President asks All People to Promote Culture of Firearm Safety and Awareness beginning with National Shooting Sports Month

  • President signs into law H.R. 1222, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act
  • All Americans asked to promote a Culture of Safety and Responsibility

Today, August 1, 2019 – on the first day of National Shooting Sports Month®, The White House issued a Presidential message to the nation on the importance and tradition of the shooting sports in America. This annual 31-day celebration, developed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) in 2017, reminds people that everyone can enjoy these safe, fun and social activities. It’s also the perfect time for an experienced shooter to mentor a newcomer in a sport that can provide a lifetime of enjoyment at every skill level.

From The White House: Presidential Message on National Shooting Sports Month, 2019

During National Shooting Sports Month, we celebrate the cherished tradition of recreational and sport shooting activities. Shooting sports bring people together and instill comradery among a significant portion of its fellow enthusiasts. The vibrant shooting sports culture is made possible, in large part, by our steadfast protection of one of our bedrock and most-cherished liberties, the right to keep and bear arms.

Americans have a long history of participating in recreational and sport shooting activities. Early sharpshooters participated in matches to entertain family and friends and test their skills for a prize. During the turn of the 18th century, these competitions grew in popularity and legends like Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley began to enthrall audiences around the world. Today, talented Americans rigorously train for worldwide competitions, including the Olympic and Paralympics Games. Whether amateur or professional, shooting sport athletes possess the traits that characterize the best of our Nation — they are disciplined, determined, passionate, and confident.

As President, the safety of the American people is my top priority, and I want to ensure that those participating in shooting sports — one of our Nation’s greatest traditions — have the proper facilities to learn how to operate a firearm responsibly. That is why I was proud, earlier this year, to sign into law H.R. 1222, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act. This important legislation will support State wildlife management agencies as they construct or expand shooting ranges, providing more opportunities for citizens to safely and properly learn marksmanship skills. My Administration has also expanded access to America’s public lands, opening millions of acres for use, including by hunters and recreational shooters. And, in June, my Administration announced a plan to open an additional 1.4 million acres in national wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries to new or expanded hunting, fishing, and recreational opportunities. These actions will help ensure a perpetual investment in wildlife and habitat conservation, foster responsible stewardship, and increase interest in shooting sports for current and future generations.

As we celebrate this National Shooting Sports Month, I encourage all those participating in recreational and sport shooting activities to continue to learn from this tradition and to promote a culture of safety and responsibility.

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 thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.

“PROTECT THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE” – FIREARM SAFETY IS #1

  • New Video Urges Families to “Have the Talk” About Gun Safety
  • Own it. Respect it. Secure it.
  • Talk with your Kids. Do it TODAY.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) unveiled a new public service announcement (PSA), “Protect the People You Love,” to encourage families to talk about gun safety — regardless of whether they have a gun in the home.
The PSA, which is viewable and downloadable on the Project ChildSafe® website in time for National Safety Month this June, focuses on the false assumptions that children are unaware of firearms in the home or know not to touch them without permission. The 30-second spot emphasizes how families can help prevent firearms accidents by talking about gun safety with children. Further, storing firearms responsibly addresses the issue that many children are often familiar with where and how firearms are stored — much more than parents might think.
“Parents and caregivers talk to kids about big issues like drugs, sex and alcohol; we need to talk to our kids about gun safety as well. Even if you don’t own a gun yourself, having this conversation is vital,” said BJA Director Jon Adler. “If you don’t have this talk with your kids, they’re going to learn about guns from someone else, whether on TV or from friends, and chances are they aren’t going to learn what you’d want to teach them.”
As more Americans continue to purchase firearms for personal protection and safety, the importance of storing them responsibly is critical. Although the number of fatal firearms accidents is at historic lows, the fact remains that these accidents are almost always preventable. Proper firearms storage helps prevent thefts, accidents and misuse, such as suicide.
“Protecting your family doesn’t stop with bringing a gun into your home, it also means doing what you need to do so a loaded gun isn’t picked up by a child or someone who may be at risk of harming themselves – or others,” said NSSF CEO Steve Sanetti. “If you have a gun, be sure your family understands the safety rules, and always store it responsibly when not in use. That’s the best way to protect the people you love.”
To further help parents in having the important conversation about firearms safety, Project ChildSafe also has an instructional video, “Talking to Kids about Gun Safety,” on its website.
Funding for the PSA comes from a $2.4 million grant that BJA awarded NSSF’s Project ChildSafe initiative in 2015. Project ChildSafe provides firearms safety education messaging and free gun locks to communities throughout the country in an effort to help reduce firearms accidents, theft and misuse.

  About Project ChildSafe: NSSF, the trade association of the firearms industry, launched Project ChildSafe in 1999 (originally as Project HomeSafe). Since 1999, the program has provided more than 38 million free firearm safety kits and gun locks to firearm owners in all 50 states through partnerships with thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country. That’s in addition to the more than 70 million free locking devices manufacturers have included, and continue to include, with new firearms sold since 1998. While helping to prevent accidents among children is a focus, Project ChildSafe is intended to help adults practice greater firearm safety in the home. More information is available at projectchildsafe.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 thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org.
This project was supported by Grant No. 2015-FG-BX-K001 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

NSSF Celebrates President Trump Signing ‘Range Bill

The “Range Bill” has been a sustained-effort priority for NSSF and is a crucial step forward in promoting, protecting and preserving hunting and the shooting sports.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the firearms industry trade association, celebrates President Donald Trump’s signing of H.R. 1222, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, at The White House. The President signed the NSSF-priority bill May 10, just two weeks after the bill was passed by Congress.

“We deeply appreciate President Trump’s swift enactment of this legislation that will give state fish and game agencies greater flexibility to build new recreational shooting ranges and expand and improve existing ranges,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “This administration understands the value and investment the firearms and ammunition industry makes to safe recreational shooting and to sustained conservation to benefit wildlife and habitat restoration across the United States. Public shooting ranges provide hunters a place to sight in rifles and pattern shotguns before hunting seasons, for people to take firearm safety and hunter education courses and for recreational target shooters to enjoy their sport.”

The “Range Bill” has been a sustained-effort priority for NSSF and is a crucial step forward in promoting, protecting and preserving hunting and the shooting sports. In the course of more than a decade, versions of the bipartisan legislation were introduced as 29 different numbered bills and 15 separate legislative packages, starting with the 110th Congress. While it had broad support from both Republicans and Democrats in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, previous attempts to pass the legislation were derailed for reasons unrelated to the actual legislation.

The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, also known as the “Range Bill,” allows states to use their Pittman-Robertson Fund allocations to begin construction of new ranges, or improve existing state-run public recreational shooting ranges. Prior to this law’s enactment, states were required to put up 25 percent of the cost of range construction projects to access the matching 75 percent of Pittman-Robertson funds. Now, states can access those funds with a 10 percent match and will have five fiscal years to acquire land for range construction or expansion projects.

Pittman-Robertson funds are derived from an excise tax paid by firearms and ammunition manufacturers. Since 1937, the fund has generated more than $12.5 billion funding wildlife conservation and safety education programs in all 50 states. NSSF estimates more than 80 percent of Pittman-Robertson excise tax contributions are generated by sales attributed to recreational shooting. This means today’s recreational target shooter is an overwhelming contributor to conservation through excise tax support.

A recurring concern of recreational shooters, and those considering entering the sport, is proximity and access to a safe range. This new law would make it easier for states to enable recreational target shooters to enter the sport, which in turn would generate continued contributions to Pittman-Robertson funds and the conservation programs which it supports.

NSSF is especially grateful to U.S. Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), as well as U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), John Boozman, (R-Ark.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Angus King (I-Maine), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska). All are original co-sponsors on both the House and Senate versions of the legislation.

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 thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org.

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/.

New Report IDENTIFIES the CHANGING MARKET for HANDGUNS

  • More Women and Minorities are Planning to Purchase Handguns
  • More Beginners Plan to Purchase a Handgun
  • Younger Adults are Planning to Purchase a Handgun
  • Report Helps Explain Needs of the Changing Demographic

FERNANDINA BEACH, FL.The handgun market has many different types of consumers, each wanting to buy for different reasons and uses. Two of these types, women and minorities, are a significant growth opportunity for handgun sales. They share the same passion to become proficient shooters like more experienced handgun owners and are seeking reliable handguns from reputable brands. When this group is combined with active target shooters and hunters who are looking to buy another handgun, the new handgun consumer is now younger, skews female and is ethnically-diverse (click here to view infographic)

As a supplement to the Customer Segmentation Analysis of the U.S. Commercial Firearms and Accessories Market report, Southwick Associates and NSSF have published a new handgun market report examining the demographics, firearm-related activities, motivations, needs, purchase drivers and shopping habits of those who own a handgun and those looking to buy one. Designed to help companies better understand the different factors that motivate consumers to buy a handgun and why they select specific models, this report identifies the major consumer segments that make up more than half of the U.S. handgun market.

This report is the next in a series based on Southwick Associates and NSSF’s recent consumer segmentation analysis of the U.S. firearms market. “With emerging audiences wanting to purchase a firearm, it’s important to really understand why they want to own a handgun and the specific features they look for in a handgun. The insights from this report will help manufacturers and retailers improve their strategic and tactical marketing decisions,” commented Rob Southwick, President of Southwick Associates.

The report, “Handgun Consumers: An In-depth Exploration,” is now available from Southwick Associates. Custom segmentation research is also available based on the proprietary database containing responses from more than 100,000 detailed consumer surveys.

What to Do with Firearms and Ammunition Affected by Flood Waters

  • NSSF and SAAMI Provide Guidance on Dealing with Submerged Guns and Ammunition

NEWTOWN, Conn., Sep. 7, 2017 — Firearms owners who have seen their guns and stored ammunition submerged by flood waters in storm-wracked areas are probably wondering if their firearms and ammunition can be salvaged and safely used.

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute® (SAAMI®) and National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) point to two helpful documents containing guidelines to assist gun owners in making sound decisions related to safely handling and treating or disposing of these items, emphasizing to always err on the side of caution and safety.

SAAMI, founded in 1926, is an organization that creates and publishes industry standards on firearms and ammunition. NSSF is the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry.

The SAAMI document “Guidance on Firearms That Have Been Submerged or Exposed to Extensive Amounts of Water” points out two major concerns about firearms that have been exposed to water: parts susceptible to moisture and rust damage such as metal parts, wood stocks and grips, and optics; and, secondly, infiltration of the action, barrel and safety systems by grit, silt and other foreign debris.

Always unload firearms before beginning any treatment process.

It’s important to limit moisture and corrosion damage to the component parts of the firearm. This can be accomplished by disassembling the component parts and using up to two coats of a moisture-displacing lubricant such as Hoppes #9 MDL or WD-40 to clean and stabilize the parts while, importantly, following the product’s directions so as not to damage, for instance, plastic or synthetic parts. Another tip is to allow wood stocks and grips to air-dry and not be force dried by exposure to heat.

The document emphasizes that once the firearm has been thoroughly dried, consideration must be given to having the firearm inspected and serviced by the manufacturer, an authorized service center, or a qualified gunsmith before putting the firearm back in service.

Dealing with Submerged Ammunition

To help firearms owners determine what to do with ammunition that has been affected by water and moisture, SAAMI offers another helpful document, “Guidance on Ammunition That Has Been Submerged in Water.”

Discussed are differences in moisture resistance between centerfire, rimfire and shotshell ammunition, and potential hazards associated with “drying out” cartridges, including possible deterioration and damage to cartridges due to drying methods.

Another serious hazard that could result from using compromised ammunition is the potential for a bore obstruction due to partial ignition of either the priming compound or the propellant powder charge, or both. Firing a subsequent round through an obstructed barrel can result in bodily injury, death and property damage.

SAAMI provides the following cautionary conclusion: “It would be impossible to ascertain for certain the extent of the deteriorating affect, if any, the water may have had on each individual cartridge. Therefore, the safe answer is that no attempt be made to salvage or use submerged ammunition. The ammunition should be disposed of in a safe and responsible manner. Contact your local law enforcement agency for disposal instructions in your area.

Resources:

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.

NSSF Announces 2017 Scholarship Winners

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is the trade association for the firearms industry with a mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting, and the shooting sports.  The NSSF recently announced the 2017 scholarships that will award $60,000 to winners.

From Newtown, CT., the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms industry, is pleased to announce that it has chosen the winners of its 2017 Voting Member Scholarship Essay Contest. Open to the employees and qualifying family members of NSSF’s Voting Member companies, the annual contest awards $60,000 divided between 25 winners, including one grand prize winner who receives $8,000 to apply toward their college costs. NSSF received a total of 66 qualified entries this year.

In refreshing this annual contest, NSSF offered two submission options for the scholarship program. The first option required a written essay, with specific formatting guidelines, on one of the following two topics:

·         How important is the U.S. Supreme Court to protecting the rights of American citizens to keep and bear arms?

·         Passing the Torch: A personal story of an experienced shooter or hunter passing traditions on to family and friends.

The second submission option required a written script designed to provide voiceover narration for a video (though no actual video submission was required). The three script topic choices were:

·         What hunting means to me and to wildlife conservation.

·         How learning to target shoot has benefitted me as a person.

·         What non-hunters would be surprised to learn about hunting.

Matthew Willey, whose mother is employed by Olin Corp., was chosen as the grand prize winner. Matthew will be a senior at St. Louis University this fall, was selected as the grand prize winner. For his scholarship submission, he chose to tackle the Supreme Court topic in traditional essay format. His essay in part read:

For the majority of the last 70 or so years, the most important Supreme Court ruling pertaining to the right to gun ownership was 1939’s United States v. Miller. In that case, an Arizona district court ruled that two men who had been indicted for transporting a sawed-off shotgun across state lines, should not have been indicted, as the regulations preventing them from legally transporting that firearm were unconstitutional. This decision was appealed to the Supreme Court, which chose to interpret the 2nd amendment as pertaining only to the regulation of a militia … . This ruling was the preeminent ruling concerning the 2nd amendment for the rest of the 20th century, and it set a damaging precedent to gun rights in this country.

Fortunately, things changed relatively recently. In 2008’s landmark case, District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court once again addressed the interpretation of the 2nd amendment. … In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court interpreted the second amendment as providing a right to self-protection.  It is important to remember here that in a common law system, a law must be enforced as it is interpreted by the courts. Therefore, whatever questions existed about the legal meaning of the 2nd amendment prior to District of Columbia v. Heller, the meaning is now clear and binding.

This is not to say that the battle for gun rights has emphatically been won. It is perfectly conceivable that in some future case the Supreme Court may revisit the 2nd amendment, and thus open the door to a new interpretation. Moreover, the ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller was not without its ambiguity, meaning that more challenges to gun rights may loom in the future. The one thing that is for certain is that if these challenges reach the Supreme Court, the decisions made by those nine justices will shape the law for the entire nation. Therefore, despite recent victories, it is vital that the Supreme Court be populated by men and women who respect the rights of gun owners. When it comes to the law, a strong Supreme Court is more powerful than any legislator, or any president.

Other winners included the $5,000 first place entrant, Nathan Huelsmann, who will be a senior at Missouri University of Science and Technology in the Fall and whose father also works for Olin, and the $3,000 second place winner Ian Murphy, will be a Junior at the Oregon Institute of Technology in the fall and whose father is employed by Sturm, Ruger & Co. Twenty-two other winners received $2,000 each for their successful entries. See the full list of scholarship recipients and the entire winning essay.

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.