From all walks of life, Americans are buying guns at a record level, which is bolstering business for gun shops. Passionate about the Second Amendment and responsible gun ownership – and motivated with the entrepreneurial desire to launch a company that reflects their ideals – Dan and Bonnie Ward opened Right to Life Defense in December 2020.
The husband-and-wife team ultimately plans to donate a portion of its sales from the gun shop and ammunition manufacturing business to pro-life organizations, hence the company’s name.
“Many Americans are unnerved and concerned because of the events of the last year, including the COVID shutdowns, the rioting and unrest, and now a change in the administration,” Dan said. “They want to be prepared to defend themselves if the need arises. Gun ownership is a monumental responsibility, and that responsibility provides peace of mind.”
Background checks for Ohioans applying to buy guns increased more than 50 percent in 2020 compared to 2019. The trend is expected to continue this year. Estimates indicate that three out of every four customers were first-time gun buyers. Last year, the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System completed approximately 977,000 checks, which represents a 53 percent increase from the 638,000 background checks in 2019.
When you choose to buy your first gun, the advice from well-meaning friends who are experienced gun owners can be daunting. Your uncle recommends a Ruger while your neighbor swears by a Sig Sauer. Your co-worker has a shotgun and your friend says, “Go get an AR 15.”
When you are a novice and buying your first gun, an ideal first step is asking, “What is your reason for buying the gun,” Dan said.
Is it for recreation to practice marksmanship? Do you want a firearm for home protection? Will you complete a class and apply for a Concealed Carry Permit?
“If the gun is for home protection, a center-fire pistol or a revolver chambered with a larger caliber, such as a .38Special or 9mm Luger, is a good choice,” Dan said. “If you keep a gun in your house for security, it doesn’t need to be compact or light-weight.
“If you plan to use your gun to conceal carry comfortably on a regular basis, size and weight are important considerations,” Dan added. “Keep in mind that small, lightweight firearms are less forgiving with marksmanship errors and more difficult to learn to shoot effectively. You must be dedicated to training and practice.”
There is an accurate saying that “You don’t choose the gun; the gun chooses you,” Dan explains.
“A gun that’s a perfect fit for your friend may not be ideal for you,” Dan said. “A gun that is too big, for example, will make you uncomfortable when carrying it and will impact your accuracy, drawstroke and ability to pull the trigger.
“Make sure the firearm feels comfortable in your hand and that you can easily reach and use all of its’ controls,” he added. “Consider shooting a few different models before purchasing your first gun. Many ranges offer gun rentals. Rent a few different models, which will help you get a good feel on what one feels most comfortable in your hands.”
As for ammunition, unless you are involved in some type of precision marksmanship competition, options fall into two broad categories: practice (training) or personal defense.
Less expensive training ammunition is what you should use for class and practice.
The Wards are devoted to providing education and insight to help customers find the best option. Right to Life Defense is housed in a building on land owned by Dan’s father located along S.R. 40 outside of Lewisburg. The structure was originally a market in the early 1950s. Dan served in the Navy, working as a nuclear reactor operator, and then spent a career in engineering and IT before his executive management role was downsized last spring in the COVID shutdown. With his background in firearms collecting and his interest in gun safety and responsible gun ownership, the launch of Right to Life Defense is a natural transition, he says.
“Our first customer was an elderly woman who walked in and told me she wanted to buy her first gun for home protection,” Dan said. “Our country was built upon citizens who were equipped to defend themselves, as granted by the Second Amendment. It’s our focus to help our customers find the best firearm to exercise that right.”
For more information, call 937-265-0501.