The firearms market is stronger than ever, but prices have increased with the demand. And while the firearms industry has been flourishing, the economy as a whole has not. Wages are anything but up, with public safety budgets hit particularly hard. Police officers, many of whom are required to buy their own weapons, can often face a double whammy: Overall declines in spending in the U.S. mean that there is less revenue for state and city budgets; this leads to wage freezes in many jurisdictions, which ultimately leaves officers with less money to buy weapons that are themselves getting more expensive.

Statistics vary, but around 80 percent of police officers work for agencies with less than 50 officers. Agencies of this size cannot provide everything an officer needs, and large agencies that do are the exception, not the rule. These agencies may require officers to purchase their own rifles or shotguns. (Some agencies do try to provide these weapons, but it can be a process that takes years and, being a low priority, is generally the first thing to go in hard times.) And rural agencies and those in very small communities often require their officers to purchase their own weapons, including sidearms. But while budgets may change, the police officer’s needs do not. So when money’s short, acquiring those much-needed rifles and shotguns requires thinking outside the box.

Turkey has been making firearms for many decades. Some of its early attempts at modern guns were less than stellar, but those days are largely over. Today, Turkey is home to many modern production facilities that rival anything seen in the U.S. Having recently toured one of those factories, I can attest to the state-of-the-art equipment, trained staff and solid materials that are being employed. And these factories can produce quality weapons at prices that have not been seen in the U.S. for decades. Those firearms are only getting better each year. And Chiappa Firearms has taken steps to bring these affordable, quality weapons to American LEOs.

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