December 13, 2010

Vol. 11 No. 49

This Week:


Industry News

Government Relations


Host a First Shots Seminar,
Get Five Free Crickett Rifles

KEYSTONE SPORTING ARMS TO GIVE AWAY 1,000 YOUTH RIFLES TO PARTICIPATING RANGES . . . Shooting range managers, think of it as a holiday gift from your friends at Keystone Sporting Arms. The Milton, Pa.-based manufacturer of youth-model firearms has provided 1,000 youth rifles to be distributed to participating First Shots shooting ranges. "Keystone Sporting Arms believes in firearms safety and getting youth started with the right equipment to ensure the best experience," said Bill McNeal, Keystone's owner, so a set of five Crickett and Chipmunk rifles will be distributed to the first 200 ranges that commit to presenting two First Shots seminars in 2011, of which at least one must be specifically for parents and youths. So, if you are a shooting facility that has been presenting First Shots seminars, schedule your 2011 events now. If you are a range that hasn't come on board, now's the time to become a First Shots host. In addition to the generous cooperative advertising reimbursement to which First Shots hosts are always entitled, an additional co-op ad program has been built into this special Keystone promotion. Learn more and sign up at the First Shots website.


  • VIDEO: TOP FIVE REASONS TO ATTEND SHOT SHOW . . . David Letterman has his signature top 10 lists. Diedra Cauley, NSSF's director of exhibitions and conferences, has a list of her own: the top five reasons to attend NSSF's SHOT Show. Set for Jan. 18-21 in Las Vegas, the show is the industry's annual main event, attracting attendees from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. It's just five weeks away, so if you haven't already, get registered and sign up for all of the show's offerings at Play Video

Industry News

  • SMITH & WESSON SALES DOWN IN SECOND QUARTER . . . Sales in Smith & Wesson Corp.'s firearm division were down 10.5 percent in the second quarter. In its earnings release statement, the company said, "Indications are that the consumer firearm market has moderated further following the significant increase that started in the company's third quarter of fiscal 2009. In the second fiscal quarter of this year, sales in all handgun and tactical rifle product lines, except premium products, were flat or lower than in the prior year quarter due to a more competitive environment and a trend towards more value-oriented products. Hunting products were the exception and increased 26.3 percent over the prior year comparable quarter on improved sales of black powder products and the company's new bolt-action rifles."

  • THOMPSON/CENTER ARMS RELOCATING TO SPRINGFIELD . . . Smith & Wesson will close the Thompson/Center Arms plant in Rochester, N.H., and bring the company's hunting rifle manufacturing to its Springfield facility. Some 350 employees will be affected, with many workers offered an opportunity to relocate, according to stories in Fosters Daily Democrat and the Springfield (Mass.) Republican. Smith & Wesson announced the consolidation last week in its second-quarter earnings report, noting the move will provide the company with increased operational efficiencies. The consolidation is scheduled to commence in January and conclude by November 2011. Smith & Wesson purchased Thompson/Center in 2007.

  • BUSHMASTER'S MAINE FACTORY TO CLOSE . . . Freedom Group Inc. announced Friday that it will close its Bushmaster Firearms International manufacturing facility in Windham, Maine, effective March 31. The factory employs 73 people, according to a Morning Sentinel news story. In a press release, Freedom Group stated the Bushmaster brand and products remain key strategic assets within its portfolio. The manufacturing of all Bushmaster products currently produced at Windham will be relocated to other Freedom Group facilities. The move will have no impact on customers or the existing supply base, said Freedom Group, and all affected employees will be offered a comprehensive severance package and outplacement services.

Government Relations

  • 2011 EXCISE TAX DUE DATES NOW AVAILABLE . . . The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has released its schedule of quarterly due dates for filing calendar year 2011 returns for the federal Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax (FAET).

  • UTAH LEGISLATOR WANTS 'STATE GUN' . . . State flowers, state birds, and now, if Utah State Rep. Carl Wimmer has his way, Utah will have a state gun. Wimmer has announced intentions to propose a bill when the legislature convenes next month that would create a state firearm, specifically the Browning Model 1911 .45-caliber handgun, designed by John Browning 100 years ago.

  • MICHIGAN HUNTING MENTOR PROGRAM . . . Glen Wunderlich of The Argus-Press writes about Michigan's Hunter Heritage Bill (Senate Bill 1589) that would allow youth to hunt with an adult mentor prior to taking taking a hunter education course. This effort, modeled on Pennsylvania's current law and on the Families Afield program, the latter a partnership effort of NSSF, U.S. Sportmen's Alliance and National Wild Turkey Federation, will introduce more youth to hunting and lead to more youth enrolling in hunter education classes when they reach the required age.

Hunting / Shooting

  • HUNTING TRADITIONS SAGGING? . . . As Mark Twain once said, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. So is the demise of hunting, which was discussed in today's Associated Press story. Yes, hunting license sales have declined over the past 30 years and reduced access to hunting land is a serious issue, but state wildlife agencies, conservation groups and NSSF have countered with programs that are beginning to have a positive effect. Among those are Families Afield, which helps youth understand that hunting can be more exciting than a computer game, and the Hunting Heritage Partnership, which has provided millions in funding to state agencies to create more hunting opportunities. Hunting licenses sales have ended their steep decline, and approximately 27 states have seen increases in recent years. With nearly 20 million active hunters going afield each year, the real news is that hunting remains a vital part of American culture.

  • RHODE, RICHMOND NAMED USA SHOOTING'S ATHLETES OF THE YEAR . . . Kim Rhode of El Monte, Calif., and Staff Sgt. Joshua Richmond of Hillsgrove, Pa., have been named the 2010 Female and Male Athletes of the Year by USA Shooting, the governing body of Olympic shooting in the United States. Read about the accomplishments of these two shooters during this past year.

  • 86-YEAR-OLD CANCER VICTIM BAGS DEER OF A LIFETIME . . . An account that captures the spirit of family, hunting and the holiday season comes out of Pennsylvania. It's a story of 86-year-old Lester Warner, whose frail body is wracked by late-stage cancer and who has decided to stop treatment -- but not stop hunting. His 51-year-old son lugged a recliner up Broadtop Mountain to the small hut his family had built for his dad years ago. On opening day, in 19-degree weather, the biggest deer either father or son had ever had a chance to take, appeared. The son insisted that his dad take the shot, and the one he took was perfect. Lowering the gun, the elderly man turned to his son and said, "Never give up." Read the complete article.

  • PHILADELPHIA EAGLES STAR DEFENSIVE END AN AVID HUNTER . . . When he's not hunting quarterbacks on NFL Sundays, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end and sacks leader Trent Cole is hunting deer, quail, pheasant and waterfowl on his four farms in southern Ohio. The Los Angeles Times recently featured a story on Cole's passion for the outdoors.


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