Old Glory Guns & Ammo expands, despite down market for guns

  • Old Glory Guns & Ammo has opened a new, larger retail space on Fitchburg Road. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • A HK VP9 9-millimeter handgun, available for sale at Old Glory Guns & Ammo in Greenville.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Old Glory Guns & Ammo owner Dana Ryll demonstrates a handgun behind the counter at the new store location. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Old Glory Guns & Ammo has opened a new, larger retail space on Fitchburg Road. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Old Glory Guns & Ammo has opened a new, larger retail space on Fitchburg Road. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Old Glory Guns & Ammo has opened a new, larger retail space on Fitchburg Road. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Old Glory Guns & Ammo has opened a new, larger retail space on Fitchburg Road. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Old Glory Guns & Ammo has opened a new, larger retail space on Fitchburg Road. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Old Glory Guns & Ammo has opened a new, larger retail space on Fitchburg Road. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Old Glory Guns & Ammo has opened a new, larger retail space on Fitchburg Road. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • An HK VP9 9-millimeter handgun is among the inventory for sale at the new Old Glory Guns & Ammo location in Greenville.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 7/24/2019 7:35:37 PM

Old Glory Guns & Ammo has moved into its newly constructed location, nearly quadrupling in size, despite the downturn in demand for firearms and ammunition in the last two years.

The gun shop remains on NH Route 31/Fitchburg Road, but is now in the town of Greenville, located less than two miles from its original location in Mason.

Owner Dana Ryll purchased the former State Line Gun Shop five years ago, but never owned the building it was located in, he said in an interview at Old Glory’s new location in Greenville Tuesday.

“We grew and grew until we were using every square inch of space,” Ryll said. “We had racks hanging from the ceiling. We had regulars who wouldn’t come in on a Saturday or Sunday because we would be so crammed.”

Gun sales have slowed since President Donald Trump’s election – sales typically uptick during Democratic administrations, due to fear of the legislature implementing stricter gun regulations, Ryll said.

Despite the downturn, the gun shop still needed the additional space, Ryll said. And he’s already seen increased foot traffic, due to the increased visibility the new location has from the road. There have been new customers, including locals, who told Ryll and his staff they didn’t know the gun shop was in its previous location.

National firearms sales have been in decline since November 2016, including a fall of 6.1 percent in 2018, according to Reuters.

Sales are still robust, with the National Shooting Sports Foundation estimating $13.1 million firearms sales in 2018 – but considering the peak of $15.7 million sales in 2016, when former President Barack Obama left office, sales have been on a downward slide.

Some retailers and distributors have been hit hard. Ken Caisse, owner of Firearms Etc. in Temple, said he has a smaller shop and smaller inventory, and has seen his sales drop as much as by half since the end of 2016.

“Definitely sales are way down from past years, since Trump got in,” Caisse said. “There’s no demand right now, where as when Obama was in, there was huge demand.”

Both Ryll and Caisse started their stores in the midst of the Obama administration, and Caisse said it was “expected” sales would go down when Trump was elected.

“Perhaps not to this extent,” Caisse said.

Small shops are not the only ones struggling. Nationally, two of the largest firearms distributors in the United States have filed for bankruptcy in the past two years. In June, United Sporting Cos filed for bankruptcy protection, due to falling sales, market disruptions and alleged financial mismanagement. Remington, the oldest gun manufacturer in the country, filed for bankruptcy in March of 2018, also citing, in part, declining gun sales after Trump took office.

Old Glory Guns & Ammo and Firearms Etc. don’t rely on either United Sporting Cos or Remington for their distribution, but Ryll said the fact that two of the largest distributors were struggling financially shows the current climate of the market.

However, Ryll said that while sales aren’t as robust, he enjoys the atmosphere of customers who aren’t spurred by panic purchases. Handguns for personal protection and rifles for target shooting and hunting are still popular sellers, he said.

“There’s no sense of urgency, but because there’s no sense of urgency, people are just buying what they want, rather what they think might be banned. The people that come in are just people who love guns,” Ryll said. “We’ve managed to build up a pretty loyal customer base. We’ve always had loyal, good customers, and good staff and good inventory. Now, we have a good space.”

With the additional space, Old Glory Guns & Ammo has been able to expand its machine shop and add a conference room, which Ryll has offered to local law enforcement for trainings. He’s also scheduled the first of what he hopes will be a regular series of offerings of a trauma medical training course offered to the public, the first of which is scheduled for Aug. 29.


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