The following letter was recently written by the president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association of firearms industry (and ancillary products) and its “voice”. As a member of the NSSF’s Board of Governors, as the president of a small arms manufacturing business and as a concerned citizen, I strongly support the message Steve’s letter contains.
FOCUS ON WHAT WORKS TO HELP PREVENT FIREARMS TRAGEDIES
We all want to take effective measures to help prevent the sort of tragedy that occurred in Marysville, Washington, from happening again. When one looks closely at these kinds of incidents and how they happened, one truth emerges: Proper and responsible firearms storage by the gun’s lawful owner could have prevented them.
The common thread in most if not all of these awful crimes is that a troubled individual somehow got ahold of a firearm that had been previously purchased legally, after the required background checks. There’s broad agreement that additional background check legislation wouldn’t have prevented the incident last week and that the effort to stop school shootings and other violent incidents must begin at home. We should focus on safely securing firearms from unauthorized access, rather than on gun control, so that the conversation may move toward meaningful and effective solution to these incidents. We have the chance to do something that will actually have beneficial results, instead of just “doing something” that admittedly would not have prevented these tragedies.
The number one way to help prevent access to firearms by those who should not have them is by storing guns safely and securely when not in use. We have been working to provide gun owners across the nation with the resources and safety information they need to take steps that will help keep guns out of the wrong hands, prevent accidents, and deter theft and other misuse.
For more than 15 years, that has been the objective of Project ChildSafe, a program launched by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) to promote public education about genuine firearms safety and proper gun storage. Its message is simple-if you own a firearm, you must respect it and secure it safely when not in use. We give gun owners the means to carry out this “Own it? Respect it. Secure it” message with free firearms safety kits that include helpful educational resources and a free cable-style gun lock that can be installed on nearly all firearms. Since the program began, Project ChildSafe has distributed more than 36 million free firearms safety kits to communities nationwide through partnerships with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies.
We know this program works. Project ChildSafe and other firearms safety programs have helped lower the fatal firearms accident rate by more than 22 percent during the last decade. The reason it works is obvious-in a matter of seconds, any firearm can be rendered unusable by an unauthorized person. A gun lock may not be high tech, but it works. And they’re available now.
More restrictive gun laws and additional background checks would not have prevented the shooting in Marysville and others like it. In the wake of this horrible tragedy, there is one thing we can all agree on: those who own firearms should safely secure them from getting into the wrong hands. It is a simple step toward reducing the misuse of firearms. Securing your firearm with a free gun lock available through your local police department doesn’t require additional legislation and can be done right now. And yes-it’s the firearms industry that provides the safety kits and locks to them.
The infrastructure to prevent unauthorized access to guns and help stop needless shootings is already in place nationwide in the form of Project ChildSafe. If your local police department or sheriffs’ office isn’t already participating, you can call them and ask that they begin. It costs communities nothing to be involved, so there’s no reason to wait. And we all hope that by working together, we can effectively address the real issues behind these heartbreaking tragedies.
Stephen L. Sanetti
President and CEO
The National Shooting Sports Foundation
Sandy has given me the privilege of writing the October Soapbox. So I am taking the opportunity to make a short and shameless plug of our social media presence! North American Arms is working hard to build its online presence. Social media is another avenue in which we can do this. Social media helps us to build a relationship with you, our customers. We can more broadly engage with our customers and allow the natural virality of these networks reach more of our current customers and attract new customers!
Besides NorthAmericanArms.com you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. We use these mediums to share with you new and exciting product innovations, interactions from SHOT Show and NRA Expo, as well as spotlight those who have supported us through the years or are just now getting to know us.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Sales & Marketing Manager
At long last, North American Arms is preparing to address the market of the “new normal”, although I don’t entirely understand exactly what that means. In most circles, it’s a codeword that suggests that the industry-wide frenzy which virtually everyone in this business has enjoyed for the past several years is in our rearview mirror and that demand in general is “off” – considerably. Where/when this declining demand will stabilize is anyone’s guess, but the general sense is that the overall market of shooters has grown significantly during the past several years. I’m hopeful that we will enjoy this expansion for some time to come. While NAA is rarely someone’s first choice for a firearm, our appeal becomes greater as someone grows weary of lugging a 1911 or even Glock 17 as his/her new carry piece.
If you’re in the AR market, it means that demand has fallen to the water level of Lake Mead (almost empty). For example, Smith and Wesson reported that 90% of the decline in their recent business was attributed to the falloff in demand for MSRs (modern sporting rifles) http://ir.smith-wesson.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=90977&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1961164&highlight= . There are few other public sources of info like that available, but all the anecdotal evidence I’ve heard is consistent with that. If you’re in the market for an AR, there should be plenty o’ bargains to be had.
Good news, too, for those bemoaning the dearth of rimfire ammunition. Evidence suggests that it, too, is beginning to appear on dealers’ shelves.
Handguns are not so bad, and the personal protection slice of that market continues to show signs of “legs”, still with a softening of demand. For the first time in “a while”, our three week trailing average of incoming orders has fallen below our production level, which means that we have been eating into our backlog. At the factory I’ve seen hints of some new variations on familiar themes, including LR-frame versions of models like the Pug, Wasp, Earl, etc. Why? Some might ask: because we can and we’ve noted the interest.
Furthermore, it might be wrong for me to hint that we’re hard at work on something substantially more “important” than mere LR variants (no, it’s not a .32ACP mini – sorry uncle-lee), but that would be rude – so I won’t.
As we have often articulated in the past, July is an important month in American History. July 4th is the day our Nation celebrates the American Colonists adoption of the Declaration of Independence. This magnificent work spearheaded by Thomas Jefferson and aided by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin not only announced our separation (with our list of grievances) from Great Britain but also carried with it the universal decree that among our inalienable rights are the rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
It is an easy and logical leap to make that the fundamental instrument to secure those rights is an individual’s right to defend themselves. To protect ourselves from any who would seek to unduly separate us from our life, liberty, or property. The secured right to a well-armed populace was not a position taken solely by Her more “radical” founders like Jefferson, Samuel Adams, and George Mason, but was an often-articulated argument from America’s more “moderate” founders in John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. These arguments were then codified into the Bill of Rights as our 2nd Amendment.
James Madison initially felt that the Bill of Rights was unnecessary because he felt that individual rights like well-armed citizens, freedom of speech, and due process were such innate, natural rights that they didn’t need to be articulated. Madison felt that they were so fundamental that it went without question that the states individually would protect these rights. Jefferson and Patrick Henry knew that this logic, while philosophically true, would crumble when the “rubber hit the road” of practical government. Henry and Jefferson knew that a strong Federal government without a list of clearly codified rights would lead to tyranny. Jefferson writing to Madison argued that when it comes to clearly articulated rights: “…let us secure what we can”.
Today, the words of Jefferson are just as true as they were 220-plus years ago. We must continue to “secure what we can”. While we must elect responsible federal candidates who are dedicated to securing our rights, we encourage you to be active at the state and local level. Local governments impact us on a daily basis as greatly as the Federal Government and can be just as big a threat (if not more) to our individual liberties. We encourage you to support strong defenders of the 2nd Amendment at the City, County, and State level.
We wish all of you a wonderful Fourth of July (and rest of the summer) filled with barbeques, fireworks, and loved ones.
Sales & Marketing Manager
NAA Joins Push to Encourage Firearm Owners to Own It? Respect It. Secure It.
Today I’m pleased to announced NAA’s involvement in the Own It? Respect It. Secure It. (ORS) Initiative℠ to help raise the public’s consciousness on the issue of firearm safety and responsibility through the core message: “Store Your Firearms Responsibly”. Through the ORS Initiative, we want to reach as many people as possible with this message to encourage safe and responsible firearm storage. Our goal is to make proper firearm storage as second nature as keeping medicine in child-resistant containers. And with the ORS Initiative, we can have a positive impact in helping to prevent accidents and unauthorized use of firearms.
The ORS Initiative, created by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, is built on the firearm industry’s long-standing commitment to safety and has been developed to give industry members an ongoing platform to promote and encourage firearm safety and storage. It also serves to enhance and amplify the messages of ongoing safety and education campaigns such as Project ChildSafe®, which has distributed more than 36 million free firearm safety kits to gun owners through partnerships with law enforcement agencies in all 50 states and five U.S. territories
“Storing your firearms responsibly is a simple but vitally important message, and we are pleased to have Sandy’s support for this Initiative,” said Steve Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO. “Together with all our industry partners we can be powerful messengers in encouraging firearm owners to respect their firearm and store it responsibly when not in use.”
In the coming weeks and months, consumers and participants in the shooting sports will begin seeing the ORS message in brochures, on packaging, in advertising, social media and at retail counters.
For more information on the ORS Initiative, please log on to: www.NSSF.org/ORS
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 more than 10,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.
I’ve recently returned from Indianapolis where NAA spent three days showing its wares to the faithful at the NRA Annual Conference and Product Expo. As is usually the case at this event, there was a lot of floor traffic and my team and I were very busy each day from 9 to 6 showing (off) our family of mini-revolvers and Guardian pistols.
As I’ve indicated in years past, this is a very important event for me/us as it is the only opportunity we have to interface with the end customers (the other shows we attend, such as SHOT, are trade-only and not open to the general public). While I’m delighted to reconnect with old friends and customers, including several from our Message Board community, I’m particularly interested in introducing ourselves to those less familiar with us and our products. While on the one hand I continue to be surprised by the number of people who have no familiarity with NAA, I recognize the continuing opportunity that represents for us to grow our market.
And while I tend to get most of the compliments (as well as the occasional complaint), I’m the first to recognize that it’s instead the team that travels with me, as well as those we leave at home, who are responsible for most of the impressions people have of NAA. It’s they who make the product, service the orders, handle the repairs and generally make the trains run on time. Truth be told, I have about as much impact on the NAA symphony as does a metronome to the playing of a fine instrument; it may provide some guidance but generally it’s just background noise.
On a broader note, I heard incessant complaints about the continued lack of availability of ammunition in general and rimfire (.22 caliber) specifically. Based on the repeated assurances I get from my “highly-placed” friends in the ammunition manufacturing business, plants are running at capacity and output has never been greater while government sales, year over year, show a continuing decline. The problem? Hoarding, pure and simple.
And just when you thought that general industry demand for firearms might be softening a little, along comes former Mayor Bloomberg who announces that he’s picking a $50 million fight with the NRA, whose fundraising and membership managers must be salivating. The man is as ignorant and ill-advised as he is rich but the gun rights community is thrilled to take advantage of his missteps; what a fool.
Shows like the NRA can be a lot of fun and can be a terrific learning experience for all who attend, exhibitor and visitor alike. And while it’s nice to get out of the office, and we have fun, eat well, etc., I always recognize the time spent away from family my team sacrifices for our company, and for which I am ever grateful.
To our NAA community,
I am thankful for this opportunity to draft the April Soapbox and provide a glimpse into the manufacturing at NAA.
I would like to thank all of you for your patronage, support, and loyalty to this brand. As the end users, you play a vital role in helping us build the reputation that North American Arms has established as one of the finest arms manufacturers in the industry. Recently, you made us aware on our message board that we had not lived up to the expectations of some of our customers. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to regain your trust and make things right, your support has been overwhelmingly positive and encouraging.
As we move forward as a company through restructured personnel, exciting new hires, capital investments, and overall process improvements; we remain committed to continual improvement and quality across our entire product line. To accomplish this, as stated previously, we have made a few personnel changes that will take NAA to elevated levels of quality and capabilities. Along with key personnel, we have started the process of bringing on new respected vendor partners that align with the direction of NAA. While these things take some time settle in, we are excited for the possibilities.
This has been an exciting time for the entire gun industry; unprecedented orders to every manufacturer have spoken loudly that Americans respect, honor, and value the meaning of the 2nd Amendment. Along with you, we here at NAA share that feeling and passion. With the excitement however, have come manufacturing challenges. Recently, we have been experiencing tremendous inconsistencies with a large brand-name ammunition supplier. Large variability in powder charges will cause challenges in any firearm and ours are certainly not immune. We ask for your continued support, fanfare, and occasional patience. North American Arms is a great brand in a great industry. I am proud to work here and look forward to the opportunities ahead to exceed your expectations. A sincere thank you to our customer base, we value your feedback and support.
All the best,