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Shooting Industry February 2013 - Page 8

Industrynews By Russ Thurman he firearms industry will mark January 2013 as one of the most significant months in modern history. During the month, the president announced executive actions to reduce gun violence, New York state imposed the toughest gun laws in the nation, and NSSF’s SHOT Show set an attendance record at the 35th anniversary event. The industry, firearms and gun ownership came under intense scrutiny following the tragic mid-December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. President Obama called for swift action, and Vice President Joe Biden held a series of meetings with groups representing all sides of the issue. The night before the president announced the actions he was taking, NSSF held its SHOT Show State of the Industry dinner in Las Vegas. Addressing more than 1,800 industry leaders at the dinner, Steve Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO, did not avoid the Sandy Hook school shooting. “Who among us has not been moved by the unspeakable tragedy that was inflicted by a deranged man upon the children of Newtown, Conn., our very home at the NSSF? . We all must recognize that those who don’t agree with us share in our desire to rid the world of such monstrous acts; and they must recognize that we are not the evildoers. Ours is a responsible industry that makes and sells lawful products to law-abiding citizens — citizens who exercise their constitutional right to own, use and enjoy firearms safely and responsibly for all lawful purposes. We are part of the fabric of American life, and we treasure our children, our heritage and our traditions,” Sanetti said. Following a review of popular semi- “Why Didn’t You Tell Me?” — pg. 18 Industry Faces Multiple Anti-Business Attacks T Hunting and the recreational shooting sports are here to stay. And so are we. Steve Sanetti, NSSF President & CEO automatic firearms, and industry safety programs, he said the industry was ready to participate in any constructive dialogue. “But a prerequisite to such dialogue is an honest recognition of the legitimacy of what we do and the important part of the national culture that we represent. Hunting and the recreational shooting sports are here to stay. And so are we,” Sanetti said. The next day, Jan. 16, President Obama announced 23 executive actions, ranging from strengthening NICS, to increased safety campaigns and provisions for conducting background checks to private sellers. He also called on Congress to reinstate a strengthened ban on “assault weapons” and to limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds. In response to the president’s action, NSSF released a statement, stating, “The central issue involved in violence where a firearm is misused is the unauthorized access to the firearm. We believe it is critical to first focus on the unauthorized access to firearms by irresponsible persons and those not legally qualified to possess them.” NSSF officials also said the trade association supports improvements to NICS, including incorporating all appropriate mental health and other records, such as restraining orders, into the system. “Fixing NICS must be among the highest priorities in order to help further prevent illegal purchases of firearms from federally licensed retailers,” NSSF said. The trade association also pointed out its extensive safety campaign, which it plans to expand, stating, “We believe the personal responsibility of gun owners, especially if there are children or at-risk individuals in the home, is central to any meaningful discussion of the issues.” In the midst of the SHOT Show, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the NY SAFE Act (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act), establishing New York state as having the toughest gun laws in the nation. The law includes a ban on “defined assault weapons,” a ban on any magazine holding more than seven rounds and a requirement to conduct instant background checks on all firearm and ammunition purchases. Following the SHOT Show, Connecticut legislators were pushing similar proposals, some with even stricter provisions, such as banning all modern sporting rifles by classifying them as “assault weapons.” NSSF called on those in the state to call their legislators to “oppose knee-jerk reaction legislation.” In Washington, D.C., during the week of Jan. 20, congressional legislators were preparing to introduce an enhanced assault weapons ban, along with a restriction on “ammunition feeding devices” capable of holding more than 10 rounds. For additional information, including NSSF statements, visit industry. For additional updates and information on contacting legislators, click “Government Relations” on the NSSF website. Ruger: “Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard” uring January, Ruger launched “Protect Your Rights!” — a major Internet campaign calling on “the silent majority” to “speak up.” At SHOT Show 2013, Ruger had computer kiosks in its booth where attendees could fill out a form letter to be sent to the White House, and legislators at the congressional, state and district levels. The “Protect Your Rights!” campaign is still running on Ruger’s website, and hundreds of thousands of the silent majority have “taken action.” To add your voice, visit 8 FEBRUARY 2013 D Subscribe to SI DIGITAL

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