Industry Campaign: Influencing The Influencers

By Russ Thurman

Americans are bombarded constantly with anti-gun messages. Often, they include anti-industry attacks, which depict manufacturers, distributors and dealers as something akin to merchants of death.

One of the most slanderous attacks came from Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy during an appearance on CNN in 2013.
“What this is about is the ability of the gun industry to sell as many guns to as many people as possible — even if they are deranged, even if they are mentally ill, even if they have a criminal background. They don’t care. They want to sell guns,” Malloy said.

More recently, financial institutions have attacked the industry, with Citigroup and Bank of America placing tough restrictions on firearm manufacturers and dealers. In New York State, at the direction of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state financial department urged all insurance companies and banks “to discontinue their arrangements with the NRA, the gun industry, or other promoters of guns.”

The Brady Campaign has used recent shootings at schools to advance its agenda. “We’re holding the gun industry accountable for contributing to and profiting from gun deaths,” the campaign said in an email to its supporters earlier this year.

The anti-industry messages being sent: The firearms industry couldn’t care less about safety or lives lost; they only care about selling more guns.

Despite the insanity of such remarks and actions, they are too often taken seriously, and feed the anti-gun/industry narrative.

A Responsible Industry

In the midst of the seemingly endless negatives, the NSSF has launched a new initiative to challenge these false narratives. Key to the campaign is countering the anti-gun/industry narrative, especially among those who influence future regulations that impact gun ownership and the industry.

“The goal of the Industry Reputation Campaign is to prevent adverse legislation, regulation and policy by reaching out to policy influencers, particularly inside the ‘Beltway,’ to improve the reputation of the industry, and educating them on how we are a responsible industry,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF SVP, general counsel.

Late May, NSSF kicked off the campaign with placement of a full-page print ad, “Making A Difference For A Safer America” in The Hill, a widely read Capitol Hill newspaper. A link to the ad appeared in The Hill’s web-based “12:30 Report.”

“We selected The Hill precisely because its audience is ‘policy influencers,’ i.e., senators, members of Congress, congressional staff — on both sides of the aisle, main street media including political reporters and opinion writers, think tanks, etc.,” Keane said.

This is a smart move by NSSF. The “Making A Difference For A Safer America” ad features NSSF’s FixNICS, Don’t Lie for the Other Guy, Project ChildSafe, Suicide Prevention and Operation Secure Store programs. The ad presents a sharp contrast to the anti-gun movement’s message that the industry doesn’t care about anything but selling guns.

Salutes to NSSF for developing the Industry Reputation Campaign, and ensuring its message is placed before those who influence future legislation.


Get Funky With Lipsey’s

For those overstressed with the ups-and-downs of the market and the attacks from the anti-gun lobby, take a break and get funky with Lipsey’s.

Earlier this year, the major industry distributor posted a video on its website, “The Lipsey’s Team Gets Funky!” Filmed at the company’s first-class facility in Baton Rouge, La., the music video features all employees, including Richard Lipsey, founder and chairman (who knew he could be funky?) and Laurie Lipsey Aronson, president and CEO, who we vote as the most physically fit executive in the industry.

Then there is Flint Virgets. His performance is inspiring as the ever-alert VP in his glassed-wall office. Hollywood will be calling.

So, decompress. Visit and get funky.

Thanks, Lipsey’s. We needed that!

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