Congressional Fly-In Yields Positive Results
By Jade Moldae
Forty-four executives from around the industry converged on Capitol Hill for the NSSF’s 2019 Congressional Fly-In, held April 9–10. The 12th annual event afforded attendees the opportunity to hold meetings with more than 70 senators and congressmen from both parties and advocate for their support on legislative issues impacting the industry.
The opening night of the Fly-In, NSSF hosted a PAC reception and dinner for attendees. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) was the featured speaker during the PAC reception. At the dinner, House of Representatives Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was honored as NSSF’s 2018 Legislator of the Year for his efforts to advance the transition of the U.S. Munitions List to Commerce Control List. (If confirmed, these reforms would move export licensing of firearms and ammunition from the U.S. State Dept. to the Commerce Dept. — an effort that would help U.S. manufacturers to compete with foreign companies for competitive contracts and eliminate an onerous annual $2,250 registration fee imposed on gunsmiths and small manufacturers that don’t export firearms.)
“Even while some in Washington try to restrict our Second Amendment rights, small businesses, retailers and gunsmiths across the country continue to suffer from heavy-handed regulation and government bureaucracy that infringe on our rights,” Scalise said. “I’m proud to stand for our Second Amendment, and I will always work to protect these rights.”
April 10, Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) addressed Fly-In attendees during a breakfast on the impact of discrimination by financial institutions against the industry. Rep. Williams introduced the Freedom Financing Act (H.R.2079) — which would ensure large financial institutions cannot deny service to certain Constitutionally protected industries compliant with laws and statutes — the week prior to the Fly-In. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate: the Freedom Financing Act (S.821), cosponsored by Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and John Kennedy (R-La.).
In addition to informing members of Congress how financial discriminatory practices have impacted the industry, attendees addressed several legislative priorities during the 2019 Congressional Fly-In.
Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Act (H.R.1222, S.94): Also known as the “Range Bill,” this would allow states to use their allocation of Pittman-Robertson funds to begin construction of new ranges or improve existing state-run public recreational shooting ranges. Under the current rule, states are required to put up 25% of the cost of range construction projects to access the matching 75% of funds from Pittman-Robertson allocation. This legislation would give states the ability to access these funds with a 10% match.
Post Fly-In Update: May 10, President Trump signed this bill into law just two weeks after it successfully passed both houses of Congress — concluding a near-10 year effort by the industry to get this legislation enacted.
Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act of 2019 (H.R.2179): The ATF estimates 6,000 firearms were stolen from FFLs in burglaries and robberies in 2018. This act would strengthen criminal penalties for theft of firearms from FFLs and impose mandatory minimum sentences.
FY 2020 Appropriations: Fly-In attendees asked congressional officials in the Appropriations committee for their support of three considerations. 1) Additional resources for NICS [$15 million to meet the growing needs of background checks and to fund grants encouraging states to submit all relevant records to NICS]; 2) an additional $3 million for a competitive grant to distribute firearms safety materials and gun-locking devices and 3) a further $3 million in funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs public-private partnerships to help prevent suicides.
Other topics discussed with lawmakers during the Fly-In were: the export control transition and why the industry opposes universal background checks and “assault weapon” bans.
NSSF announced the 2020 Congressional Fly-In will be held April 21–22.
Hodgdon Brings Back Reloading Roadshow
Hodgdon Powder Co. Inc. is launching a new version of its old Reloading Roadshow, a reloading training seminar for consumers Founder Bruce Hodgden started early in the company’s history.
Hodgdon formerly partnered with companies like Hornady, Lyman, MEC, Nosler, RCBS, Redding, Sierra Bullets, Speer and other manufacturers in its traveling reloading seminars.
“Granddad started this concept over 50 years ago, personally traveling around the country to show consumers how to reload,” said Chris Hodgdon. “I think he would be proud to see his family and his company keeping this tradition alive.”
Hodgdon will continue to collaborate with many of its original manufacturing partners, but will also partner with Dillon Precision, Frankford Arsenal and Lee Precision. Local Hodgdon dealers and NRA-certified reloading experts will also add their training expertise. Courses will be tailored to metallic handgun or rifle, or even shotshell reloading, if needed.
Hodgdon is announcing 2019 Roadshow dates and locations on its websites and Facebook page.
Nosler Partners With Hunter Education Effort
Nosler Inc. is now a supporter of Hunter’s Handbook, the official student publication of the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA). Nosler’s support also extends to the IHEA-USA Hunter & Shooting Sports Education Journal for 2019–2020.
Hunter’s Handbook is distributed in hunter education classrooms across the U.S., online and through a variety of conservation and outdoor enthusiast programs. Designed as a training aid, Hunter’s Handbook gives its sponsors the opportunity to reach new hunters at point-of-entry, building brand loyalty that can lead to a lifetime of successful outdoor adventures.
“Nosler is a company founded by a lifelong hunter. To us, helping new hunters have a successful experience is integral to making our sport thrive. We are extremely proud to support not only hunters, but also the dedicated 55,000 volunteer hunter education instructors who are the future of this sport,” said Pat Mundy, Nosler VP of sales and marketing.
The IHEA-USA Hunter & Shooting Sports Education Journal gives critical information on teaching safe hunting techniques and conservation, as well as product information and tips. Hunter education instructors comprise the largest volunteer corps in the U.S. outside of volunteer firemen.
Barrett Awarded USSOCOM Contract
Barrett Firearms Manufacturing Inc. announces the award of a U.S. Department of Defense Advanced Sniper Rifle (ASR) contract in support of the U.S. Sniper Operations Command (USSOCOM). Barrett will supply its Multi-Role Adaptive Design (MRAD) Rifle to USSOCOM.
Barrett’s MRAD, developed by company president Chris Barrett, is the answer to USSOCOM’s search for a modular, multi-caliber, bolt-action sniper rifle capable of converting between 7.62x51mm, .300 Norma Magnum and .338 Norma Magnum cartridges.
“I remember Chris telling me this is what all precision rifles will look like one day, and he was right. However, aesthetics is not all that makes this rifle. As his development persisted, he was able to achieve more than I ever thought possible. I genuinely believe this is the most accurate rifle in the world,” said Ronnie Barrett, founder and CEO of Barrett Firearms.
Ronnie and Chris Barrett are a unique father-son duo — each has developed a military-designated rifle system: Ronnie the M107 and Chris the MRAD.
“This feels like the highest honor I could ever achieve professionally — to have a rifle adopted by the U.S. military, and especially USSOCOM,” said Chris Barrett.
The Barrett Quality Management System received ISO 9001:2015 certification for the design and manufacture of firearms, ammunition and accessories, along with the training provided for those systems.
Aimpoint Wins U.S. Military Contract
Aimpoint secured a $24 million firm, fixed-price contract for supply of its FCS13-RE Fire Control System to U.S. military forces. The contract was awarded through Atlantic Diving Supply Inc. via the DLA Tailored Logistics Support program.
The system will be deployed primarily on the new M3-E1 MAAWS lightweight 84mm Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle, produced by SAAB Dynamics, and will be fielded by the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps and Special Operations Command. The FCS13-RE also can be utilized on other crew-served weapons, including 40mm high-velocity grenade launchers and 12.7mm (.50-caliber) heavy machine guns.
The FCS13-RE provides a high probability of first-shot hit on both stationary and moving targets at extended ranges. The system can be enhanced with modular magnification and thermal imaging components, and is compatible with all generations of military night-vision equipment.
The U.S. armed forces’ selection of the Aimpoint FCS13-RE followed extensive tests conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), headquartered at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J.
“This latest contract for electronic fire control systems shows Aimpoint has continued to increase our technical capabilities and to offer new cutting-edge products for use by our most prestigious military customers,” said Brian Lisankie, president of Aimpoint.
“In combination with the new lightweight M3-E1 Carl Gustaf, the FCS13-RE greatly increases the lethality and survivability of troops in the field. The ability to quickly and accurately place the first shot directly on target with a high degree of certainty represents the true value of this system,” said Thane Smith, Aimpoint military sales director.
Clenzoil Expands Operations
Clenzoil, manufacturer of cleaning and maintenance products for the firearms and marine industries, has expanded its operation to a new facility in Dade City, Fla.
The expanded facility gives Clenzoil the opportunity to host events, as well as room for future growth. The move will help Clenzoil streamline production and distribution operations, allowing the company to better serve its customers.
“I’m incredibly proud of our team and the tremendous growth we’ve experienced over the past three years, and more space is absolutely critical to continue to support that growth,” said Chris Hoffman, president of Clenzoil. “We have always strived to create an exceptional work environment, and are thrilled to be able to underscore the effort this year with our move to a new and improved space.”
Clenzoil’s new facility is located at 36315 State Road 52, Dade City, FL 33525.