Key Facts About Hunter and Shooter CONTRIBUTIONS to American Society

DID YOU KNOW?

✔ Sportsmen contribute nearly $9.4 million every day, adding more than $3.4 billion every year for conservation.

✔ Hunters and target shooters have paid $11 billion in excise taxes since the inception of the Pittman-Robertson Act in 1937.

✔ Hunting in America is big business, generating 680,000 jobs in the United States.

✔ For more than 80 years, sportsmen have paid more than $20 billion for on-the-ground projects in every state, protecting our natural environment and our fish and wildlife.

✔ The $6.4 billion in annual federal tax money generated by hunters’ spending could cover the annual paychecks of 210,000 U.S. Army Sergeants.

Hunters Pocket Fact Card – get one to talk knowledgeable about hunting with non-hunters and other groups.

At some point, nearly every hunter will be called on to point out the merits of hunting. Will you be up to the task of defending this great tradition by citing well-sourced facts in your discussion?

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, can help you make your points with its newly updated Hunter’s Pocket Fact Card. The card can be downloaded in PDF format free of charge.

 

 

2024 SHOT Show Concludes with Record-Breaking Success

  • All-new Archery Pavilion

    The firearm industry has partnered with over 15,000 law enforcement agencies to distribute over 40 million free firearm safety kits.
  • Education Sessions 
  • Dedication to Firearm Safety
  • Off-Site SHOT Week Highlights

By Forrest Fisher

SHOT ShowHeld in Las Vegas, the 46th Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade ShowSM (SHOT Show®), owned and operated by NSSF® — The Firearm Industry Trade Association — concludes with resounding success, setting new benchmarks for industry innovation, collaboration and engagement.

NSSF works to keep guns out of the hands of prohibited persons at the retail level through its Operation Secure Store®Don’t Lie for the Other Guy™ and FixNICS initiatives. These programs are collectively known as Real Solutions for Safer Communities® and are helping to save lives.

The SHOT Show attracts buyers from all 50 states and 115 countries. Some 13.9 miles of aisles lead to displays of firearms, ammunition, gun safes, locks and cases, optics, shooting range equipment, targets, training and safety equipment, hunting accessories, law enforcement gear, hearing and eye protection, tree stands, scents and lures, cutlery, GPS systems and other electronics, holsters, apparel, leather goods, game calls and decoys.

With an expanded show floor, a record-high number of exhibitors, and an array of new features and networking opportunities, the 2024 SHOT Show was the largest to date.

More than 55,400 industry professionals packed the 13.9 miles of aisles over four days at The Venetian Expo and Caesars Forum, eager to view new, innovative products used for target shooting, hunting, outdoor recreation and law enforcement.

NSSF and the firearm industry leads the way in creating safer communities through proven partnerships with law enforcement, elected officials, and community leaders. Photo courtesy of https://www.nssfrealsolutions.org/.

“The energy on the SHOT Show floor this year was off the charts,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. “The feedback we’ve received from our exhibitors and attendees has been amazing, and we can’t thank them all enough for helping us make the show what it is: the greatest trade show in the world.”

This was the largest SHOT Show ever, marking the third year of expanded exhibit space at Caesars Forum, in addition to The Venetian Expo. More than 2,600 companies displayed products and services in booths covering more than 821,000 net square feet and attracting attendees from 117 countries and all 50 states.

Sentiments from the Show Floor

“When we’re here, we’re able to network with our customers; we’re able to see all of our dealers. There really is no better place for us to be during this time,” said Shaundi Campbell of Browning.

“SHOT Show 2024 was filled with tremendous excitement that our industry needs,” stated Kevin Paulson, Founder of Huntinglife.com. “When talking with companies and individuals on the floor, the energy was palpable from the moment the show opened all the way through Friday afternoon. As the publisher for Hunting Life Magazine, it is great to see new companies coming into the show floor and the industry growing together.”

“It’s been a great show with a great return for us,” said Aaron Deckert of Infiray Outdoor. “We keep coming back for the connections and great attendance at SHOT Show.”

“I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen that are familiar, but I hadn’t had the chance to connect with yet. So, getting numbers, making those acquaintances, and just driving my business forward, that wouldn’t be there without this venue,” said Risky Chrisky of Leviathan Group.

“This was my first SHOT Show,” said Jordan Zwart, President of RubLine. “It was absolutely awesome, absolutely overwhelming, but in the best way possible. Everything that you can think of, you are going to find here.”

“SHOT is really beneficial to law enforcement. Every year I come back there is new equipment, new optics, new gear to try out,” said Kevin Boyd of C&G Holsters. “It’s great for networking, providing us the opportunity to meet with multiple different departments and agencies.”

“I could not even recap all the amazing people I saw, conversations I had, and relationships that were built. A very productive week for me, and just feeling really motivated and hungry for this next year,” said Marissa LaRen, Staccato Brand Ambassador.

Government Officials and the Outdoor Industry

The 2024 SHOT Show facilitated dialogue and collaboration between government officials and outdoor industry professionals at both the State Attorneys General Forum and the 3rd Annual Governors’ Forum. The first-ever Attorneys General Forum was a resounding success. One of the most well-attended special events, the 3rd Annual Governors’ Forum was standing-room only, where seven governors discussed the importance of firearm businesses to their economies and their efforts to attract firearm- and ammunition-related companies to relocate to their state. Across America, the $80.7 billion firearm industry supports more than 393,000 jobs.

All-new Archery Pavilion

This year, the SHOT Show introduced the all-new Archery Business Pavilion, featuring exhibits from leading manufacturers and suppliers in the archery industry. The new area of the show provided a focused environment for archery retailers and industry professionals to explore the latest trends, products, and business opportunities in the archery sector.

“This is our first year here; the floor traffic has been great,” said Eric Griggs, Owner and President of GAS Bowstrings. “It’s been great to see a lot of crossover folks who are thinking about adding an archery department or already have one. Everybody comes to SHOT, so having an archery-specific section provides a level of convenience. I imagine this section will really take off in years to come.”

Honoring Industry’s Leaders

NSSF announced its 2024 Hall of Fame inductees, honoring three industry leaders who left indelible marks on the industry and shooting sports. The NSSF Hall of Fame was launched at the 2020 SHOT Show to honor industry leaders for their contributions to NSSF, SHOT Show and the heritage of target shooting and hunting in America. This year’s inductees were Don Gobel, Grits Gresham and Bob Morrison.

NSSF presented its highest honor — the Ken Sedlecky Lifetime Achievement Award — to Steve Hornady, President of Hornady Manufacturing Company, for his long-term commitment to the success of the industry and his support of NSSF’s mission to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.

SHOT Week Supplier Showcase

The SHOT WeekSM Supplier Showcase, a two-day event and a key component of the SHOT Show garnered widespread acclaim for its success in connecting suppliers with manufacturers, fostering collaboration, and driving efficiency across the supply chain. This year featured over 560 OEM third-party suppliers meeting with exhibiting manufacturers and exploring their needs for extrusions, fabrication, fabrics, machinery, metal, plastics, software, logistical support and tools.

“Having suppliers available is a big deal because I have different options for the product now that I didn’t have yesterday,” said James Mark Busbee of CSAT Tactical Shooting Supply.

“You need to come to SHOT Show to see the latest and greatest technology, new designs and what people’s needs are so you can provide them a nice solution to get their product launched,” said Ron Natale, Precision Laser Technology.

“We came to find potential new suppliers, meet up with all our current suppliers and get new ideas and insights into industry trends. It’s one of the most important shows for us,” said Petra Polson of Benchmade Knife Co.

Education Sessions

Education sessions for firearm retailers, shooting range operators, exporters and law enforcement professionals continue to be an important segment of the SHOT Show. With SHOT University™, Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) – in partnership with American Cop – and Export Training Sessions offering in-person classes on compliance, marketing, training, exports, operations and much more.

Dedication to Firearm Safety

The topic of suicide prevention had high visibility at this year’s show, with NSSF’s Have a Brave Conversation booth and the announcement of the all-new BraveConversation.org website. NSSF’s Project ChildSafe® also exhibited, along with NSSF’s partners, the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

The photo is courtesy of the all-new BraveConversation.org website. Click the photo to visit website.

Many official show events cluster around the four days of the SHOT Show, creating SHOT Week. Among them was the NSSF/Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) Golf Classic in support of HAVA, a firearm industry-run charitable organization that helps the healing of disabled combat veterans through participation in hunting and shooting sports.

Also, Industry Day at the RangeTM on the day before the SHOT Show gives invited media members and buyers a truly exclusive opportunity to preview and test the latest guns, gear and gadgets before anyone else in the industry. This year featured over 120 exhibitors and over 2,300 media and buyers, a record-high attendance.

Expanded Networking Opportunities

Networking took center stage at the show, with the return of the popular SHOT After Dark, All-Star Jam Concert and nightly industry networking receptions. This expanded lineup of events and opportunities facilitated meaningful connections and collaborations among industry stakeholders.

“We are thrilled to see the tremendous success of the All-Star Jam Concert at SHOT Show. The energy and enthusiasm from all who attended was phenomenal, and we’re proud to have been a part of this fantastic experience alongside NSSF,” said Matt Hutchings, President and CEO of Outdoor Sportsman Group.

Recognizing the Show’s Sponsors

Major sponsors of this year’s show were Daniel Defense, USCCA, C&H Precision, Outdoor Sportsman Group, SAR Firearms, Silencer Co., Silencer Shop and TrueTimber.

Preparations have already begun for next year’s 47th SHOT Show, which is slated for January 21-24, 2025 in Las Vegas.

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About NSSF
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm 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, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org.

Firearm Industry in support of HISTORIC Senate Passage of Great American Outdoors Act

Rules, Regulations, NICs check - all required for legal firearm ownership in the USA. Photo courtesy of NSSF

NSSF®, the firearm industry trade association, praised the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, (H.R. 1957). This historic legislation, which received overwhelming bipartisan support, is among the most meaningful legislative measures for sportsmen conservationists ever. The Senate’s approval is a major step forward toward delivering on the promise of sustained wildlife conservation, public land hunting and recreational shooting on behalf of current and future generations of outdoorsmen and women.
Safety above all. Photo is courtesy of National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)
“This is a monumental achievement that demonstrates a continued legacy of bipartisanship on wildlife, public lands and outdoor recreation issues,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “When enacted, this legislation will fulfill a promise to future generations that conservation, access to public lands and outdoor recreation including hunting and recreational shooting will be safeguarded well into the next century.”
The Great American Outdoors Act, introduced in the Senate by Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.), would ensure full, dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and address the maintenance backlog of public lands and water projects across the United States. Those projects include wildlife habitat conservation, road and trail repairs and increased recreational access to our public lands and waters.
The legislation next heads to the U.S. House of Representatives for approval before it goes to the White House for signature, for which President Donald Trump has already indicated his support.
NSSF is especially grateful for Sens. Gardner and Daines sponsoring the legislation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for placing this as priority legislation in the Senate and for Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) for their bipartisan leadership. The legislation was introduced with 55 bipartisan co-sponsors.
The legislation builds upon the success of the NSSF-supported John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, which also enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support and was signed into law by President Trump in 2019.
GAOA will provide $9.5 billion over five years for deferred federal public lands and waters maintenance projects, with $3 billion set aside for infrastructure restoration on hundreds of millions of acres for increased access for America’s sportsmen and women. The Great American Outdoors Act will also provide $900 million annually for permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The legislation would also ensure that a significant portion of LWCF funding is dedicated to increasing public access for hunting, recreational shooting, fishing and outdoor recreation.
Sportsmen and women play a critical conservation role in the nation’s wildlife resources and to date, hunters and purchasers of firearms and ammunition, collectively, are the single largest source of wildlife conservation funding, contributing more than $13 billion since the enactment of the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act.
About NSSF – NSSF is the trade association for the firearm 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.

NEW Sunday Hunting LAW – Pennsylvania Celebrates More Hunting for Everyone

Sunday hunting means more time in the woods for everyone. NSSF Photo.

  • The addition of just these 3 days allows for working mothers and fathers to take their children to pass along shared hunting traditions.
  • Priceless
The New Bill would allow Sunday hunting one day during rifle deer season, one during statewide archery deer season and a third day to be selected by Pennsylvania’s Game Commission. NSSF Photo

The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) has made Sunday hunting a priority issue in Pennsylvania. NSSF led the Sunday Hunting Coalition, along with 15 other like-minded hunting and conservation groups and outdoor retail businesses. NSSF was successful in recent years in bringing Sunday hunting to North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and South Carolina. Maine and Massachusetts still have outright Sunday hunting bans, and several states still restrict hunting, including allowing hunting only on private lands.

Sunday hunting means more time in the woods for everyone. NSSF Photo.

NSSF applauds the Pennsylvania legislature for passing legislation that will allow for Sunday hunting in the Keystone State for the first time in more than 100 years. The Pennsylvania state Senate approved S. 147 in a vote of 38-11, sending the bill to Gov. Tom Wolf, who has committed to signing the measure into law.

“Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania is a phenomenal victory for sportsmen and women,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “This simple act removes the barrier to many to enjoy and pass along to the next generation of conservationist-hunters the respect for sustainable wildlife and the hunting traditions for which Pennsylvania is proud. We thank the legislature for their foresight to work diligently to this outcome. This is a tectonic shift in policy and one that will benefit Pennsylvania’s conservation, growth in outdoor recreation and economic impact.”

The Pennsylvania legislation would allow Sunday hunting one day during rifle deer season, one during statewide archery deer season and a third day to be selected by Pennsylvania’s Game Commission. Pennsylvania sold 855,486 hunting licenses in 2018. The addition of just these three days allows for working mothers and fathers to take three more days in the woods and marshes with their children to pass along shared hunting traditions.

The economic benefit to removing all Sunday hunting barriers in the Keystone State would inject $764,291,489 in total economic contribution, including jobs, output, and wages created from hunter expenditures ranging from licenses, ammunition, and hunting supplies to food, fuel, and magazines.

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.

COVID-19 Gun Sales like Toilet Paper…OFF-THE-SHELF!

  • Firearms & Ammunition Sales BATTLE Sanitizers & Toilet Paper Sales
  • Records show firearm accidents at their lowest level since record-keeping began in 1903.
  • Despite increasing numbers of new firearm owners, the downward trend of accidental firearms accidents is welcome by everyone.
Gunmask Gun Sales set new records in March, thanks in part to the COVID-19 crisis.

By Mike Schoonveld

Barrack Obama won many awards while he was president. I’m sure he was proud of most of them. Probably not so much when the decidedly pro-Obama news network, CNN, named him “Gun Salesman of the Year” multiple times. Never in U.S. history did so many citizens flock to gun stores to exercise their 2nd Amendment Rights in such numbers, all fueled by the perception those rights were under fire.

I’m not going to rehash that or the politics of the situation as existed then. However, if Obama deserved the salesman of the year award, this year’s award is likely to go to the COVID-19 Virus. The only thing selling as fast as sanitizers and toilet paper are guns and ammunition. This time it’s not so much the citizens worried about the government encroaching on their rights as much as the government’s inability to protect them if things go from bad to worse as more and more resources divert to virus-related issues. Is this needless worry or a reasonable approach to self-reliance? Only time will tell.

During the “arming of America” during the Obama years and now, anti-gun activists became hysterical and were quick to predict massive increases in firearms accidents. None of these prognostications have proved true. Firearms crime committed by legal gun owners didn’t spike and neither did accidental firearms accidents. In fact, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) just reported unintentional firearm fatalities have reached their lowest level ever, according to the latest data from the National Safety Council’s just-released Injury Facts Report.

NSSF, as the trade association for the firearm industry and leading proponent of safe gun handling and storage, applauded the report, which shows firearm accidents at their lowest level since record-keeping began in 1903. In part, it proves most firearms owners take owning their guns seriously and do so responsibly. It also proves industry efforts to improve firearms safety are having positive effects.

The industry has provided more than 100 million free firearm locking devices with new firearms sold and distributed through its award-winning Project ChildSafe program—the largest and most comprehensive firearm safety program in the country. The industry’s educational materials are widely distributed to gun owners by firearm manufacturers, retailers, instructors and others nationwide.

With approximately 100 million gun owners in the country, the data demonstrate that firearms can be safely owned and used with no increase in accidental gun statistics when secure storage guidelines are followed. Securely storing firearms when not in use is plainly sensible and has proven to be the number one way to help prevent accidents, thefts, and misuse.

NSSF gun lock: a simple device, more than 100 million of these gun locks have been distributed since Project ChildSafe was started.

The National Safety Council’s most recent data showed just 458 accidental firearm fatalities in the year, accounting for less than 1 percent of accidental deaths. The leading cause of accidental deaths in homes is falls and poisoning.

This downward trend of accidental firearms accidents is a long term trend, in spite of spikes in new firearms owners. In the last two decades, accidental firearm deaths have declined by 47 percent. That’s great, but even one accidental firearm fatality is one too many.

With reports of many people purchasing their first firearm for personal protection concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important for new gun owners to use the safety devices that came packaged with their new firearm. Also, when a gun is not under a responsible person’s direct control, all gun owners should consider using additional safety devices such as a lockable box or lockable gun case. Also, take advantage of the many gun safety resources at ProjectChildSafe.org – such as the time-tested video on the 10 commandments of firearm safety.

With so many children at home because of COVID-19-related school closures, parents are encouraged to make time to have “the talk” over and again with their kids about gun safety. Convenient, fun and easy to use video tools such as “McGruff” on Gun Safety as well as a video on how parents can talk to their children about gun safety can be found on the Project ChildSafe website.

THE END

 

 

Innovative Mentorship Programs Pave Way for Millions of New Young Hunters

  • Millions of New Hunters Are on the Way, say Hunting and Conservation Groups
  • In 2020, more than 460 million acres of state-owned lands are available to hunters and federal agencies are making it easier to access federal lands
  • Delta Waterfowl’s First Hunt Program has introduced more than 75,000 people to waterfowl hunting

By Bill Brassard

Delta’s First Hunt Program has introduced more than 75,000 people to waterfowl hunting. NSSF Photo

You’ve heard it said, “Nobody hunts anymore,” but that’s simply not true, said some of the nation’s top hunting and conservation groups during a press event at the SHOT Show® earlier this year.  They cited new, innovative programs that are attracting large numbers of new hunters, allowing people to pursue their desire to hunt for healthful food and make a connection to the outdoors.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms industry, was joined by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Delta Waterfowl and Savage Arms to discuss initiatives that look to create millions of new hunters in America.

“We’re seeing many positive signs that show there is hope for the future of hunting,” said Jim Curcuruto, NSSF’s Director of Research and Market Development. “New research and programs show that many people are motivated to give hunting a try. They tell us it’s an activity to be enjoyed with family and friends, that hunting provides healthful meat for their tables, and it allows them to put their busy lives on hold for a time to recharge and reconnect with the outdoors and nature.”

Curcuruto was joined by Tom Decker, USFWS Wildlife Biologist; Joel Brice, Delta Waterfowl’s Vice President of Waterfowl & Hunter Recruitment Programs; and Beth Shimanski, Savage Arms’ Director of Marketing, in delivering an upbeat message about hunting that pushes back on those that say hunting is not relevant in today’s world.

Curcuruto cited several initiatives, including NSSF’s +ONESM Movement mentoring program, which encourages experienced hunters to mentor youth and adults who have an interest in hunting. “Field-to-fork” and locavore programs are gaining interest from non-traditional audiences, and many states offer apprentice hunting licenses that allow newcomers to give hunting a try before taking a mandated hunter education course.

Also discussed was NSSF’s Hunting Heritage Trust Grant program that was introduced to support hunter-recruitment efforts. Five grants totaling $100,000 were awarded in 2019, and successful recruitment efforts were realized by grant recipients: Sportsmen’s Alliance, National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever, Georgia Wildlife Federation and First Hunt Foundation. Information on applying for a grant in the 2020 grant cycle can be found here.

Brice said Delta Waterfowl is seeing its HunteR3 Initiative introduce hunting to new audiences. The program has three components: Delta’s First Hunt Program, which has introduced more than 75,000 people to waterfowl hunting; Delta’s University Hunting Program, which teaches future wildlife management professionals who don’t have hunting experience about the critical role hunting plays in supporting wildlife conservation; and Defend the Hunt, which both defends against threats to hunting opportunity and works to increase quality access for hunters throughout North America.

“The launch of our HunteR3 Initiative reaffirms Delta Waterfowl’s commitment to hunter recruitment, retention and reactivation as an important priority for us.,” said Brice. “Delta is working hard to ensure a strong future for hunting. We simply must recruit new waterfowl hunters to replace those who are hanging up their waders and calls.”

Decker said, “Research has shown that one of the primary barriers to hunting is not having access to land. Knowing this, USFWS, along with state wildlife agencies, have made a concerted effort to open access to high-quality habitat over the past decade. In 2020, more than 460 million acres of state-owned lands will be available to hunters, and federal agencies are making it easier to access federal lands as well. The agencies are using online mapping technology to provide better information on where to access land, and apps such as onX Hunt provide maps that make it easy to find available lands as well.”

Shimanski said, “Generation Grit was Savage’s way of honoring the mentors who continue to selflessly share their expertise with new hunters. Their efforts deserve to be recognized as they strive to help us all change the trend we’ve seen in hunting participation. The overwhelming response from mentors shows us that there is hope that we can continue the uptick we’ve seen in the number of new hunters, especially younger hunters and women. That is very important to this industry, as we all benefit when that happens.”
Curcuruto noted, “Much research has been conducted over the past decade, and we feel confident we have the formula for successful recruitment. State and federal wildlife agencies, along with many NGOs and conservation organizations, are doing terrific work recruiting new hunters, but the needle will move faster when more of the industry gets involved. If we want to continue to activate millions of new hunters, then any company selling to the hunting market should get involved with recruitment efforts. The good news is that the more manufacturers and retailers get involved in recruitment, the more new hunters we will have. It’s really that simple. Make sure 2020 is the year you join the +ONE Movement.”

Take a look at what happened when NSSF invited its staff to learn to hunt. We encourage you to conduct your own +ONE hunter recruitment efforts to help bring those millions of interested folks to the field.

To learn more about supporting this effort, visit NSSF’s +ONE Movement and R3 information pages or contact Jim Curcuruto at jcurcuruto@nssf.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, log on to www.nssf.org.

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.