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Shooting Industry January 2011 - Page 62

By Bill Brassard Jr. Celebrates The Industry’s Trade Association Recounts Achievement On Behalf Of Its Members NSSF 50 Years 2011,” authored by former NSSF President and CEO Doug Painter, NSSF’s story begins when Field & Stream magazine, encouraged by longtime shooting editor Warren Page, organized the First National Conference on the Shooting Sports in 1960 in New York City. From this gathering, a recommendation was made the following year to start a new industry organization — NSSF, which was chartered with 30 founding members. Some of the industry’s most wellknown and colorful figures were part of NSSF’s early years. In addition to Page, early NSSF Executive Directors Charlie Dickey and Arnold H. “Rock” Rohlfing helped establish the foundation. Others included Bill Talley of Winchester, who was chairman of the NSSF Board of Governors from 1972 to 1981. He summed up NSSF’s inclusiveness as a trade association, saying, “The entire shooting-associated industry, from gun maker to boot maker, should speak with one voice.” NSSF’s founders intended that America’s sporting and gun-owning traditions would continue to flourish due to the efforts of the organization they established. Their hopes continue to be realized. “We would like to think that the founders of NSSF, most of whom have passed on, would be proud of the work that the organization they formed in New York City in 1961 has accomplished,” the foreword of “A History .” concludes. “If those founding individuals were here, they would be able to enjoy hunting and target shooting today much as they were able to 50 years ago. That surely would be one measure of success of their vision and effort in creating the National Shooting Sports Foundation.” 9 I n 1961, when John F. Kennedy was president, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle chased Babe Ruth’s career home run record and digital music meant tapping a rhythm with your fingers, the leaders of America’s firearms industry boldly acted to form a new organization to meet the era’s growing challenges to hunting and the shooting sports. The National Shooting Sports Foundation was born. The year 2011 will mark the 50th anniversary of NSSF, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry. Appropriately, NSSF will kick off a celebration at the SHOT Show, one of NSSF’s great success stories. NSSF has chronicled its wideranging achievements in a history publication, along with a video that will be shown at NSSF’s State of the Industry Dinner, the first night of the SHOT Show, Jan. 18-21, in Las Vegas. “Our goal in celebrating this milestone is to remind our more than 6,000member companies how much NSSF has done over the past 50 years to help their businesses thrive, and to protect our great American pastimes of hunting and shooting,” said Steve Sanetti, NSSF’s president and CEO. As recounted in “The National Shooting Sports Foundation: A History 1961 to Measure Of Success Warren Page, worldwide sportsman and shooting editor of Field & Stream magazine for 27 years, was a driving force in the creation of NSSF. 62 Read SI DIGITAL • NEW BUSINESS YEAR EXTRA 2011

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