DALLAS (Reuters) - Larry Lopata and some friends were sitting around the campfire on a hunting trip when they came up with an idea for a new firearms product: an adjustable-length trigger, so people with different sized hands can comfortably share the same gun.
The four business partners put $150,000 into development until last December when they were ready to seek more funds from investors. Crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo would have been perfect, but they prohibit users from raising money for weapons projects.
So Lopata created his own, gun-friendly crowdfunding site, GunDynamics.com, which launched last month.
While much of corporate America has turned its back on firearms-related business following mass shootings such as the Feb. 14 massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people, pro-gun entrepreneurs are creating their own start-ups to fill the void.
“Parkland really brought out this open warfare against the gun community,” Lopata said.
Others who make their living in the firearms world have felt unwelcome on sites such as YouTube and PayPal and are also constructing online businesses to cater to gun-lovers. Some are promoting their self-reliance at the National Rifle Association annual meeting in Dallas this weekend.
Since launching on April 19, Lopata has raised $6,720 for his project, which is seeking $50,000 to fund an initial production run of 5,000 triggers.
The only other product on GunDyanmics.com, a device to reduce “muzzle climb,” when a gun barrel rises upon recoil, has won pledges of $7,850 toward a goal of $100,000. One prospective entrepreneur wants to develop the assault rifle of the