According to US federal statistics, the number of so-called “type 7” permits, which authorize the production and sale of weapons, increased by more than 694% between 2000 and 2020.

To obtain these permits, applicants must provide photo and fingerprints. And the federal government conducts a background check and an in-person interview.

“The problem is the people”

In New Hampshire, Matrix Arms is one such manufacturer, and its boss Allen Farris has deemed the market saturated for at least six years. Yet his business is holding up, as seen in the row of machines producing gun parts.

Each week, the company produces between 4,300 and 5,300 rifle receivers, says Mr. Farris. “The New Hampshire state motto is ‘Live Free or Die’ and I think the gun industry is true to it,” he added.

Tony Hook and Allen Farris assure it: they absolutely do not want the weapons they sell to be used to commit a crime or a killing. Likewise, they claim to follow the law — and Tony Hook says he trusts his instincts when it comes to reporting someone at risk to authorities. But for them, weapons are not the problem.

“The problem is people. Whether it’s a gun, a knife, or a rock…Cain didn’t kill Abel with a gun. He killed him with a rock,” Tony says Hook.

Allen Farris adds: “If someone feels like going out and trying to kill people, they could choose a million different ways.” “Obviously I don’t want my guns to be used that way, but there’s nothing I can do to prevent it when it happens,” he adds.

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