Progress in Developing Mentorship and New Participants

  • New Initiatives, Optimism, Support
  • Land Access Improvements
  • Looking for New Hunters Needs a Plan

Click picture to learn more about NSSF

The National Shooting Sports Foundation®(NSSF®), along with several other organizations in the outdoor industry, announced at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade ShowSM (SHOT Show®) a number of initiatives designed to increase participation in hunting and target shooting both through reactivation of those who have lapsed, who have ceased to participate, or participate only sporadically and through recruitment of people completely new to the pastime.

Hunter numbers have declined in recent decades due to a variety of reasons, including lack of mentorship, difficulty in accessing hunting lands and shifts in cultural norms. But there is cause for optimism. Research shows that, despite the decline in participating numbers, many Americans continue to have a strong interest in hunting, and the programs announced today are a clear indicator of progress being made in developing the solutions needed to connect those who are interested in hunting, but haven’t yet participated, with the resources they need to get started.

“There’s a strong, well-documented interest in this great American pastime by people from all walks of life, and one of the keys to taking that interest to active participation is through the support of and encouragement by mentors,” said Jim Curcuruto, NSSF Director, Research and Market Development. “Programs that provide that connection, such as mentoring programs, are what’s sorely needed to move people from wanting to get involved to actually being involved.”

Curcuruto was joined in the press conference by representatives from the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports, the Quality Deer Management Association and the Georgia Wildlife Federation, all of which support programs specifically designed to increase participation numbers.

Curcuruto outlined several new NSSF participation initiatives, including its +ONESM program, which encourages experienced hunters and target shooters to mentor youth and adults and recognizes the efforts of these mentors. This program and others are supported by three new major websites developed by NSSF.

LetsGoHunting.orgTM is dedicated to all things hunting, everything from discussion of calibers to use for elk, treestand safety and how to perfect one’s wingshooting skills to working with Western big-game tag draws and a wealth of tasty field-to-table recipes. NSSF’s +ONE movement is a central component of the site, as are the “Where to Hunt” and “Apprenticeship” links.

LetsGoShooting.orgTM, LetsGoHunting.org’s sister site, is dedicated to all things target sports, with a comprehensive library of video and reading resources, geo-locating services for firearms ranges and retailers, safety instruction, shooting sports organizations and more.

Finally, StepOutside.org focuses on cross-participation across a spectrum of outdoor activities. Using geo-locating services similar to that in the LetsGo websites, StepOutside.org acknowledges the mutual interests of, for example, hikers and kayakers with hunting, target shooting and angling pursuits, and encourages participation.

An innovative program in Georgia is underway to help college students give hunting a try. Charles Evans, the Georgia Wildlife Federation R3 coordinator, said this partnership program with NSSF addresses survey findings that suggest that many college students want to try hunting and target shooting, but have never had that opportunity. This program offers an avenue to get started and the tools to help students continue on their own. “We recognize that college students are curious about hunting, the nutritional benefits of game meat and the hunter’s role in conservation. Lifelong habits start in college, and hunting could be one of the better habits students form,” said Evans.

The sale of hunting licenses and tags, along with excise taxes on the purchase of firearms and ammunition, assist federal and state wildlife conservation efforts, with more than $1.67 billion contributed annually by sportsmen and -women. They provide the bulk of conservation funding, so maintaining hunter ranks and safeguarding this funding level is vitally important for the nation’s wildlife, the speakers said.

Another promising program called “Field to Fork” comes from the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA). This modern approach to attracting new hunters works by connecting adults with an all-natural, local, renewable, healthy food source. Field to Fork spans the entire hunting process from hunter education to processing and preparing the harvest for a meal, and it was recently adapted to allow industry members to mentor and participate.

Hank Forester, Hunting Heritage Program Manager for QDMA, said, “Mentoring a new hunter can seem daunting at times, but experience shows that many people interested in hunting will welcome a personal invitation to try it. This is part of what Field to Fork does, provide that invitation that can really make a difference.”

Forester added that, “People in our own industry are interested in learning to hunt, and we’re working to make sure that those desires become a reality by having current participants teach newcomers the ropes.”

To learn more about opportunities to become involved in these programs and to join the national movement to recruit more hunters and target shooters, feel free to contact Jim Curcuruto at jcurcuruto@nssf.org, Hank Forester at hforester@qdma.com, Charles Evans at swanny.evans@gmail.com or Samantha Pedder at samantha@cahss.org.

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit nssf.org.

Successful 2019 SHOT Show Featured Innovation and Growth

  • SHOT Show marks 10th straight year at Sands Expo Center

The 41st Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade ShowSM (SHOT Show®), owned and operated by the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), finished its four-day run in Las Vegas with many notable successes, including a new record for exhibitors in its Suppliers Showcase and an innovative Pop-Up Preview that proved to be a hit with buyers.

The show, which ran Jan. 22-25 at the Sands Expo Center, showcased products used for target shooting, hunting, outdoor recreation and law enforcement purposes. More than 58,000 industry professionals attended with the number of exhibiting companies exceeding 2,400, a new record. Their booths covered more than 692,000 net square feet of exhibit space. The show was expected to pump approximately $90 million in non-gaming revenue into the Las Vegas economy.

The Supplier Showcase, which began two years ago, more than doubled in size to 540 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The growth of this section is expected to continue and is a major reason SHOT Show will expand to exhibit space at the MGM Grand Conference Center in 2020. The new one-day Pop-Up Preview gave visibility to more than 230 new exhibitors displaying clothing, footwear, camping and other hunting and outdoor gear.

At the NSSF State of the Industry presentation, NSSF CEO Steve Sanetti said that industry is too often negatively portrayed in the media and that its many programs that promote safety — such as Project ChildSafe and Operation Secure Store — are not sufficiently acknowledged for helping to stop firearms accidents, thefts and misuse. “We are resolved to not let our many good works go unnoticed or be wrongly credited to others, and we will not be defined by others,” Sanetti said.

Sanetti, who will retire at year’s end, was presented the NSSF Ken Sedlecky Lifetime Achievement Award by NSSF Board of Governors Chairman Bob Scott and new NSSF President Joe Bartozzi.

The show, marking its 10th straight year at the Sands Expo Center, attracted attendees from 111 countries. Some 12.5 miles of aisles led to displays of firearms, ammunition, accessories, optics, knives, gun safes, apparel and law enforcement equipment, among other categories. More than 400 companies displayed products in the show’s New Product Center, sponsored by U.S. Concealed Carry Association. In a continuing effort to provide space for companies on the exhibitor waiting list, the NEXT Pavilion gave first-time vendors welcome visibility and potential new customers.

“This SHOT Show was marked by innovative strategies to provide opportunities to new exhibitors while maintaining the quality experience for longtime exhibitors,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “The SHOT Show team works year-round to produce a high-quality show, and that effort again paid off.”

The show drew excellent reviews from exhibitors and attendees.

Daniel Defense’s Matt Allbritton was greatly pleased with the 2019 SHOT Show. “We are so excited about the release of our new Delta 5 bolt-action rifle, and we’ve had an incredible turnout here at our booth, with folks lining up to see the new rifle.”

Kevin Michalowski of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association said, “Traffic was very high at our booth, and we’re all very happy about that.”

At Head Down Firearms, maker of modern sporting rifles, Adam Williams said, “It’s our first year at SHOT Show, and it’s been an incredible experience. The booth traffic was consistent and especially heavy in the morning and late afternoon.”

Chris Tedford of True Velocity – makers of composite-cased ammunition – was pleased with this year’s turnout of buyers and said his booth was busy the entire show. “Being at SHOT has given us not only a good number of new customers, but has also presented us with some new business opportunities,” Tedford said.

SHOT Show, the largest trade show of its kind in the world, credentials approximately 2,400 members of the media.

The SHOT Show’s official opening on Tuesday was preceded by many events, including the 5th Annual NSSF/HAVA Golf Classic on Sunday in support of Honored American Veterans Afield, which works to aid the healing process of military veterans through hunting and other shooting sports activities. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised in support of this effort since the golf outing began in 2015.

Monday saw some of the SHOT Show’s most popular pre-show events — SHOT University, an education forum for retailers; Industry Day at the Range, an opportunity for media and buyers to experience hands-on testing of products; and the Executive Management Seminar, providing business information to executives and rising managers. Another special event at the show focused on industry’s firearms safety education program Project ChildSafe. The Women of the Gun event brought together women who are influential in helping the program promote its “Own It? Respect It. Secure It.” message and included Olympic shooters, world champions, hunting TV show hosts and many others.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of the 2019 SHOT Show, particularly how our new offerings like the Pop-Up Preview were received,” said NSSF President Joe Bartozzi. “We want all our attendees and sponsors to know that our dedication to listening to their feedback, innovating at SHOT Show and working hard to improve the show experience for everyone will continue.”

Preparations have already begun for next year’s 42nd SHOT Show, which is slated for January 21-24, 2020.

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit nssf.org.

 

Bass Pro Shops Honored, Named ‘Don’t Lie for the Other Guy’ Corporate Retailer of the Year

  • Shot Show 2019 News
  • NSSF, Retailers Emphasize ‘Don’t Lie for the Other Guy’
Kimber Super Carry Ultra+ in .45 ACP. Larry Whiteley photo

From sunny Las Vegas, the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms industry, is pleased to announce that it has honored Bass Pro Shops as its “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” Corporate Retailer of the Year.

“Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” was formed as a cooperative program between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and NSSF more than 15 years ago to help ATF educate federal firearms licensees to be better able to identify and prevent illegal straw purchases of firearms and to raise public awareness about the seriousness of the crime of purchasing a firearm for someone who cannot legally do so.

The award was presented at the 2019 SHOT University, the premier educational event for firearms retailers held in conjunction with NSSF’s Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show® (SHOT Show®) Show in Las Vegas.

All Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s stores display “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” point-of-purchase displays and use a program video and printed material to help train employees to better detect and deter straw purchases. This year, Bass Pro Shops hosted press conferences for the launch of “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” campaigns in Memphis and Atlanta, featuring advertising that warns anyone attempting an illegal firearm purchase faces a stiff federal felony penalty of up to 10 years in jail or up to $250,000 in fines.

“We’re proud to partner with the federal government and other industry organizations to promote and enhance safe, responsible firearms ownership,” said Bob Ziehmer, Bass Pro Shops Senior Director of Conservation.

“Bass Pro Shops has demonstrated its leadership in this area of prevention, from corporate policies to the men and women staffing the gun counters. It has trained its staff in the process of identifying potential straw purchases and provides continuing training to aide them to respond appropriately when such situations do occur,” said John McNamara, NSSF Senior Director for Retail and Range Services.

“Bass Pro Shops has made the critical outreach to its customers as well, to send the messages that straw purchases are crimes and that it’s on the lookout to prevent them. These efforts send a very strong message to the customer that they are dealing with a reputable retailer that wants, just as they do, to keep guns out of the wrong hands. That’s an incredibly positive message every retailer should embrace, and Bass Pro Shops is rightfully honored in leading the way in this kind of community outreach,” McNamara added.

To legally purchase a firearm, a person must be able to pass an FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check and fully comply with state and local laws. When a criminal knows he cannot pass this check, he may try to induce a friend or other person to make the purchase on his behalf, which is known as a straw purchase and is a felony.

Learn more about “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” at www.dontlie.org.

About NSSF: The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org/.

Hunting Works for America Expands Again, Thanks to NSSF

  • Stakeholders educate public and elected officials about importance of hunting
  • Hunter taxes, fees, surcharges fund conservation efforts to benefit wildlife
  • Hunting Works For America program represents more than 1,500 businesses, organizations and associations across 19 states

By Bill Brassard

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms industry, is proud to announce that the Hunting Works For America footprint has grown to include Maryland. Hunting Works For Maryland joins 18 other states, including most recently Ohio, as the 19th state to be included in the award-winning Hunting Works For America program.

Hunting Works For America, through its state chapters, is an initiative that seeks to bring a broad range of stakeholders together in order to educate the public and elected officials about the importance of hunting. Shooting sports organizations, conservation groups, businesses, and other non-traditional hunting entities such as chambers of commerce, convention and visitors bureaus and other trade associations, have come together to form Hunting Works For Maryland and share their interest in the economic impact of hunting.

The newly formed Hunting Works For Maryland partnership has more than 65 partner organizations and will be adding dozens more in the weeks and months to come.

“A strong appreciation for the outdoors and outdoor sports is evident in the money spent by the 88,000 people who hunt in Maryland every year,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for NSSF. “Hunters contribute $32 million in state and local taxes each year, thanks to their considerable spending on their favorite pastime. The average hunter in Maryland spends $3,000 a year, which translates into $128 million in salaries and wages and an economic ripple effect of $401 million.”

Taxes, fees and surcharges that hunters pay when they purchase licenses, tags and equipment fund Maryland’s conservation efforts, which benefit game and non-game species, as well as anyone who enjoys the outdoors.

Hunting Works For Maryland launched today with a press conference across the street from the State House in the Annapolis Visitors Center. It is co-chaired by Deb Carter, Executive Director of the Maryland Association of Campgrounds; Ruth Toomey, Executive Director of the Maryland Tourism Coalition; Senator John Astle representing District 30; and Delores Jones state, General Manager of the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Chestertown.

Hunting Works For America launched in 2010 with just three states: Arizona, Minnesota and North Dakota. Since then the program has grown, adding chapters in Iowa, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alabama, South Dakota, New York, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Utah. All totaled, the Hunting Works For America program now represents more than 1,500 businesses, organizations and associations representing tens of thousands of stakeholders.

Becoming a member of Hunting Works for Maryland is absolutely free of charge. Visit www.HuntingWorksforMD.com to learn more about becoming a partner and the program, including leadership, members, social media opportunities and local hunting seasons.

About NSSF: The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.

NSSF, Project ChildSafe Elevate Call for Responsible Gun Storage During National Safety Month

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  • Project ChildSafe’s S.A.F.E. Summer campaign reminds firearms owners to securely store firearms when not in use.

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Project ChildSafe®, the nationwide firearms safety education program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), is urging all gun owners to make responsible firearms storage a priority — and providing the tools to do so — with the launch of its sixth annual “S.A.F.E. Summer” campaign.

Launched in conjunction with “National Safety Month” every June, S.A.F.E. Summer emphasizes the importance of storing firearms responsibly when not in use, especially during the summer months when children are home and more likely to be unsupervised. “S.A.F.E.” serves as an acronym for Store your firearms responsibly when not in use; Always practice firearms safety; Focus on your responsibilities as a firearms owner; and Education is key to preventing accidents.

“Summer is an important time for firearms owners to make sure they’re properly securing their firearms, both in the home and in their vehicles, as children may be spending more time unattended in these locations,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. “NSSF and Project ChildSafe encourage firearms owners and non-owners alike to talk with their families about firearms safety to help prevent firearms accidents, thefts and misuse.” Secure storage of firearms also can play a role in helping to prevent suicide by placing time and distance between an at-risk person and a firearm.

Through Project ChildSafe, firearms owners can obtain free firearm safety kits, including a gun lock, at local law enforcement agencies across the country. Project ChildSafe also offers a variety of educational resources free on its website. These include a S.A.F.E. Summer Quiz, information on safe storage options, brochures and a video series. New videos for 2018, developed in partnership with the National Crime Prevention Council, feature McGruff the Crime Dog, and teach children the four important steps to remember if they find a firearm or if someone they know brings one to school. Another video offers guidance to help parents talk about gun safety with their kids. Also available is the AFSP-NSSF Firearms and Suicide Prevention brochure developed by NSSF and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

NSSF launched Project ChildSafe (originally known as Project HomeSafe) in 1999 as a nationwide initiative to promote firearms responsibility and provide safety education to all gun owners. While children are a primary focus, Project ChildSafe is intended to help children and adults practice greater firearms safety. Through partnerships with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies, the program has provided more than 37 million free firearm safety kits to gun owners in all 50 states and the five U.S. territories, which is in addition to the more than 70 million free locking devices manufacturers have included with new firearms sold since 1998. Project ChildSafe was also recognized as one of three finalists in the National Safety Council’s 2018 “Green Cross for Safety” Awards.

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.