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July 10, 2024

NSSF Government Relations Team Profile: Michael Findlay

NSSF’s Government Relations Team is working hard on behalf of the entire firearm and ammunition industry, both at the federal level and at state capitals across the country. To give our members a better understanding of who is fighting for their businesses and Second Amendment rights every day, NSSF will periodically publish a Government Relations Team member profile. July’s NSSF GR Team profile is for Michael Findlay, NSSF Senior Director for Government Relations – State Affairs/Western Region.

1) What is your favorite hunting or recreational shooting sports activity?

My favorite hunting and recreational shooting activity has to be a mix of sporting clays, duck hunting and upland hunting. As the saying goes, “If it flies, it dies.” I was introduced to these activities at a young age by my father, who taught me the ropes and instilled in me a deep appreciation for the sport. Growing up in Colorado, hunting was more than just a pastime; it was part of our heritage. The beautiful landscapes and abundant wildlife made every outing an adventure. Whether it’s the challenge of sporting clays, the thrill of duck hunting, or the excitement of upland game, these activities have become a cherished part of my life.

2) How did you become interested in professionally advocating for pro-firearm industry policies and Second Amendment rights?

I have always been interested in professionally advocating for firearm policies and Second Amendment rights. Having a long history and track record of success in the lobbying and government sectors, it was a match made in heaven. Having the opportunity to take my professional skills and apply it to issues I am truly passionate about was a no-brainer for me. As I mentioned in my previous answer, while growing up in Colorado, I was immersed in an outdoor heritage ethic where hunting and exercising ones Second Amendment rights were simply a way of life. For many Coloradans, these activities are more than hobbies; they’re integral to our culture and identity. Having the opportunity to work in government affairs combined with my passion in a professional setting was something very few people can boast and I feel lucky every single day to be doing.

I imagine it’s akin to a golf fanatic having the chance to lobby for the PGA—turning a personal passion into professional advocacy. Being able to combine my love for the outdoors and my dedication to preserving our rights has been a deeply fulfilling career path and something I’ve worked to be effective in.

3) Describe your role within NSSF to the firearm industry community.

Hahaha… I’m tempted to play that old video from School House Rock, “How a bill becomes a law”, you remember the one? I suppose the textbook answer is as a lobbyist representing the firearm industry on state issues, our team plays a critical role in shaping policy and legislation at the state and local level. Specifically, my responsibilities include firearm industry advocacy and representation before state legislatures, regulatory agencies and other governmental bodies; monitoring legislation that could impact the firearms industry; analyzing proposed legislation drafts to assess their potential impact on our industry; coalition building to build support and defend our industry’s goals; public education and outreach; and advising industry members on compliance with existing laws and regulations and helping them navigate the complexities of state-level legal requirements.

Overall, as advocates for the firearms industry, we ensure the industry’s voice is heard in the policymaking process, working tirelessly to protect and advance the rights and interests of firearm owners and manufacturers.

Michael Findlay -NSSF

4) What is your favorite aspect of your role with NSSF while interacting with industry partners?

My favorite aspect of my role is the opportunity to build lasting friendships and connections. These relationships are incredibly rewarding and form the foundation of our collective efforts. I particularly enjoy organizing demonstrations with lawmakers, where we showcase our products and provide hands-on experiences that help them understand the importance and intricacies of our industry.

Bringing members to a capitol is another highlight. It’s gratifying to see our members actively engage with legislators, advocating for our issues and educating them on the realities and needs of the firearms community. This direct involvement not only amplifies our message but also fosters a deeper sense of camaraderie and shared purpose among everyone involved.

5) Describe your favorite “win” from your role/advocacy on behalf of the firearm industry.

My biggest accomplishment in my working role has been acting as more of a defensive coordinator in a particularly tough region for our industry in terms of legislative issues. Successfully defeating bad legislation that would have cost our industry members (in some cases) their businesses while also denying everyday American citizens the ability to exercise their God-given rights has been immensely rewarding. Navigating through these challenges and protecting our community’s interests and freedoms stands out as a significant achievement in my career.

Michael Findlay

6) What’s a favorite hobby/recreational activity outside of hunting or shooting sports?

Good question, we have time for hobbies? I was told I can’t say fishing since it’s sort of related… Well, I played college ice hockey and still lace them up from time to time. In the summer, I enjoy playing golf and traveling. I also love hanging out with my dogs, Winston and Margaret (Yes – I did name them after the prime ministers). These activities provide a great balance to my professional life and keep me active and engaged.

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NSSF Government Relations Team Profile: Diane Cihota Cashour

NSSF Government Relations Team Profile: Jake McGuigan

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