Industry Advances Objectives Through Successful Programs
By Jade Moldae
In October, NSSF announced the kickoff of Project ChildSafe Memphis — joining a national initiative designed to encourage responsible firearms ownership with an emphasis on secure gun storage. The announcement was made with several local officials, including Mayor Jim Strickland, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee D. Michael Dunavant, City of Memphis leaders and members of law enforcement.
“It’s heartening to see just how many of our community leaders and organizations have united in support of this program to launch Tennessee’s first Project ChildSafe Community in Memphis,” Mayor Strickland said. “I look forward to taking on this challenge by working together as a community to practice and promote firearms safety.”
Project ChildSafe Communities is supported by NSSF through a two-year $2.4 million grant by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). BJA awarded this grant to help promote additional firearms safety efforts on a national level by creating Project ChildSafe Communities in key cities around the country — one in Oklahoma City was launched earlier in 2017.
“It’s a program that works, and the role it plays in keeping our kids safe is to be commended,” Dunavant said. “I encourage our citizens to join me and responsible gun owners everywhere in taking the steps to properly and safely store their firearms when they aren’t in use.”
This Project ChildSafe Community is partnering with several local organizations representing the education community, mental health and suicide prevention advocates and hunting and shooting groups to help share messages and information about responsible firearms storage. Their collective efforts will be backed up by community-wide messaging that will appear in social media, in an upcoming public service announcement on TV and radio, and on billboards around the Memphis region.
In addition to NSSF, BJA, the City of Memphis, the Memphis Police Department and The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, other local stakeholders supporting the program include, 4-H Shooting Sports, Delta Waterfowl, Range USA, The Well Armed Woman, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Shelby County District Attorney.
“Memphis represents the first Project ChildSafe community effort in Tennessee and, based on the tremendous local support we’ve seen already, it will serve as a model for similar firearm safety efforts across the state and around the nation,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti.
Through partnerships with over 15,000 local L.E. agencies and more than 3,400 organizational supporters, Project ChildSafe has helped educate firearms owners on the importance of gun safety, while distributing more than 37 million free firearm safety kits — which include a free gun lock — to communities in all 50 states and the U.S. territories.
Hunting Works For America Adds Three States
NSSF’s Hunting Works For America program has expanded its reach in 2017, launching in Illinois, New York and South Dakota. As the most recent, South Dakota became the 17th state chapter to adopt this award-winning program. Combined, the total economic impact of hunting in these three states surpasses $6.7 billion.
Previous states to receive a coveted Hunting Works For America chapter include Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin — giving Hunting Works For America a strong national presence.
“The strength of these state partnerships is undoubtedly the diversity of them, and that really speaks to the point we want to make: hunting is important to our state economies,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF SVP and CMO.
Developed in 2010, Hunting Works For America now represents more than 2,800 businesses, organizations and associations representing tens of thousands of stakeholders.
NRA Foundation Awards College Scholarships
The NRA Foundation selected four top high school students from among those who attended the weeklong 2016 Youth Education Summit (Y.E.S.) in Washington, D.C., to receive a total of $15,000 in college scholarships funded by the foundation.
Serena Juchnowski of Richfield, Ohio, received the top scholarship of $6,500, and Emily Saltarelli of Montgomery, Texas, was awarded the second prize $5,500 scholarship. Third and fourth place award recipients were Bryttani MacNamara of Sulphur, La., with a $2,000 scholarship and Aidan Thomason of Knoxville, Tenn., received a $1,000 scholarship.
The Y.E.S. Grand Scholarship program encourages summit participants to integrate what they learned into their communities as they compete for one of the scholarships paid directly to the accredited college or technical school of their choice. Over a period of 11 months, students competing for the scholarships must introduce NRA programs into their communities and create a portfolio documenting the experience.
The 2016 Y.E.S. Grand Scholarship recipients performed a number of activities to promote firearm safety and raise money for shooting sports programs. They included hosting Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program events, starting an NRA-affiliated shooting club, giving speeches about Y.E.S. to multiple community groups and writing articles for school newsletters, blogs and newspapers, as well as working toward launching NRA’s Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) in their area.
“The Youth Education Summit has awarded more than $518,000 in college scholarships over its 21-year history. We are proud to assist the next generation of competitive shooters, hunters and firearms enthusiasts pursue their dreams through higher education,” said Sarah Engeset, NRA’s director of volunteer fundraising.
RCBS/Vista Outdoor employees present a check for $8,480 in support of the National 4-H Shooting Sports Program. From left: Jon Zinnel (Vista Outdoor education and conservation outreach specialist), Kent Sakamoto (RCBS product manager), Conrad Arnold (4-H Program Coordinator), Nicole Pokorney (4-H Extension Educator) and Eliza Graves (RCBS marketing manager).
RCBS Supports National 4-H Shooting Sports Program
RCBS, a Vista Outdoor brand manufacturing ammunition reloading equipment for rifles and pistols, has selected the National 4-H Shooting Sports Program as the recipient of its 2017 youth shooting sports donation of $8,480.
The company raises the money to fund a youth shooting sports program each year by dedicating a portion of every RCBS Explorer and Explorer Plus Reloading Kit sold to the special fund.
“The National 4-H Shooting Sports Program has a proven track record of developing young people into responsible adults through the discipline of precision shooting. We are honored to give back to such an esteemed organization,” said Eliza Graves, marketing manager for RCBS.
More than 400,000 young people participate in 4-H Shooting Sports across the U.S. RCBS also was a silver sponsor of the National 4-H Shooting Sports Championships in Nebraska earlier this year, which drew 700 youth from 36 states.
IHEA-USA, Davidson’s/Gallery Of Guns Awards Scholarships
Each year IHEA-USA, along with Davidson’s/GalleryofGuns.com, awards two $2,500 scholarships to high school students who have graduated from hunter education for use toward their higher education. The winners of the 2017 Future Leaders of Conservation Scholastic Scholarships are Brett Garamendi of Malad, Idaho, and McKinley Grooms of Pawley’s Island, S.C. Both are college freshmen this fall.
Scholarship applicants must be either a junior or senior in high school, and must have passed their state’s hunter education course. They are required to submit an essay on their first hunting and/or shooting experience for judging by IHEA-USA’s instructor advisory committee.
“These scholarship winners are great representatives of the thousands and thousands of ethical and responsible hunters developed by hunter education classes each year. With hunters like Brett and McKinley, we feel our hunting heritage is in safe hands,” said Bill Bennett, director of marketing for Davidson’s and GalleryofGuns.com.
“IHEA-USA understands and values not only the importance of hunter education and the role it plays in significantly reducing hunting incidents, but also the role higher education plays in building our future leaders. We want to thank Davidson’s/GalleryofGuns.com for their continued support of these scholarships,” said Brad Heidel, executive director of IHEA-USA.
LMT Defense is donating $100 from the sale of each of its SPM16LE rifles, distributed through Kiesler’s Police Supply,
to the Spirit of Blue Foundation as part of its $25,000 pledge in support of the organization.
LMT Defense Carries Spirit Of Blue Support Forward
LMT Defense (Lewis Machine & Tool Co.) announces it has pledged $25,000 toward its continuing corporate support of the Spirit of Blue Foundation, which works to protect law enforcement officers nationwide.
The donation is generated primarily through sales of a special edition law enforcement patrol rifle through Kiesler’s Police Supply. At a price of $911, the SPM16LE — a variant of LMT Defense’s SPM16 model — is an affordably priced option for police officers who must purchase their own rifles for duty use. LMT Defense is donating $100 from the sale of each rifle to Spirit of Blue. The company has also planned an assortment of social media fundraisers over the coming years.
Since 2011, the Spirit of Blue Foundation has awarded 47 grants in 24 states, valued at over $200,000. The grants have included patrol rifles, body armor, riot control gear, AEDs, K9s, forensic software, flashlights, Police/Youth Dialogue training, night vision optics, LED flares, ballistic helmets and self-contained breathing apparatus.
“Spirit of Blue is a great organization we enjoy working with, allowing us to give back to law enforcement. Our new LE rifle program is a tangible way for us to provide high-quality products to those who need them the most, while providing funding to Spirit of Blue, who is involved in protecting officers in other important ways,” said Karl Lewis, founder and president of LMT Defense.
The rifles are preconfigured with a Magpul MOE handguard, MOE stock, a rear MBUS flip sight, a standard GI sling and one 30-round magazine.
“LMT Defense is known the world over for producing an incredibly high-quality and high-performing product. It is exciting to think officers without issued rifles will be able to get an LMT rifle at such an affordable price, and that each one will generate another $100 for us to help protect even more officers. That was unexpected,” Ryan T. Smith, executive director of the Spirit of Blue Foundation.
LMT Defense began its sponsorship of Spirit of Blue in 2016 with a donation of three patrol rifles to the Cicero, N.Y., Police Department.
From left: Jan Billeb, AKTI executive director; Mark Schreiber, president of CRKT; CJ Buck, CEO of Buck Knives and president of AKTI; Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID); David Fee, marketing VP of Benchmade Knives; Rob Kass, president of Gerber and Morgan Taylor, president of BTI Tools.
AKTI Honors U.S. Sen. Crapo
The American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI) has honored U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) with its “Common Sense Award.” The annual award recognizes members of Congress who have worked across party lines to further common-sense legislation benefitting law-abiding knife owners throughout the nation.
AKTI honored Sen. Crapo for his work on the Freedom of Commerce Act, legislation that will repeal the Federal Switchblade Act (FSA) of 1958 (15 U.S.C. § 1241 – 1244), and allow consumers to purchase any automatic knife legal in their state, regardless of where it was manufactured.
“In states allowing the possession of switchblades, it is imperative law-abiding citizens and sportsmen have the ability to buy and sell the tools vital to their trade. This measure would remove one of the many federal regulatory burdens that have hindered manufacturing growth, interstate commerce and consumer practices for far too long,” said Crapo.
Automatic knives, defined by their opening mechanism, are used primarily in the professional trades and by outdoor recreation enthusiasts. The use of a one-handed, automatically opening knife is often critical to effectively and safely accomplishing certain tasks.
The FSA of 1958 leverages the federal government’s interstate commerce power to prohibit the purchase, sale and trade of automatic knives between any and all of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., any U.S. territories and any place outside thereof. It does not prohibit those actions/transactions within a state or the District of Columbia. It also does not apply to contracts entered into by the Department of Defense. The Act impacts those actions or transactions on Native American Reservations and in U.S. territories.
“Working with Mike on The Freedom of Commerce Act was a great process in seeking a sustainable solution to legislation that created issues without really generating a benefit,” said CJ Buck, CEO of Buck Knives and president of AKTI. “The Common Sense Award was created to highlight legislators who use careful thought and vision together for long-term, real solutions.”