The Countertop Chronicles

"Run by a gun zealot who's too blinded by the NRA" - Sam Penney of

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Painted Guns

Looks like the New York Times is at it again with a piece in this Sunday's Magazine on Duracoat.

Actually, though, it isn't all that bad.

Carol Vinzant, the author of a recent book about the firearms industry, “Lawyers, Guns, and Money,” says one reason the “cool factor” might matter is that there’s been little technical innovation in the consumer-gun market for decades. “The last real technological innovator in the gun industry was John Browning,” she says. “And he died in 1926.” And while the gun shopper has traditionally treated his (or her) firearms as quasi-sacred items, maybe even this category is not immune to customization in an era of “Pimp My Ride,” laser-etched laptops and an infinite number of cellphone covers. “Gun owners and retailers are having fun with the color combinations,” The Chippewa Herald recently wrote in an upbeat profile of Lauer’s business. “The possibilities are endless.”

The possibility of multicolored weapons prompted Mayor Michael Bloomberg to sign legislation in July banning the sale of gun-coloring kits in New York. (This complements an earlier law banning toy guns in realistic colors; the point is to minimize confusion between real and toy firearms.) Lauer was promptly interviewed by about 30 reporters who, he says, generally didn’t seem to know much about guns or gun owners. He says his customer base is not urban bad guys but rather rural gun owners who take safety seriously. He adds that he sells to law-enforcement agencies that use blue-colored guns for training and to search-and-rescue operations that use yellow or orange guns, as well as to competitive shooters who simply want to stand out. And while basic, functional, nonsnazzy matte black is still the “big seller” and is used for its practical rustproofing qualities, creative aesthetics have been good for business. Between DuraCoat’s practical and style-oriented applications, Lauer doesn’t see business slowing down anytime soon. “There’s a lot of guns,” he says. “There’s far more than you’d ever imagine.”

Emphasis, of course, is mine. Read the whole thing.


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