The first half of this year has been challenging for our state and the nation. The COVID-19 pandemic and Stay Home order in March led to a run on gun shops with ammunition often becoming scarce. Then the protests and riots following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May and calls to defund the police exacerbated demand.

MCRGO’s training program was anticipating new growth following the relaxation of Governor Whitmer’s Stay Home orders. We have been amazed at how strong that interest has been. During the month of June, each weekend saw progressively higher record breaking student certifications. While a typical summer weekend averages 125 students certified by MCRGO instructors, the final weekend of June ended with over 500 certifications. MCRGO has added 2,500 new members in the past six weeks, roughly 20% of our total current membership.

The major upside of this is that there are many more people now exercising their right to keep and bear arms. This includes carry outside the home. There has been a widespread public epiphany that law enforcement should no longer be seen as the primary resource for personal protection; a fact most veteran CPL holders already understood.

What remains to be seen is the political impact of a rapidly growing number of gun owners. We know that once someone purchases their first self defense firearm, they experience a sense of empowerment that results in them embracing self-reliance and a much greater sense of personal responsibility for the safety of their family and community. These new gun owners are going to be much less likely to vote for politicians who want to take away their firearms regardless of whether it’s a handgun or a modern sporting rifle.

Organizations like Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety have been noticeably quiet over the past three months. Progressive politicians who promised that 2020 would be the year of “common sense” gun restrictions have dropped the issue from their agenda. Even left-wing individuals and groups, who once saw firearms ownership as an identifying characteristic of conservatives, are now arming themselves.

What follows is likely to have a profound impact on the national debate about gun control and renewed public interest in preserving the Second Amendment as a guarantee of individual liberty in an increasingly chaotic world.

As always, please feel free to contact me at brady@mcrgo.org or at (517) 484-2746 with any questions or concerns you may have.

Brady Schickinger, Executive Director