NSSF Fly-In: (Virtual) Advocacy At Work


May 25–26, NSSF staged its annual Congressional Fly-In, a virtual-only affair this year due to continued restrictions on in-person visits at Capitol Hill. While decidedly different than previous Fly-Ins, the 2021 iteration had a familiar structure, with attendees able to take part in honoring the 2020 and 2021 NSSF PAC Wall of Fame inductees and NSSF’s 2020 Legislator of the Year, Senator Kevin Cramer (N–ND). The NSSF PAC also hosted a virtual political update from Rep. Richard Hudson (R–NC), a staunch author of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R.38) and co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus.

During the Fly-In, 35 industry professionals from 24 companies formed five teams and met with more than 40 members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to share the industry’s legislative priorities, as well as how proposed legislation would impact their businesses. The following discussion points were presented to lawmakers:

• Dispelling the myths of the Protection Of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act (PLCAA): Contrary to President Biden’s rhetoric, the industry is not granted full immunity. This law stands between law-abiding industry members and gun-control advocates who want to punish the industry for the illegal actions of criminals.

• Opposition To President Biden’s Nominee To Lead ATF: Biden’s decision to name David Chipman as his nominee for director of the ATF (a Senate-confirmed position) drew widespread condemnation from around the industry. With previous experience as a senior advisor for Everytown for Gun Safety before moving into a senior policy advisor role at Giffords, Chipman would politicize the bureau. (Coincidentally, Chipman testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the morning of the Fly-In. At NSSF’s request, 20 Republican attorney generals sent a letter to the Senate, opposing Chipman’s nomination.)

• Support for the Fair Access to Banking Act (S.563, H.R.1729): This bill would work to end the discriminatory lending practices of major banking institutions that seek to circumvent the legislative process and set social policy from the boardroom.

• FFL Protection Act (H.R.3252): Would strengthen and enhance criminal penalties for thefts of firearms from FFLs.

• Appropriations priorities: $125 million for FY22 to support additional resources for NICS, and $14 million for combating chronic wasting disease (CWD).

• Opposing bans on Modern Sporting Rifles and standard-capacity magazines.

Despite the virtual-only format, the 2021 Fly-In provided an opportunity for industry representatives to share — firsthand — with Congressional members and their staffs how their businesses have been impacted by boardroom decisions at banks, background context for PLCAA and why Biden’s pick to lead ATF would nullify the progress made from the industry’s partnerships with the bureau.

NSSF announced the 2022 Congressional Fly-In will be held April 5–6 — about seven months ahead of the midterm election. (Editor’s Note: Factsheets and backgrounders on all of the legislative priorities detailed above are available at nssf.org/government-relations/factsheets. See Industry Link [p. 97] for additional commentary.)

/ nssf.org/government-relations

CZ Group Completes Colt Acquisition

May 24, CZ Group SE (CZG) successfully closed on its acquisition of Colt Holding Company (parent company of Colt’s Mfg. Co.), as well as its Canadian subsidiary, Colt Canada Corp.

“With this acquisition, we have created a strategic relationship between CZG and Colt, which will bring significant opportunities for the group,” stated Lubomír Kovařík, chairman and president of CZG. “We’re confident this combination will create value for our customers and shareholders alike and strengthen these iconic brands. This merger also confirms our commitment to the North American market which is an integral part of our growth strategy.”

Thanks to this acquisition, CZG gains further production capacity and positions itself to become a leading firearms manufacturer and a key partner globally for military, L.E. and commercial customers. The combined enterprise generated $570 million in sales in 2020.

“Colt is pleased to join forces with CZG. We’re proud of our heritage and believe the strength of the combined businesses and the many synergies created by the merger will enable us to honor our roots while also securing the future of the Colt brand,” said Dennis Veilleux, president and CEO of Colt. “We look forward to continuing to deliver our high-quality products while also investing in innovation and new product offerings in the near future.”

Colt joins CZ-USA, Dan Wesson, Brno Rifles and 4M Systems as CZG-owned subsidiaries. / czg.cz / colt.com

Andrew (left) and Adam Arnold of Reeds Family Outfitters accept the 2020
President’s Award from Federal Ammunition. “When our industry friends and
partners are in need of extra help, Reeds will be alongside them,” Adam said.

Federal Announces 2020 President’s Award

Federal Ammunition and sister brand Remington Ammunition announced the conferring of the 2020 President’s Award to Reeds Family Outdoor Outfitters, with locations in Walker and Onamia, Minn. The award recognizes an industry partner that has gone above and beyond normal business to elevate the hunting and shooting sports through acts of generosity, kindness and advocacy.

“It’s important to recognize the great work industry partners do, not only for our products and brand, but also what they do behind the scenes to further the mission of our industry,” said Jason Vanderbrink, president of Vista Outdoor Ammunition brands. “I can’t think of better or more-deserving industry partners than Jeff, Adam and Andrew Arnold at Reeds.”

In 2020, when conservation groups were struggling to complete their mission work without the traditional in-person banquets, the Reeds team stepped forward to allocate and subsidize ammunition to conservation groups for raffles that helped offset the loss of banquet revenue.

To date, those efforts assisted in raising more than $300,000 for conservation organizations to continue their vital missions of preserving habitat and flourishing wildlife populations.

“We are truly humbled and honored by this award, and appreciate the recognition of an act that was second nature to us. When our industry friends and partners are in need of extra help, Reeds will be alongside them,” said Adam Arnold, Reeds CEO. / federalpremium.com

EOTECH Now Offers Consumer Financing

EOTECH announced it’s now offering a consumer financing option on the company website. EOTECH has partnered with financing firm Credova, known as a supporter of the firearms industry and the Second Amendment. With an approval rating of near 80%, Credova takes on the risk of repayment to the manufacturer.

The financing is easy to apply for, providing near-instantaneous approval for immediate purchases on the EOTECH website. Customers can be approved while grabbing a second cup of coffee. Note: Consumers must provide their own coffee, but the company is working on that, too.

“Historically, under ‘Big Corp.’ EOTECH was known to be difficult to work with. Since the divestiture, the new ownership and leadership team has set a goal to become an industry leader in customer service, at all levels. Our relationship with Credova offers consumers interested in purchasing EOTECH products another payment option and convenience,” said
Lisa Kemp, EOTECH’s director of marketing. “Our products aren’t inexpensive, so offering an alternative to high-interest credit cards may make the purchase process easier and more manageable — as well as address a customer who may not have purchased otherwise.” / eotechinc.com

Winchester Awarded U.S. Army Contract

Winchester was selected by the U.S. Army as the second source provider for small-caliber rifle ammunition. This most recent contract is for 5.56mm, 7.62mm and .50-caliber ammunition with an initial order of $37 million and is the third consecutive second source contract Olin Winchester has received.

“Winning this contract, combined with being selected as the operating contractor at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, solidifies Winchester’s position supplying small-caliber ammunition to the U.S. military,” said Brett Flaugher, Winchester president. / winchester.com

Axeon Second Zero Large Rail Mount

Umarex USA Receives New Optical Patent

Umarex USA Inc., a family-owned outdoor sporting brands company, announced it was awarded patent number US 10,982,931 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The patent, titled “Visual Targeting Apparatus and System,” adds to Umarex’s growing intellectual property portfolio, and is directly associated with the optical technology used in the Second Zero, an innovative accessory within the company’s Axeon Optics brand.

The newly patented technology was invented by optical engineer John Baker and his son, Jacob Baker. Their goal was to create a device for the rifle shooter that, when placed in front of an optic, instantly creates an additional zero distance. The result was a revolutionary, long-range shooting accessory effectively extending a shooter’s ability to hit targets at ranges beyond the initial zero or point-blank range.

Instead of holding over a target to achieve an impact at extended distances, the optical adjustment lens shifts the target to the shooter’s holdover. It takes the calculation out of ballistics, and the guesswork out of holdover and leaves the shooter with a simplified ability to aim center.

“Our goal is to continue to build upon our successes by bringing the next wave of innovation to the sport optic, airgun and light markets. This patent gives us the motivation and leverage to forge ahead with our partners and engineering teams to realize new product creations that further enhance the experience of the outdoors,” said Richard Turner, president of Umarex USA. / umarexusa.com


Delaware State Police AdoptS SIG P320 Pistols

SIG SAUER Inc. announced the Delaware State Police, consisting of over 700 troopers, has adopted its P320RXP pistols for duty use. The pistols provided through the contract also feature factory-installed SIG SAUER Electro-Optics ROMEO1Pro red dot sights.

“All of our troopers recently completed the training and instruction process with the new pistols and optic, and we’ve noticed the outstanding accuracy of the P320 pistol. And the pairing with the ROMEO1Pro optics has added a new level of fast, responsive target acquisition,” said Col. Melissa Zebley, superintendent of the Delaware State Police.

The SIG SAUER P320 RXP pistol is a 9mm striker-fired pistol with a factory installed ROMEO1PRO Open Reflex sight and suppressor-height backup sights. Additional features are its ambidextrous slide catch lever, reversible magazine catch and modular polymer grip available in small, medium and large. The intuitive three-point takedown of the pistol requires no trigger pull for disassembly.

The SIG SAUER Electro-Optics ROMEO1PRO is a miniature open-reflex red dot sight, available with either a 3 MOA or 6 MOA red dot. It comes with 12 brightness settings for a full range of lighting conditions. A 20,000-hour battery life and an IPX-7 waterproof rating also make the optic, housed in aircraft-grade aluminum, a rugged choice for L.E. agencies.

“This is the very first statewide agency to incorporate a red dot pistol as the department-wide standard, and we are incredibly proud of the positive feedback we have received throughout their transition and training with the SIG SAUER P320 RXP pistols,” said Tom Jankiewicz, executive VP, law enforcement sales for SIG SAUER. / sigsauer.com

Vista Outdoor Forms Corporate Foundation

Vista Outdoor Inc. announced the launch of the Vista Outdoor Corporate Foundation, a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt Delaware corporation, and an accompanying $3 million initial contribution.

The foundation will partner with nonprofits that support conservation, outdoor access and other causes aligned with Vista Outdoor’s “Purpose, Vision and Commitments.”

“The foundation will allow us to make commitments to nonprofit partners that promote conservation, outdoor access and other causes that unite our diverse portfolio of brands and customers. Our foundation partners will also help us protect open spaces, get more people outside and create the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts. [It] is a natural progression of our culture, which at its core includes a desire to do well so we can do good,” said Vista Outdoor CEO Chris Metz.

Vista Outdoor has appointed its general counsel and corporate secretary Dylan Ramsey as chairman of the foundation’s board of directors. The board includes six other Vista Outdoor employees, who represent a broad cross-section of the company’s organization. The foundation’s board of directors will govern and manage its affairs in accordance with its bylaws, and will approve donations by the foundation to qualified nonprofit partners.

The Vista Outdoor Corporate Foundation is now considering requests for funding from qualified nonprofit organizations.
Funding requests will be considered from prospective nonprofit partners that are:Recognized by the IRS as a public charity and headquartered in the U.S.; Have a mission and objectives aligned with the foundation’s; Have a demonstrated track record in effective programming, organizational and financial management; and Have an ability to demonstrate the impact of its programs and share progress against stated objectives with the foundation. / vistaoutdoor.com

Attendees of RISE 2021 — A Girl & A Gun’s 9th Annual National Conference — gather
for a class picture. More than 600 women, ages 12–77, came together to celebrate
shared passions for self-defense and recreational shooting.

AG & AG Holds 9th National Conference

A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League (AG & AG) recently hosted its 9th Annual National Conference Presented by GLOCK, called RISE 2021. The sold-out event took place at Cameo Shooting and Education Complex near Palisade, Colo., April 27–May 2. More than 600 AG & AG members, sponsors, staff and friends attended.

“Last year we hosted a very successful virtual conference, but we were unable to meet face to face, give hugs and cheer for success,” said Julianna Crowder, AG & AG’s founder. “This year, with RISE 2021, we welcomed diverse and enthusiastic women, aged 12 to 77, who each have unique goals for self-defense and recreational shooting sports. It’s an honor we get to share in their journeys and guide them along the way.”

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) was on site to welcome the attendees to her home state of Colorado. This was the first AG & AG national conference to be hosted outside of Texas.

Participants represented 96 AG & AG chapters from 35 different states. The women were able to choose from among 250 training and leadership classes or lectures run by 54 of the nation’s top firearms educators.

All participants were required to go through a gear-check process where their handguns, belts, holsters and magazine pouches were all reviewed and function-checked. The most popular brands and models the women brought to training reflect their buying habits.

GLOCK was the most popular handgun brand among women at the training conference, representing 32% of their carry preferences. (The most-preferred GLOCK models were G19s and G17s.)

The next most-popular brand was SIG SAUER (18% overall), especially the P320 and P365 models. Smith & Wesson’s M&Ps and Shields (14%) were the third most-preferred brand/models.

Interestingly, the logs reflect a lot of brand loyalty. For example, if a shooter brought two pistols (typically one for general or competition training and one for concealed carry courses), the pistols were usually the same brand. Seldom did women with multiple guns cross brand lines. This is noteworthy because it may indicate if a woman finds a gun she likes, she is likely to purchase more products from the same brand.

Additional results from the gear check, including the most popular holster and gun belt brands among attendees, are available at agirlandagun.org/most-popular-handguns-for-women. (No information on rifles or shotguns was collected during the gear check.)

Registration for CELEBRATE 2022, next year’s AG & AG’s conference, opens Sept. 1. / agirlandagun.org

Stryk Pay Offers Industry-Friendly Credit Card Processing

Despite the recent surge in firearms sales, retail businesses are facing a serious challenge — the fact many “gun unfriendly” banks, financial institutions and credit card processing businesses have been canceling their agreements with the industry at an alarming rate.

Stryk Group USA, a Bozeman, Mont.-based impact consulting company serving several leading hunting, fishing and firearms brands, has developed an innovative solution to the problem: Stryk Pay.

“First it was the Obama administration’s onerous Operation Chokepoint that was thankfully nullified by the Trump administration,” said Ron Dan, director of sales for Stryk Pay. “Sadly, today, it is the Biden administration — perhaps the most anti-gun administration in history — that has set the tone for financial institutions to simply refuse to do business with legal firearms businesses. They’re looking to accomplish this by not processing credit card transactions and not providing other essential services to our dealers and manufacturers.”

Stryk Pay was created by a company that is “staffed from top to bottom with people who are endemic shooters, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.” They all have experience in either running firearms companies and retail operations for firearms brands or high-risk credit card processing for e-commerce, wholesale and retail companies, Dan says.

Key features of Stryk Pay include:
Support by a network of Second Amendment-friendly banks (redundancy in bank approval to ensure continuity of services); PCI Compliance Level 1 gateway — the highest, most stringent of the PCI security levels — established to protect the security of credit card data and cardholder data, in e-commerce transactions as well as in-store; Safeguards for fraud protection and chargebacks; Integration with current hardware and point-of-sale systems; Reliability while providing cost savings; Flexibility in implementation with current hardware; A tech-forward, streamlined process; Dedicated U.S.-based customer service.

“We are as equally invested in preserving and supporting the Second Amendment as we are in offering cost savings and processing solutions, regardless of the nature of the transaction,” Dan said. / strykpay.com

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