Shift The Narrative


NSSF President Joe Bartozzi addresses the crowd at the 2023 Marketing & Leadership Summit in Savannah, Ga.

If you’re reading this, it means I survived “Maycember.” Those of you who are also parents know what I’m talking about. It’s the last weeks before summer when there are a million things to remember, like teacher appreciation week, testing, end-of-school-year gifts, dance recitals, class parties and scouring the house for those missing overdue library books. For me, Maycember also included a quick jaunt to Savannah for the 2023 NSSF Marketing & Leadership Summit.

Together with more than 200 manufacturers, dealers, wholesalers and marketers, I spent two days learning from firearms industry executives, non-profit leaders and internationally acclaimed business consultants who shared compelling anecdotes, expert insights and helpful tips and tricks.

For me, one of the biggest takeaways came near the end of the summit during the leadership panel moderated by NSSF President Joe Bartozzi. He encouraged attendees to shift the narrative being told about gun owners by collectively being better storytellers.

“We always only hear the negative when it comes to guns,” he said. “If we were any other industry, we’d be touted as a success story for all the lives we’ve saved and changed.”

He went on to share examples of NSSF initiatives to support his point including Project Childsafe, the AFSP-NSSF Suicide Prevention Program Toolkit and Don’t Lie for the Other Guy.

It was also recently announced firearm and ammunition manufacturers topped $16.1 billion in excise tax contributions to the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund since its inception in 1937. When adjusted for inflation, the total is more than $25 billion.

“If we don’t talk about the positives, all everyone will continue to hear is the negative,” Bartozzi said.

Think about what success stories you can share to help shift the narrative, and we’ll do our best to continue sharing them as well. After all, sometimes offense is the best defense.

If you’re interested in more key takeaways from the 2023 NSSF Marketing & Leadership Summit, including what you need to know about the new generation of first-time gun buyers, see my full wrap-up on

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