A little over a year ago Cam reported on a new technology. Well, he reported on a new form of artwork. In reality Cam reported on a new type of asset. What Cam reported on was Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, and how professional shooter Chris Cheng brought forth an NFT of the famous cover of Recoil magazine he was featured on. NFTs are fairly new entities to the world at large, never mind the Second Amendment community, and more people and businesses are throwing their hats in the ring. I recently had a chance to catch up with a co-owner of a range/gun store/entertainment destination that has launched the first series of NFTs from such businesses.
First, what is a Non-Fungible Token or NFT? Basically it’s a piece of digital art which is unique and can be traced back to the original purchaser. Matt Dancsecs, a co-owner and the Creative Director of Gun For Hire out of Woodland Park, NJ explained it to me, “Non Fungible (more or less) means that it’s ‘unique’ ‘one of a kind’..and can’t be replaced with something else. Like owning a Singer sewing machine 1911. There are 500 and all are serialized and have value. Their copies? Not so much.”
Gun For Hire at the Woodland Park Range in New Jersey is known for being cutting edge. Founder and one of the other partners of the business, Anthony Colandro, has been known in the community for putting the customer first (after safety of course), and delivering a high quality and supersized product. The range recently saw an expansion, more than doubling the number of available shooting lanes, and within the next year to year and a half, they’ll be opening the final phase of their expansion which includes an upstairs cigar lounge and large theater-like classroom. Getting into the NFT market seemed like a natural move for businessmen that continue to stay relevant through their own reinvention.
Dancsecs designed five different NFTs and there are going to only be 1000 sold through this inaugural “minting”. Since Gun For Hire likes to make things “next level”, people that purchase an NFT are going to be getting more than just digital artwork. What could appeal to the skeptical customer would be all the fringe benefits. A Gun For Hire NFT is going to act more like a digital challenge coin, with a year membership to the range being included, as well as other special offerings only made available to those that have one of the minted NFTs. Dancsecs expanded a bit on why this, like the Recoil cover NFT, is so monumental.
The NFT set I created is a digital asset that is serialized and can be tracked back to the original purchaser. This ability gives these digital images proof of ownership. This became pretty big news since we were the first gun range ever to offer this type of cutting edge NFT Marketing plan. And This is what intrigued SIG SAUER, who came onboard from the beginning. They recently posted to 1.6mm people about our NFT launch.
Our NFTs have added value as they come with a GFH membership…the membership is for a year and consists of several great perks, like jumping the queue for those of you who do not like lines…Also unlimited rentals, which is a great perk when you are looking to try several different carry guns. The membership is good from February 2023 to February 2024. In addition to those benefits, the NFT holder will get to enjoy “Pop Up” events and perks for as long as they have the NFT.
Sig Sauer did partner with Gun For Hire on this roll out and has offered up some services and support to some of the people that participate in the purchase of one of the NFTs.
One of the five designs offered is the “Soldier” design. Dancsecs explained to me the significance of the design and what it means if a purchaser is randomly selected to receive one. Those who are selected to receive the Soldier will be invited to an exclusive shoot hosted at Gun For Hire and co-hosted by Sig. Participants will get a crack at winning one of several custom $2,500.00 Sig pistols, as well as be entered into a drawing to be invited to the Sig HQ in New Hampshire for a special event (should all the NFTs sell).
The one that is the ticket for the event is the soldier, which is, I put that out there as a memory of my brother who passed. He was a Marine. And I always try and bring him into some things that I do. And you know what, with this NFT, you know, when you mint an NFT, which means you make it live, and people are able to purchase it, it’s global, and it’s really a great feeling to be able to honor my brother this way and have that type of exposure. Then when Sig loved this story, and they jumped on, they posted it. It’s been just really an unbelievable…it’s unbelievably gratifying. Being this out there and getting the response…Forget about the membership, the [people] love the art, which is just phenomenal. So it’s very emotional for me and touching. And as you know he passed at an early age from cancer, and my mom and then my father just recently passed also. So it’s been…the timing of this launch is pretty, pretty incredible, especially with the holidays.
In 2022 with the proliferation of crypto currencies and now these NFTs making their way further into our culture, it can be quite confusing to navigate. There are block-chains and Discord chats and digital wallets…enough new stuff to make some of our more stately members of the community start to blink out. What Gun For Hire did to make this process easy and seamless is they are offering up the sale of their NFTs directly from their own dedicated website, and they don’t have to be purchased with any type of crypto currency. If someone “wants in” they can buy one of the NFTs without the hassle of setting up all the other things that are needed for crypto trading. All that’s needed is a credit card.
The fact that Gun For Hire was able to make their NFTs available in such a way is rather revolutionary to something that’s still in its infancy. I suspect that other businesses and sellers will start to emulate the model that they’ve created in order to bring something that’s rather mysterious closer to the mainstream.
One of the things that Dancsecs cautions prospective buyers of is that there’s already a fake market of Gun For Hire NFTs. He said that the way to ensure that buyers are getting bonafide Gun For Hire minted NFTs is to visit their page dedicated to the sale and information distribution of the assets: https://gunforhire.com/nft/
It’s a whole new world that we’re in and as Cam alluded to last year, a lot of this is just a bit hard to grasp for some of us, myself included, but this technology is part of the future. Gun For Hire, Sig Sauer, Dancsecs, and Colandro need to be commended for their foray into NFTs. If this whole digital art NFT thing turns out to be a bust in the big picture, at least with a Gun For Hire NFT, buyers are actually getting some serious perks, with the membership alone soaking up about 3/5ths of the money invested. I’m interested to see what’s going to come next from this group.
If you’re interested in listening in on my full interview with Dancsecs, check out the video embedded below, or click HERE.
Author’s Note: I have not been paid or coerced to write about this product. I learned about these NFTs through Gun For Hire’s organic marketing techniques and thought this was an interesting way to utilize a new technology. However, the next time I do visit Gun For Hire at the Woodland Park Range, I will dance through flamboyantly like Liberace, as if I own the joint..but I do that anyhow, usually paired with unreasonable demands. At least I act that way until they refer to me as “sir” and show me the door.