Crowdfunding sites including Kickstarter and Indiegogo don’t allow gun-related campaigns or weapons as perks, which signaled an opportunity to Larry Lopata and his three partners.
One person’s poison is another person’s meat.
The group had developed a device to adjust the trigger for 1911 handguns (semiautomatic, 45-caliber handguns). Most of this category of guns come with long triggers, meaning you have to pull back a long way before the guns go off, said Lopata. Their invention allows a shooters to shorten the length of a trigger to fit their finger.
“If you want to change the trigger, you have to go to a gunsmith,” Lopata said. The group put about $150,000 into their product, TrigFit, which gun owners can install on their own. Lopata’s share is coming from his savings from a lighting business he owned.
The partners wanted to crowdfund the initial production run of 5,500. After discovering that mainstream sites wouldn’t accept their campaign, they decided to start a platform of their own. Gun Dynamics launched April 19. When I talked to Lopata in mid June, it had launched four campaigns and had about 20 more lined up, he said.
Gun businesses are under increasing pressure as more financial services firms retreat from serving them: For instance. Citigroup in May announced a policy that “prohibits the sale of firearms to customers who have not passed a background check or who are younger than 21. It also bars the sale of bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. It would apply to clients who offer credit cards backed by Citigroup or borrow money, use banking services or raise capital through the company,” according to a New York Times article.
Lopata, whose other partners are Walter Schnyder, Larry Ward and Christopher Pernice, sees Gun Dynamics as “spurring future technologies and allowing people to follow their American dream.”
It has signed up a sponsor, Middlesex, N.J.-based Newbold Targets, which manufactures self-sealing reactive polymer targets, and will donate targets for small companies to use to help test their products.