February 21, 2011

Vol. 12 No. 8

This Week:

Industry News

Government Relations

News of Note


Big Jump in Hunting License Sales

3.6% INCREASE LARGEST SINCE 1974 . . . The number of paid hunting license holders in the United States jumped 3.6 percent in 2009, one of the most encouraging signs for hunting in recent years. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week reported a total of 14,974,534 paid license holders for 2009, the largest figure since 2002 and an increase of 526,494 over 2008. The 3.6 percent rise in paid license holders represents the largest year-over-year increase since 1974. (A "paid license holder" is one individual regardless of the number of licenses purchased.) "This is great news for our industry and everyone associated with hunting," said Steve Sanetti, president and CEO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. "Many efforts are at work to build hunting participation, and they are paying off. More people are enjoying the outdoors and sharing the tradition of hunting with family and friends. Also, more hunting license sales translate into more funds for wildlife conservation." NSSF cites several reasons for the increase, which are highlighted in a news release issued today.

Industry News

  • 5.4 MILLION FIREARMS MANUFACTURED IN U.S. IN 2009 . . . According to data released in late January in ATF's Annual Firearm Manufacturing and Export Report, U.S. firearm manufacturers produced more than 5.4 million firearms in 2009. NSSF research has updated its 14-page Industry Intelligence Report, titled Firearms Production in the United States, with the most recent data on U.S. production of pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns. Additional updated data found in this report include: Annual Survey of Manufacturers figures and U.S. International Trade Commission firearm import and export figures. The report is available for free to NSSF members by logging into the members section of the NSSF website, clicking "NSSF Industry Research" and then clicking "Industry Intelligence Reports." Forgot your member ID and/or password? E-mail Cindy Brutting or call her at 203-426-1320.

  • CABELA'S REPORTS RECORD FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS . . . Outdoor retailer Cabela's Inc. (NYSE:CAB) reported an 8.4 percent increase in sales in the fourth quarter compared to the same period a year ago. Comparable store sales, or sales at stores open for at least a year, jumped 7.3 percent. Net income also increased, up to $59.9 million from $52.5 million a year ago. "With this quarter's performance, it is clear our strategies are working and we are gaining momentum," said Cabela's CEO Tommy Millner.

  • ARTICLE PRAISES AMENITIES OF FIVE STAR SHOOTING RANGE . . . Attending SHOT Show University and attending ATF seminars at the SHOT Show, former sheriff's department lieutenant and private practice lawyer Bill Kucyk prepared well to establish and manage Action Impact in Southfield, Mich. His preparation and know-how has paid off, with a Five Star rating from NSSF, a successful business and recent feature coverage in The Detroit News.

  • SHOT BUSINESS DIGITAL EDITION . . . The digital edition of the February/March issue of SHOT Business magazine is available online at www.shotbusiness.com. Also on the site, you can find recent news briefs, what's selling where, ATF Q&A, connect with SHOT Business on Twitter and Facebook and much more.

  • SHOOTING INDUSTRY AWARDS DEADLINE APPROACHING . . . The deadline for submitting entries for the 2011 Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence awards is Feb. 28. The academy, celebrating its 20th anniversary, recognizes excellence in design, innovation and service to the industry. In 2011, the academy will present awards in 14 categories. Learn more.

NSSF History Snapshot

  • IN NEW YORK CITY . . . The formation of NSSF is unanimously approved on May 25, 1961, at the Second National Conference on the Shooting Sports, a meeting of industry leaders organized by Field & Stream magazine and its shooting editor, Warren Page. Learn more at www.nssf.org/50.

Government Relations

  • 1099 REPEAL BILLS HEADED TO HOUSE FLOOR . . . The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee has sent two bills to the House floor that aim to repeal the onerous IRS Form 1099 reporting requirement hidden in last year's health care bill. Rep. Dan Lungren's (R-Calif.) bill, which passed out of committee unanimously, would completely repeal this reporting requirement but does not contain a budgetary offset. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) introduced an alternative bill (H.R. 705). Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate voted to repeal the new reporting requirements. NSSF, which was the first national group to bring this burdensome regulation to the attention of Congress, strongly supports the repeal of this reporting requirement. Among the NSSF concerns, small businesses will be forced to issue hundreds, even thousands, of forms each year, to track cumulative payments to vendors totaling $600 annually and to obtain tax-identification information from each vendor -- including law-abiding gun owners looking to sell used firearms to a dealer.

  • RUGER'S PRITULA APPOINTED TO PRESIDENT'S EXPORT COUNCIL SUBCOMMITTEE . . . Kim Pritula, Sturm, Ruger & Co. director of export/ATF compliance and security, has been appointed to the President's Export Council Subcommittee on Export Administration (PECSEA). Pritula's export-control knowledge and expertise will help PECSEA develop ways to reform and maintain an efficient and effective export-control system in an ever-changing global marketplace. The PECSEA advises the U.S. Government on matters related to the Export Administration Act and the Export Administration Regulations, with an emphasis on ways to protect national security while minimizing potential adverse impacts on U.S. industry. The PECSEA plays a critical role in advising the Commerce Department and the Obama administration on key export-control issues as they develop new regulations and policies. Read more.

  • STATE DEPARTMENT CABLES SHOW GOVERNMENT LINK TO CARTEL ARMS . . . U.S. State Department cables released by WikiLeaks confirm that Mexican drug cartel weaponry is coming from an elaborate international operation whereby the cartels are acquiring military-grade arms through various government channels. This release comes on the heels of a report issued recently, and discussed on the NSSF Blog last week, from the STRATFOR research group challenging the myth that 90 percent of recovered firearms in Mexico come from the United States. The STRATFOR report concludes that in 2008 the number was less than 12 percent. Read more.

  • NSSF SUBMITS COMMENTS TO OMB OPPOSING MULTIPLE SALES REPORTS FOR LONG GUNS . . . NSSF sent a letter to ATF and the Office of Management and Budget commenting on ATF's proposal to require as part of a year-long "pilot program" that federally licensed firearms retailers in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California report to ATF the multiple sales of certain rifles (Federal Register, December 17, 2010). Read more.

  • PA SENATE PANEL VOTES TO EXPAND MENTORED YOUTH HUNTING PROGRAM . . . The Pennsylvania Senate Game and Fisheries Committee advanced legislation allowing mentored youth to take antlerless deer by approving SB 274. The program currently permits the taking of antlered deer, as well as squirrels, woodchucks, spring gobblers and coyotes. Pennsylvania has been one of the first and one of the most successful states to embrace the Families Afield initiative, co-founded by NSSF, the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance and the National Wild Turkey Federation to help states create hunting opportunities for young people under the close supervision of their parents and other mentoring adults.

News of Note

  • TIME MAGAZINE: FORGET GOLD, BUY SHOTGUNS . . . A Time magazine article, "Forget Gold: Why Investors Are Targeting Guns," delves into the financial appreciation of English shotguns. Holland and Holland and Purdey, for example, are bringing great returns at auction. The article attributes the Sept. 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers to have spooked people, especially wingshooters, from the stock market into shotguns as a safe investment with reliable returns and actual utility. "Guns are an investment you can use and enjoy," states the article.

  • BROWNELLS GUNSMITH CAREER FAIR ANNOUNCES KEYNOTE SPEAKER . . . The fifth annual Gunsmith Career Fair, presented by Brownells, will feature Ron Power, renowned gunsmith and owner of Grand Masters L.L.C., as its keynote speaker. The April 15-16 event at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown in Des Moines, Iowa, is expected to draw more than 200 attendees and 40 employers. Learn more about this career opportunity and reserve your spot.

  • OPEN HOUSE FOR VIEWING NORTHERN ARIZONA RANGE MASTER PLAN . . . The Arizona Game and Fish Department will be hosting an informational open house to present the draft master plan for the Northern Arizona Shooting Range on Thursday evening, March 3. The 5:30-8 p.m. meeting will be held at the department's Flagstaff regional office at 3500 S. Lake Mary Road. The draft design addresses many of the needs for a shooting range in northern Arizona, including law enforcement training, hunter education, rifle sight-in, a long-distance rifle range, shotguns sports and onsite camping.

  • NSSF SUPPORTS FARM SAFETY . . . As a proud sponsor of the Progressive Agriculture Foundation, NSSF supports the organization's Safety Days in rural areas that make farm and ranch life safer for children. This year some 460 Safety Days will reach more than 100,000 rural youth and adults. Firearm safety is a key component of the Safety Days, to which NSSF contributes firearms safety literature, DVDs and gun lock safety kits. In addition to NSSF, a number of firearms and shooting sports industry companies, including Remington, Brownells, Crosman, Cabela's and Buck Knives, are sponsors of this important effort. For information about PAF sponsorships, contact Randy Bernhardt at RJBernhardt@aol.com.

  • CWD IN WILD DEER IDENTIFIED IN MARYLAND, MINNESOTA . . . Two states have received confirmation of a hunter-harvested white-tailed deer being infected with Chronic Wasting Disease, a first in their wild herds. In Maryland, it was the first documented case of the disease in the state. In Minnesota, where the state has been managing for CWD in its captive deer and elk facility since 2002, this newest case marks the first time the disease has been found in Minnesota outside the fence. Read more from the Wildlife Management Institute.

  • BEST PRACTICES FOR WOODCOCK HABITAT MANAGEMENT RELEASED . . . By developing and restoring woodcock-friendly young forest, landowners can significantly help reverse the timberdoodle's decades-long population decline in the Northeast, reports the Wildlife Management Institute. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service recently released "American Woodcock: Habitat Best Management Practices for the Northeast," which explains how managers, foresters and landowners can create the kinds of habitat that woodcock need.


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