ICYMI: Industry News
From Jan. 22–26, 2024


NSSF’s New BraveConversation.org Website Provides Suicide Prevention Resources & Shareable Graphics

NSSF has launched BraveConversation.org, a new website with resources for gun owners and their families about caring for mental health and preventing suicide.

“More than 50% of firearm-related fatalities are suicide deaths, not homicides or accidents, and by providing education about mental health, secure storage of firearms and how to help someone who’s struggling — having that ‘brave conversation’—we can help save lives,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF president and CEO. “Suicide is a sensitive topic, but we can talk about suicide and mental health while at the same time respecting Second Amendment rights.”

NSSF announced BraveConversation.org at SHOT Show 2024 and is encouraging industry companies, organizations and individuals to use the shareable graphics on BraveConversation.org to raise awareness in the firearm-owning community about the website’s resources and suicide prevention.

One of the shareable graphics makes the point, “Suicide Is Preventable: Help Someone Who’s Struggling. BraveConversation.org.” All the shareable graphics highlight the national call/text 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

BraveConversation.org serves as the hub of resources included in the NSSF-AFSP Suicide Prevention Toolkit. The toolkit’s materials were designed for firearm retailers and shooting ranges to display at their facilities to raise awareness among staff and customers about steps to take to help prevent suicide. The toolkit, built around the theme of “Have a Brave Conversation,” includes posters, counter cards, window decals and an educational brochure for customers to take home from the store or range.

More than 8,000 NSSF-AFSP Suicide Prevention Toolkits and more than 800,000 of the Firearms and Suicide Prevention brochures have been distributed since the inception of the program.

For more info: braveconversation.org

Walther Announces $30 Million Expansion In Fort Smith, Ark.

Following the company’s meeting with Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders during her European trade mission last summer, Walther Manufacturing is expanding its presence in Fort Smith, Ark., creating an expected 76 new jobs over the next five years. The expansion represents a capital investment of up to $30 million in the region.

“Walther Manufacturing is making a substantial investment in our Fort Smith factory to facilitate the expansion of our research development and manufacturing of U.S.-produced firearms and accessories,” said Tom Goike, Walther Manufacturing president and CEO.

Currently, Umarex USA/Walther occupies 185,000 sq. ft. in their facility. The expansion adds over 40,000 sq. ft. to the existing operation, encompassing industry-leading design engineering, product management and manufacturing capabilities. The expansion is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2024.

“Arkansas is proud to be home to Walther U.S. headquarters, both because we love jobs and because we love our Second Amendment. After meeting with the company during my European trade mission this summer, I’m thrilled they’ve decided to double down on their investment and grow their facility here in the Natural State, helping Fort Smith and the entire River Valley grow,” said Governor Sanders.

“Walther is a world-renowned firearms company, and they have been a great corporate partner in Arkansas for the past decade,” said Clint O’Neal, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

Walther established its operations in Arkansas in 2012, making Fort Smith its U.S. headquarters. Walther Manufacturing is the fabrication entity that manufactures all U.S.-based products for the companies Walther and Umarex USA, utilizing a unique blend of advanced precision technology and authentic human craftsmanship. All three companies share a campus in Fort Smith.

For more info: waltherarms.com

Pietta Commemorates 60 Years

Pietta Firearms is celebrating six decades in 2024. The company, founded by Guiseppe Pietta in Gussago, Italy, in 1963 furnishes superlative firearms, seamlessly ranging from historically precise revolvers to contemporary classics. Today, the company is run by Guiseppe’s sons, Alessandro and Alberto.

Alessandro Pietta remarked, “We are profoundly grateful for the opportunity to deepen our roots in this extraordinary industry. The entrepreneurial and artistic spirit of our father permeates every facet of Pietta Firearms. It is an honor to perpetuate the tradition, legacy and triumphs he set in motion.”

Alberto Pietta expressed, “We take pride not only in Pietta’s achievements as a paragon of manufacturing excellence but also in our unwavering commitment to best-in-class replica firearms expertise. We eagerly anticipate the continued privilege of serving our customers with firearms the world can unequivocally trust.”

In its 60th year, Pietta shows no signs of slowing down and is fortifying relationships and expanding product offerings to esteemed retailers and distributors across the U.S. and Europe.

For more info: pietta.us

GOA Announces Inaugural National Women’s Range Day

Gun Owners of America (GOA) announced a new way to celebrate women’s empowerment on this upcoming International Women’s Day weekend. On March 9, GOA and Empowered 2A will launch the inaugural National Women’s Range Day in Grapevine, Texas.

Antonia Cover, GOA director of women’s outreach and founder of Empowered 2A, stated, “This event will provide a space for women to grow, learn and equip one another to be effective Second Amendment advocates and well-trained gun owners. I encourage all women to join us March 9th as we celebrate womanhood, true empowerment and our right to defend ourselves however we choose.”

Ladies in attendance will have the opportunity to meet with female advocates and leaders in the Second Amendment community and seek advice on best practices in their concealed carry journey. Additionally, each woman will receive a complimentary GOA one-year membership with her ticket.

This event will be celebrated at Texas Gun Experience — a 35,000 sq. ft. range that boasts a massive retail and firearm rental selection, high-tech shooting stalls and a robust selection of machine guns for rent. Attendees will have full access to 15 25-yard lanes and six 50-yard lanes for target practice and training, and plenty of time to sample the plethora of handgun and rifle rentals available.

Tickets for this women’s-only range day are $20 and include an all-access day pass at Texas Gun Experience including firearm rentals, ammunition and range time. Attendees will also learn how to be an effective advocate for the Second Amendment via small seminars on the GOA “No-Compromise” mission.

For more info: gunowners.org

SIG SAUER Expands Operations In UK

SIG SAUER Inc. announced an alliance with Accuracy International Limited (AI) to expand the business operations of SIG SAUER in support of the British Armed Forces and law enforcement customers within the United Kingdom.

“As part of our global strategic growth plan, SIG SAUER is solidifying several key partnerships to meet the increased demand for our products in Europe and other NATO countries,” said Ron Cohen, President of SIG SAUER Inc. “The alliance with Accuracy International affords SIG an expanded presence, greater customer engagement and new collaboration in the UK to meet the diverse, immediate and future needs of the British military, law enforcement and other security and defense organizations.”

Accuracy International is a British firearms manufacturer based in Portsmouth, England, with products fielded with military units and law enforcement globally.

Tom Irwin, AI director added, “SIG will benefit from AI’s extensive UK market expertise and manufacturing and logistical infrastructure to assist in the transition toward a fully independent SIG SAUER UK entity.”

“This strategic partnership signifies our commitment and laser focus on the U.S.-UK defense security relationship and our investment brings new opportunity to the British economy,” Cohen concluded.

For more info: sigsauer.com

OtterText Introduces Rewards & POS Integration

Through its innovative division OtterText, Otter Technologies launched its transformative Rewards and POS integration system. This pioneering integration, compatible with AXIS powered by Gearfire and AIM by TriTech POS systems, is poised to redefine customer loyalty in the firearms industry.

The state-of-the-art system enables firearm businesses to deploy robust rewards programs quickly, allowing them to compete effectively with major retailers. The integration with AXIS and AIM is seamless, facilitating instant loyalty program implementation.

The OtterText loyalty program specifically targets firearms businesses, focusing on enhancing customer retention and value.

Key features include:

1. Customer Engagement: Customers can join the loyalty program via text post-purchase.

2. Easy Opt-In: Customers can enroll simply by texting their birthday.

3. Reward Tracking: Accumulated rewards are trackable via a dedicated URL without an app.

4. Points Redemption: Points can be redeemed for credits on subsequent purchases.

The SHAFT C-compliant text automation feature of OtterText ensures customers have a hassle-free experience in tracking their loyalty points.

Ben Nelson, CEO of Otter Technologies, shared, “We at OtterText are committed to revolutionizing customer loyalty in the firearms sector. Our latest Rewards and POS integration system is a testament to this commitment, offering unmatched tools for building enduring customer relationships.”

For more info: ottertext.com

SLG2 Inc. Celebrates 15 Years & Prestigious Award

This year marks the 15th anniversary of Shoot Like A Girl (SLG2 Inc.), founded by Karen Butler to introduce women to shooting sports. The organization has released its 15-year report and celebrates the impact it has made during that time.

Butler reflects, “Creating this report has reminded me of the tremendous impact SLG2 Inc. has had on me. It has brought back memories of the people I met along the way, and gratitude for my family, staff and our partners who enabled me to take my idea and turn it into a company that makes such a difference in people’s lives. I feel blessed to have so many incredible people and companies believe in our mission to empower people to participate in shooting sports with confidence.”

Today, SLG2 Inc. consists of four successful brands that cater to different aspects of the shooting industry:

1. Shoot Like A Girl offers women the opportunity to shoot a pistol, rifle and bow in a safe controlled environment. It utilizes a semi-tractor trailer virtual mobile range.

2. SLG2 Consulting (established in 2018) provides market research and consulting services to develop strategies for partners.

3. Hunt Like A Girl (established in 2020) empowers women through outdoor experiences, promoting the great outdoors.

4. Safe LivinG (established in 2023) focuses on personal security and firearm safety.

Over the past 15 years, Shoot Like A Girl has hosted more than 36,500 guests. Archery introductions served as the foundation of the company, with a significant percentage of guests expressing interest in purchasing a bow. Since the addition of firearms were introduced in the Shoot Like A Girl program in December 2013, there has been an increase in sales and planned purchases of firearms. A recent survey revealed 41% of guests have purchased one or more guns following their experience, 27% of guests have expressed their intention to purchase a firearm and 25% already owned one prior to their experience. An overwhelming 92% of guests reported a positive impact from their experience with SLG2 Inc.

In other celebratory news for SLG2 Inc., Karen Butler was recently honored with the prestigious NRA Women Golden Bullseye Award for Woman of the Year. Winners are carefully selected by a committee of NRA editors and veteran publications staff. This recognition highlights the dedication and commitment of SLG2 Inc.’s leader to create stronger camaraderie among women in the shooting sports community.

In a release, NRA Women stated, “Through her efforts, [Butler] has inspired thousands of once-hesitant women to transform themselves into confident gun owners and hunters, launching them on their own journeys to becoming responsible for their own personal safety and that of their families.”

For more info: shootlikeagirl.com