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September 15, 2010

Firearms Retailers Finding Strength in Numbers by Forming State Associations


There is strength in numbers — a fact that more and more firearms retailers across the country are realizing as they confront challenges on state and local levels.

Retailers in nine states so far have banded together to form state retailer associations with the help of NSSF, a tactic that has not only helped unify these businesses, but is also giving them a powerful voice.

One of those, Massachusetts, is back in a big way and getting stronger. The group recently filed for and received its non-profit status and met last week to elect its board of directors, made up of gun-store owners from throughout the state.

With a membership of 43 firearms retailers and counting, the Massachusetts Association of Firearms Retailers (MAFR) is giving those businesses a unified voice, something certainly needed in a state known for its anti-gun sentiment and ever-changing gun laws.

MAFR also has a key ally in Massachusetts-based Smith & Wesson, which has graciously allowed the association to hold its meetings at its headquarters.

Massachusetts isn’t alone. With the help of NSSF, many other states’ retailers have formed associations.

And their efforts are paying off. Key legislative victories and legal challenges have been won by these groups, victories that may not have happened if not for their efforts.

So far, state retailer associations are operating in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

NSSF is proud to recognize and partner with these independent state retailer organizations. To learn more about forming a state organization of firearms retailers in your state, e-mail Randy Clark, NSSF’s managing director of business development, or call 203-426-1320.