NSSF

NSSF Applauds U.S. House of Representatives Introduction of Freedom Financing Act

Legislation Protects Firearms Industry from Corporate Discrimination

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms industry trade association, applauded the introduction of H.R. 2079, the Freedom Financing Act in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Roger Williams (R-Texas). The legislation would ensure large financial institutions cannot deny service to certain constitutionally-protected industries that are fully compliant with all laws and statutes.

Americans must be reassured their tax dollars aren’t weaponized by corporate institutions attempting to eliminate a lawful industry that has become politically-disfavored by boardroom bureaucrats,” said Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “Congressman Williams’s leadership is crucial to ensure banks which have enjoyed bailouts and insurance programs funded by taxpayers aren’t allowed to benefit from these protections while purposefully discriminating against the industry that provides the means for Second Amendment rights. These policies are debated and created by the elected officials Americans vote to represent their interests, not by faceless corporate boards representing the interest of the few. We applaud Congressman Williams for his clear vision in correcting this abuse of American trust and taxpayer dollars.

The Freedom Financing Act focuses on the most egregious examples of legal commerce being banned through corporate policy that target firearms manufacturers, distributors, importers and retailers. Because the intent is not to force financial institutions to do business with certain industries – but rather to ensure that legal commerce is not prohibited – this legislation exempts financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets.

The firearms industry has opposed moves by Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase when they published policies to deny financial services to AR-15 manufacturers and retailers to adopt restrictive sales policies, products that are legal under federal law for ownership and commonly-owned, with more than 16 million modern sporting rifles in private ownership today. Public policy is the responsibility of elected leaders and not dictated by a select few of unaccountable corporate boardroom bureaucrats. Policies to discriminate a lawful industry are a threat to American’s ability to choose the firearms that best meet their needs for self-defense, hunting and recreational target shooting.

NSSF Praises U.S. House Bipartisan Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act

Legislation Frees Funds for State Range Construction

The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the firearms industry trade association, praised the introduction of H.R. 1222, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act of 2019 in the U.S House of Representatives. The bipartisan bill was authored by Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Rob Bishop (R-Utah).

“This is crucial legislation that would provide state fish and game agencies more flexibility to use Pittman-Robertson excise taxes dollars raised from the sale of firearms and ammunition to enhance existing public shooting ranges and to build new ones to meet the growing need for additional places for target shooters to participate in their sport,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Public shooting ranges provide hunters a place to sight in rifles and shotguns before hunting seasons, for people to take firearm safety and hunter education courses and, for recreational target shooters to enjoy their sport. NSSF thanks Congressmen Kind and Bishop for recognizing the critical need and providing solutions to benefit recreational shooters and conservation.”

This legislation has been introduced in previous Congressional sessions, where it received overwhelming bipartisan support, but was never advanced to the president. The funds are derived from an existing excise taxes paid by firearms and ammunition manufacturers since 1937, with almost $12.1 billion raised for wildlife conservation supported by the sale of these products.

States are permitted to use some of those funds for hunter education courses and for public shooting ranges under a restrictive formula that has largely discouraged state agencies from building and enhancing public shooting ranges. The legislation would provide states greater flexibility on their ability to use Pittman-Robertson excise tax funds by increasing the cap of federal funds accrued for the creation and maintenance of shooting ranges from 75 to 90 percent. This means states could begin work on range facilities with 10 percent matching funds, instead of the current 25 percent. It would also enable excise funds to be made available and accrue for five years for land acquisition or range construction.

Target shooters are largely responsible for the funds derived through excise taxes from the sale of firearms and ammunition products. That money is directly responsible for habitat conservation, recreational shooting and wildlife management, making gun owners, hunters and manufacturers largest financial supporters of wildlife conservation throughout the United States. The development of new ranges will help encourage participation in hunting and the shooting sports, ensuring wildlife conservation funding through the Pittman-Robertson Act will continue for generations to come.

NSSF Announces $100K Grant Program for First Shots Host Ranges

The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms industry, is pleased to announce that it has established a $100,000 grant program to be used by firearms ranges in support of their NSSF First Shots® introductory shooting programs. First Shots events serve the dual purpose of providing a safe, fun and educational introduction experience for people new to firearms and shooting while fostering community outreach and developing a new customer base for our member ranges.

The grant program is now open for application by shooting ranges and organizations. Applicants may apply for grants of up to $2,500 to be used to create or enhance marketing and advertising efforts for First Shots events held preferably before April 1, 2019, or within 90 days of receiving the grant. They can also apply a portion of their funds for any necessary equipment purchases such as loaner firearms. The grant program is open to current and former NSSF Member First Shots host ranges and organizations, as well as those ranges just getting started with or that plan to start hosting First Shots events for the first time. New and former First Shots host ranges will be given Grant award priority.

“First Shots is well-established as a program that connects people interested in learning about firearms safety and target shooting with the ranges and instructors in their communities, and it’s proven to not only get these people to the range for their first shots but to keep them coming back,” said Zach Snow, NSSF Director, Shooting Range Services. “We expect this grant program, along with the additional program support we offer our First Shots host ranges, will go a long way towards improving shooting sports safety training, participation numbers and enhancing the viability of our Member ranges.”

Ranges and organizations that wish to apply for a portion of the First Shots Grant Program funds are encouraged to do so at their earliest opportunity. For more information, contact Ann Gamauf, NSSF Retail & Range Business Development Coordinator, at agamauf@nssf.org

NSSF Program Hunting Works for America Expands Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sportsmen and Sportswomen Pump More than $93 Billion into US Economy

NSSF reports and others detail economic impact of spending on hunting, target shooting and sportfishing in America

New economic reports reveal that more than 53 million Americans consider themselves sportsmen, spending more than $93.5 billion in 2016 on gear, licenses, travel, clothing, gas and more in connection with their hunting, target shooting and sportfishing activities.

A series of reports released today by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, American Sportfishing Association and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation show expenditures made for hunting, target shooting and sportfishing gear and services in 2016 supported 1.6 million jobs and provided $72 billion in salaries and wages. These monies also generated nearly $20 billion in local, state and federal taxes, much of which benefits vital conservation and educational programs that improve areas for everyone who enjoys the outdoors.

“With plenty of great land and waters to hunt and fish on, and thousands of shooting ranges to visit, people in every state are enjoying these pastimes. Their spending has profound, positive effects on many segments of the American economy,” said Jim Curcuruto, Director Research and Market Development at NSSF, the trade association for the firearms industry.

“If hunting, fishing and target shooting were a corporation, it would rank #25 on the Fortune 500, ahead of Microsoft,” says Rob Southwick, President of Southwick Associates. “While time spent outside may come across as something to do after the real work day is done, in reality, hunting, fishing and target shooting is a critical industry, generating jobs and income for thousands of communities across the country.”

Key highlights of the reports include:

  • Nearly 600 million combined days at the range or afield were spent by millions of hunters and target shooters in 2016.
  • Each year, 35.8 million people 16 years and older take to America’s waters to fish.
  • The number of people who participate in sportfishing, hunting and target shooting represents 16.5 percent of the total U.S. population.
  • When factoring in multiplier effects, spending by sportsmen created economic activity in excess of $220 billion.
  • Hunting, fishing and target shooting add $119 billion of overall value to our nation’s gross domestic product and generate $17.6 billion in federal taxes and $12.2 billion in state and local taxes.

Four separate reports are available:

  • Sportfishing from the American Sportfishing Association
  • Hunting from the National Shooting Sports Foundation
  • Target Shooting from the National Shooting Sports Foundation
  • A report with all activities combined from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.

To download copies of the hunting and target shooting reports, visit www.nssf.org or www.southwickassociates.com.

NSSF and Walker’s Work to Mentor the Next Generation of Hunters and Shooters

The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) and Walker’s have launched a mentor initiative that encourages experienced target shooters and hunters to invite new individuals to the range or field. The campaign is part of NSSF’s Mentor Pledge initiative developed to facilitate growth of the shooting sports community through education, safety and fun.

As an incentive, NSSF and Walker’s are providing free Razor Ear Muffs (valued at $69.99) to the first 2,000 mentors. Participants must sign a pledge online and share a photo or short video of their experience with a new hunter or shooter in order to claim their reward.

“We are thrilled to play a part in supporting the next generation of hunters and shooters,” said Ben Smith, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Walker’s. “This partnership with NSSF is the perfect opportunity for our company to give back to the shooting sports community.”

“Research shows that 24 million American’s have an interest getting started hunting or target shooting and that Being invited by a friend or family member is by far the best way to get new folks to the range or field,” said Jim Curcuruto, Director of Research & Market Development at NSSF. “This program aligns with NSSF programs such as National Shooting Sports Month and First Shots that provide introductions to the shooting sports.”

To learn more about this mentoring initiative and to take the pledge, visit the mentor pledge webpage.

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