The new outlet is called GunTV, the first live hosted cable network dedicated to firearms, industry insights and safety education. GunTV will launch on January 20, and comes in the midst of a wrenching debate about gun violence in America.
According to their website, the network “hopes to engage more than 85 million outdoors men and women.” GunTV declined to comment to CNBC, stating they are in pre-production stages.
However, the concept has already generated resistance from a few gun control advocates, while major cable providers like Time Warner andVerizon have stated publicly they have no plans to carry GunTV. So will women, who flock in droves to networks like QVC, go for the idea of a network that sells firearms?
He added: “If Gun TV does this well, and they tell women who are interested where they can get firearms training in a female friendly environment, address the concerns about safe storage in homes with kids and discuss in a non-threatening way the danger women face that men seldom face then I think that they can sell one heck of a lot of guns to women.”
Kniffen stated there was a stereotype that women shy away from owning firearms. He argued that idea is changing, with more women buying guns for both personal protection, hunting and leisure.
According to data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms manufacturing industry today in this U.S. supports about a quarter-million jobs and generates more than $13 billion in wages for a total economic impact of more than $42 billion per year.
A January survey by the organization found that more than half of female respondents planned either owned a firearm, or planned to purchase one within 12 months.
“Security is the primary concern for women,” said Carrie Lightfoot, owner and founder of the Well Armed Woman Training Company. “The target on a woman’s back is larger than that of a man’s. A gun can equalize the battle,” Lightfoot told CNBC.
Lightfoot noted that GunTV could be successful as an educational tool, in order appeal to women who conduct more research and “soul searching” when making a purchase.
“It really is a foreign land the purchasing of firearms and women can feel intimidated going into a gun store and asking questions. Intimidation is the biggest hurdle,” adds Lightfoot.
The network may have to contend with the ire of gun control advocates roused to action by a string of high profile instances of gun violence. Regardless, evidence suggests that millions of gun owners are stocking up on weapons and ammunition at near-record levels. Last month, the FBI said it had conducted nearly 2 million background checks for permits, a 23 percent surge from the year prior.
Initially, GunTV will have limited programming from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. To purchase through Gun TV, viewers call the network, which places the order. A Louisiana firearms distributor, Sports South, will then ship the weapon to a local gun store where it can be picked up after the completion of a routine background check.