By Udi Lowy
The demand for firearms in the US impacts foreign manufacturers. There are a few factors that increased the demand for personal weapons in the US recently. The first one is the fact that the country is in an election year, and if the administration will be changed than the demand for personal weapons will not only remain steady, but even increase. The second factor is the economic crisis that the US is starting to experience due to the COVID-19 crisis. And the third is the protests following the death of George Floyd, which have deteriorated into full-blown riots in some cities and created a strong sentiment of self-reliance.
This feeling of uncertainty generated a huge demand for personal weapons and ammunition. The local manufacturers are struggling to meet the demand because COVID-19 interrupted the global supply chain. Many US-based small manufacturers are buying their parts from Chinese or Taiwanese manufacturers. Importing these items has been a challenge for them, and the fact that US manufacturers prioritize their domestic clients creates demand among European and other clients.
This unique situation created an opportunity for manufacturers located in Israel (which never stopped flights to the US) to supply parts and accessories, mainly for AR platforms and pistols.
EMTAN, which is one of the largest M4/AR15 manufacturers outside of the US, and other manufacturers that until now supplied firearms almost exclusively to militaries and law enforcement agencies, and are restricted by stringent regulations, both by the Israeli Defense Ministry and the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, are facing an immense challenge to sell their products, which in general are superior to these available on the US commercial market (in terms of material and quality assurance), and therefore their starting price is quite high.
I believe that EMTAN and other Israeli manufacturers should seize the opportunity using the available stocks we hold, and demonstrate to the US market the added value of combat proven, reliable Mil-Spec weapons made in Israel, but fitted to the US AR15 platform.
Udi Lowy is the VP Sales North America at EMTAN - Israel Small Arms Industry