Wow, I feel so much safer now. (snark)

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We’ve been talking a lot with would-be buyers in states like California and Massachusetts. Illinois. Jersey. Etc.

And while I could simply be annoyed with these lost sales purely from a disgruntled capitalist perspective, it’s also the fact that these arbitrary, draconian laws are not only pointless – but they don’t do a single thing to make society at large safer. Truly.

This was a rough year for the lowly scary black rifle. True, the AR has been the weapon of choice in a few very unfortunate, high-profile incidents. But the media bias that came with it was nothing more than trying to find a lightning rod – a boogeyman for the anti-firearms contingent to rally around. To hear them tell it, if you banned the AR-15, you’d wipe out all violent crime overnight.

There’s just a few problems with that narrative. For one – and these are actual statistics and facts here – rifles are used in an absurdly small percentage of violent crimes involving firearms. As in, under 3%. And let’s also remember that the 3% is ALL rifles – from Paw Paw’s varmit-destroyer 22lr to the most tacticool of skawwy bwack wahfuls. And the second problem? Banning the weapon from lawful use only applies to those who lawfully use them. You know what else is illegal? Mowing down a nightclub full of people. That didn’t seem to stop Omar Mateen.

Let’s also remember that states don’t build enormous border walls, nor do they maintain moats filled with 30-round-magazine-sniffing alligators. So if you’re a would-be spree killer in say… California… getting those nefarious 30-round “clips” is only as difficult as driving to say… Nevada.

Here’s the point I’m driving at. All of these laws and bans are sold to the public under the guise of making our world more safe and do nothing except stop responsible owners from enjoying the same freedoms as those who ignore the law. And, yeah, sure, it sucks we can’t ship our product to 10% or so of the country – but it sucks even more that there are people out there who really think these absurd restrictions are going to save a single life.

Like it or not, we’re living on the precipice of a post-apocalyptic societal collapse. Assuming that it could happen at any given time, I’ll take my AR with a 40-round mag, thank you very much.

Oppression: The Board Game! (alt: “Starting A Gun Company”)

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Many lifetimes ago, I was eeking out a living in Chicago as a bike courier by day. And, to be fair, I really did enjoy it most of the time. Gleefully cutting through traffic with relentless combinations of moving, ethical and professional violations for about sixty miles a day was relaxing and left me with enough money for a couple beers after paying my rent.

Thing is, as a bike courier, everyone in Chicago hates you. Pedestrians. Other cyclists. Cars. Cabbies. Cops. Fuck… PIGEONS. But, beyond the temporary era of a semi-cut physique, I owe my former career another debt of gratitude.

Doing a job where everyone hates you – well, except your customers – helps prepare you for starting a firearm company.

You think your hyper-liberal cousin judges you for your position on the Second Amendment? Try walking into a bank and saying, “Hi, I’m so and so and this is a big pile of money and I’d like for you to hold on to it while I start my gun company.” Most of the time you’re lucky if all they do is tell you to leave. People take it PERSONALLY, like you added “…so serial killers can mow down busses full of schoolchildren at 900 rounds per minute” to the end of each and every sentence.

Oh, and you’re gonna need some other stuff. Like a place to conduct business. A place to process your credit card transactions. A place to insure you against acts of god, lawsuits and locust plagues. Don’t forget a line of credit.

Yeah… so… let me know how that went for you. Because even here in the proud deep red State of Kentucky, there was friction at every turn. Eventually you learn to back up a step so the door doesn’t get slammed directly on your face. True, there are numerous businesses that are sympathetic to the firearms industry. But they too are beholden to corporate policies. There are big box retailers out there who won’t let area strip malls lease to “businesses which lessee finds objectionable”. “Objectionable” basically being Pauly’s Porn Emporium, Happy Harry’s House Of Human Trafficking… and gun shops. Oh, and payday lenders. I forgot those were still a thing.

Oh, and if you’re gonna be actually manufacturing these guns? Better make sure you’ve got all your zoning variances sorted out – because there’s someone, somewhere working in the city who is trying to find a way to squeeze you out of it.

It’s been quite a journey getting GNAR this far and we are literally, in the eyes of the world, just getting started. Maybe another day I’ll have a few things to say about the shiftless layabouts and fast-talking charlatans you encounter on the long road to launching your own firearms company. But we busted out a dozen killer GNAR-Designed models today and I still need to do the photos and descriptions.

It’s Okay – We’ve Never Heard Of You, Either.

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A little backstory might be appropriate here. A little over a year ago, I had no plans of starting a rifle company. I had a good job in the advertising industry. Most people liked me, most of the time. I traveled a lot. People called me “Mr. Snell”. And, for all the people telling me how I “had it made”?

I was fucking miserable.

Maybe it was due to realizing I wasn’t really DOING anything. Selling “thinking” as a commodity seemed hollow. The office and client politics took up 90% of my time – never really solving problems, but instead standing around a problem talking about how it should be solved.

Due to the routine executive power-grabs that are standard protocol in the advertising industry, my big mouth and big ideas soon became unwelcome. And with my stock buy-out under one arm and some pictures of my kid under the other, I walked out of the advertising business for the last time.

So what the shit does that have to do with making guns, anyways?

That’s a good question and, thanks to answering it at least five times a day, I have it pretty down. I wanted to start a company that makes actual things. And it seemed like every time I went to my local range, friends and employees would always ask what I was building. Anyone who was in the lane next to me wanted to know about the rifle I was shooting and many were surprised to see just how customizable the AR platform truly is.

Depending on what you think of us, you can either curse or thank my girlfriend, Angela. To be clear, GNAR was not her idea. She had just heard me babbling about how cool it would be to do a rifle company completely unlike any other rifle company – both with regards to both the product we make and the way we market it.

So here we are, November 18, 2016. We didn’t quite get live in time to enjoy some of the panic buying but that’s fine. At least we know we can still be in business this time next year.

Our goal, the thing that gets us out of bed every day, is putting a customized, tricked-out AR within reach. With no disrespect to our friends in the $1500 price range OR the $500 price range, we noticed an opportunity right between the two, so that’s where we’re setting up camp.

Look at it this way, you can go get that $549 special and yes, it’ll “run what’cha brung”. But it’s a pupal stage of YOUR gun. Needs a free-float handguard. A better grip. A trigger that doesn’t feel like stale licorice. Oh, and a 1MOA barrel. And don’t forget a couple hundo for that professional coating job after you realize, “man, rattle can paint jobs really do look like shit.” You’re well into four figures at this point – and whatever “savings” you had on the rifle aren’t looking like such a big deal now.

That’s where we come in. Dream it. Design it. Let our team of gnarmorers build it to your spec, sight it in, test it and ship it. You’ll be the bee’s knees at the local gun range in no time.

#GNARLIFE

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