The Bartolo Show—Larry Keane

Short summary: 

John speaks with Larry Keane, the senior VP of Government Relations at the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Larry and John discuss how the trade organizations can better work with the government to prevent this from happening again, including informing the people directly. NSSF is in talks with ATF and the attorneys general in jurisdictions across the country to make sure that firearm licenses are still compliant. They are also working with the Department of Homeland Security to continue to influence policy. 

Long summary: 

Larry Keane has been working with the NSSF to help deliver confidence to gun sellers and gun buyers across the country at a time when things look bleak. One major problem that has been plaguing the trade industry is that inventory levels are declining across the country. Consumers trying to buy ammunition cannot find it, and gun stores are having trouble restocking as sales are surging everywhere. People in the industry are unsure of what to do about this. So, as people are trying to stay informed about what is happening locally and at the state level with legislation, many are still confused about what this means for them. NSSF is trying to push out alerts to retailers and manufacturers to better equip them for the crisis, especially with issues related to production and supply chain. Larry Keane and his association are working together with the NRA to keep putting information into people’s hands during this time.

While discussing some of the ways to fix this moving forward, NSSF wants federal law that makes it clear that in case of an emergency, it would be impossible for state and localities to allow gun stores to shut down.

John proposes ways to build the conversation between the public and gun-owners at large because the media has failed them. John also thinks that some of the marketing strategies of groups like the NRA are ultimately out-dated and fail to really reach potentially paying members. The problem is that people don’t have the information that they need. Neither the government nor the trade organizations are doing enough to ensure that their paying base knows just what the hell is going on. 

Comms directors need to put the tough information out there now. Groups like the NRA need to be creating content channels so that people at home can be better informed about what the NRA is doing right now to help this. John says it needs to be more than repeating “fight for freedom”—people need to be informed and they need it now.

Timestamps:

1:15 — How has the COVID-19 shutdown affected the firearms and shooting sports 

industry?

4:00 — Larry describes what’s going on behind the scenes right now for NSSF, in terms 

of advocating for firearm policy.

7:00 — The unseen work is educating the people.

10:30 — Marketing for FFLs is a failure because people don’t know what to do.

15:00 — The NSSF should have a streaming channel that streams into the gun shows.

20:00 — We need to be creating content platforms now—it comes down to resources.

23:00 — The biggest mistake we’ve made as gun-owners is we’ve relied to heavily on 

photos and press releases.

27:30 — The anti-2A measures are a joke, such as the “list” of banned guns that 

originated from the attorney general in Massachusetts. 

30:00 — We have to push the governing bodies to stop making anti-gun “laws” if they care about their constituents.

33:00 — John believes in national reciprocity as a principle.

37:00 — Some of the things that need to change coming out of the crisis.

42:00 — The NSSF has been in contact with the NRA through this.

45:00 — People want to protect themselves.

49:00 — Larry predicts there will be a sharp decline in gun violence in the coming 

months as people continue to educate themselves.

Key quotes:

“There aren’t enough man-hours in the day [to educate the people].”

“The last two weeks have been top ten days all time [in gun sales].”

“The NSSF, the NRA, whatever the organization is…why aren’t you guys putting content out?”

“The CEO of one ammunition manufacturer said…the other day was the largest shipping day they’ve ever had in the history of the company, and it’s been around for quite a while.”

“We always say…this is why you’re supposed to be a member.”

“When things get back to normal, I’m going into that media department with a flamethrower.”

“Every single FFL in the country should belong to a trade association.”

“You cannot have conversations in ivory towers.”

“Get involved. Become a gun voter.”

“These people are actively seeking education.”

Contact:

Navigate to NSSF.org to become a member.