NSSF Time Capsule Marks 50th Anniversary & State of Hunting and Shooting
Where will things stand 50 years from now?
NEWTOWN, Conn –-(Ammoland.com)- The National Shooting Sports Foundation has packed a time capsule with materials that reflect the state of firearms ownership, target shooting and hunting in the year 2011 and that tell the story of how NSSF, the firearms industry's trade association, has helped promote, preserve and protect those freedoms over the last half century.
The time capsule project is the last major event commemorating NSSF's 50th Anniversary celebration this year. It was a half century ago this month that NSSF was officially incorporated.
The 1 x 2 x 3-foot composite-material box –stamped “Open in 2061!”– will be on display at NSSF's headquarters.
For those who eventually open the repository, its contents will provide a benchmark against which to measure how the nation's firearms freedoms and $4 billion firearms industry have fared over time. Approximately 85 million Americans own firearms, and NSSF hopes their future and that of their descendants is free of restrictions, though experience has shown that challenges to the constitutional right to own and use firearms will continue.
“The Second Amendment, our industry and our sports are in surprisingly good shape at this juncture,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti, whose contribution to the capsule was a copy of a 2005 law passed by Congress that protects firearms companies from frivolous lawsuits.
“It's our great hope that things will be as good or better for us fifty years from now. If that is the case, all that NSSF has worked for on behalf of its members for the past half century will have paid big dividends to the businesses, hunters and target shooters of the future.”
Sanetti noted that target shooting recently reached an all-time high with 34.4 million participants; that a decades-long decline in hunting license sales has ceased; that two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions (Heller and McDonald) reaffirmed the individual right to keep and bear arms; that industry's largest sales surge ever, starting in late 2008, preserved jobs during a difficult economic period; that Wisconsin in 2011 became the 49th state to allow concealed carry, leaving Illinois alone in denying that right to citizens; and that a Gallup poll last month showed only 26 percent of Americans favored a legal ban on the possession of handguns, the lowest level of public support for gun control ever.
Many items placed in the time capsule relate to the programs and services NSSF conducts on behalf of its more than 6,000 industry members and millions of hunters and shooters. Photographs of employees and items that reflect current times were included as well.
Destined to become historical artifacts in the time capsule are . . .
- A hometown proclamation recognizing NSSF's 50th Anniversary and the organization's many contributions that benefit hunting and the shooting sports.
- A book and a video of the official history of NSSF. (Both available online at www.nssf.org/50.)
- Firearms safety, hunter ethics and wildlife conservation literature and videos–the core of NSSF's educational efforts.
- A Project ChildSafe gun lock safety kit and a Don't Lie for the Other Guy firearms retailer education kit. The two NSSF-developed programs have received millions in federal funding and helped reduce firearms accidents and illegal purchases.
- A copy of the exhibitor directory for the NSSF-owned Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show®), the largest trade show of its kind in the word with more than 1,600 exhibiting companies and organizations, 58,000 industry professionals and 2,000 media attending.
- Copies of two NSSF-owned magazines–SHOT Business for firearms retailers and The Range Report for shooting facility operators.
- Recent NSSF ad campaigns focusing on correcting inaccurate statements about the Modern Sporting Rifle–AR-platform rifles that are neither assault weapons nor automatic rifles (www.nssf.org/msr)–and Hunter Green, a reminder of the billions of dollars contributed by hunters to protect America's wildlife and wild lands.
- A staff photo accompanied by staff predictions for the future, and photographs of NSSF's offices and grounds.
Other items included in the time capsule are . . .
- Copies of The New York Times and The Newtown Bee, the latter NSSF's hometown newspaper.
- Copies of magazines such as Field & Stream, Guns & Ammo and Shooting Industry.
- Images of NSSF's website, blog, Facebook page and Twitter feed.
NSSF's 50th Anniversary celebration kicked off at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas last January. To continue its celebration through the year, NSSF sponsored a photo contest on its Facebook page with monthly themes and provided cash and other prizes to ten winners a month. The contest continues through December. NSSF also presented its award-winning anniversary video and publication at outdoor media groups across the country to raise awareness about the organization and its accomplishments.
“Anniversaries are occasions for people to consider the past and the future,” said Sanetti.
“We've enjoyed reviewing our history, which has helped our members and others better understand what NSSF does for them. After sealing the time capsule, however, all of us at NSSF will feel a spring in our step to move forward with the important work of promoting, protecting and preserving hunting and the shooting sports.”
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 6,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.
NSSF is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2011. Learn about the Foundation's history at www.nssf.org/50.