By Bill Dunn
NEWTOWN, Conn –-(Ammoland.com)- In his 34 years in the industry, NSSF President Steve Sanetti said he has never seen the industry more unified.
During the SHOT Show’s annual State of the Industry event, Sanetti said that membership in NSSF, the industry’s trade association, is more than double what it was just five years ago.
“Together we comprise a record number of more than 7,000 of America’s favorite firearms and ammunition manufacturers, wholesalers, importers, retailers, shooting ranges, gun clubs, conservation groups, outdoor media, safety instructors, and many others, who share our avocation and our passion for our industry and our uniquely American way of life,” Sanetti said.
“Our membership has never been stronger or more engaged. We have had great success in recent years solidifying our industry’s base of support.”
While the nation’s economy has remained stagnant the past few years, the firearms and ammunition industry has been one of its few bright spots.
“Eighteen consecutive quarters of sales growth, as evidenced most recently by an all-time high number of mandatory point-of-sales background checks in December, and during the worst recession since the great depression, would be an enviable feat for any industry. Yet we have achieved it, and we have shared our prosperity by giving back,” Sanetti said.
Sanetti said the industry’s success has also helped fuel the nation’s conservation programs, and he pointed out that 2012 marks the 75th anniversary of the Pittman/Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act, which created the dedicated excise tax on firearms and ammunition. This year, he said, the industry will continue to spread the word to all Americans that hunters and shooters provide the vast majority of financial support for conservation.
With 2012 being a critical election year, Sanetti said, NSSF will ensure that candidates and voters are educated on all issues affecting the industry and firearm freedoms.
“We will not presume to tell any of you how to cast your vote. But I can promise you this. Your industry’s voice will be heard. We will educate voters and legislators and candidates alike as to our legitimate interests, and about our hopes and concerns regarding where this great nation of ours is going,” he said.
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.