January 21, 2020
Firearms Industry Pays Tribute to Past Leaders with Launch of Hall of Fame
Six who were instrumental with creating NSSF and SHOT Show are honored.
LAS VEGAS — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms industry, tonight announced the new NSSF Hall of Fame and recognized six past leaders for their contributions in creating NSSF and the industry’s blockbuster trade show, the SHOT Show®.
Robert Scott, Chairman of the NSSF Board of Governors, unveiled the Hall of Fame project during his remarks at NSSF’s annual State of the Industry presentation at the 42nd SHOT Show. SHOT Show is the largest trade show of hunting, shooting, law enforcement and outdoor-related products in the world. More than 2,600 companies are exhibiting at the show this year.
“Honoring past leaders and their accomplishments, while at the same time keeping our focus on the future, is something we all should do. Our industry, our products, our shooting and hunting activities and our past leaders are part of America’s story and heritage. They deserve respect and praise,” said Scott.
The inductees and their accomplishments are detailed in large panels erected in a heavily trafficked section of the SHOT Show, which attracts nearly 60,000 industry professionals and 2,500 members of the trade media. “We would in all likelihood not be here at the SHOT Show or talking about the accomplishments of the industry or NSSF if not for the efforts of these six inductees,” said Scott. “This is our Cooperstown,” he added, referencing the hallowed National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum location in upstate New York.
The first class of inductees to the NSSF Hall of Fame are:
- Warren “Lefty” Page: Legendary shooting editor at Field & Stream. He was instrumental in organizing the First National Conference on the Shooting Sports, leading to the formation of the National Shooting Sports Foundation in 1961. He became NSSF’s President in 1972. With his huge readership, and later with NSSF’s communications resources at hand, Page helped increase public understanding of the role hunters play in conservation.
- Harmon Williams: Former president of Browning and member of the first NSSF Board of Governors, Williams was a deeply involved industry leader who provided his thoughtful counsel to matters not only related to NSSF but also to the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute® (SAAMI®), SHOT Show and conservation organizations.
- Charlie Dickey: Writer, wartime pilot and Navy Cross recipient, Dickey became executive director of NSSF in 1964, three years after its founding. He was widely known as a magazine writer and book author on everything from fly fishing to chasing whitetails to bird hunting. Prior to leading NSSF in its formative years, he worked for Winchester and SAAMI.
- Arnold “Rocky” Rohlfing: As head of NSSF, “Rocky” oversaw the launch of the first SHOT Show in 1979. He was an executive with Winchester and Sturm, Ruger, before becoming NSSF’s executive director in 1976. Before the first SHOT Show, he uttered the now-famous line, “I sure . . . hope someone shows up tomorrow morning.”
- Bill Talley: Chairman of the NSSF Board of Governors and an executive with Winchester, Talley played a major role in creating the first SHOT Show and growing NSSF into a truly influential organization. He summed up NSSF’s role as the industry’s trade association when he said, “The entire shooting-associated industry, from gun maker to bootmaker, should speak with one voice.”
- Ted Rowe: A longtime industry leader having served as President of Harrington & Richardson and SIG Sauer, Rowe was a longtime member of NSSF’s Board of Governors, SAAMI and the World Forum on Shooting Activities. He is a recipient of NSSF’s Ken Sedlecky Lifetime Achievement Award. Rowe, literally, is “the man who named the SHOT Show.”
Said Scott in his remarks, “Except for our good friend Ted, all have passed on, but they are not forgotten.”
In future years, other deserving men and women will be added to this foundational Hall-of-Fame group.
“While some in America try to belittle our industry, and disparage our products, we choose to remind everyone of the pride we take in our community and what our leaders then and now stand for—the freedom to make, own and use firearms responsibly in America,” said Scott.
Learn more about the NSSF Hall of Fame at NSSF.org/HallofFame.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.
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