As hundreds of businesses across the country have been forced to close as being “non-essential” during the coronavirus pandemic, the National Shooting Sports Foundation®(NSSF®) has worked nonstop to have firearm retailers, ranges, manufacturers and distributors listed as “essential.” There have been numerous challenges to this even in gun-friendly states, but to date, we have been successful in keeping the doors open and businesses operating in more than 20 states and in numerous towns and cities that have enacted stay-at-home orders.
We did not realize these successes alone. NSSF’s thousands of members were making phone calls to legislators and law enforcement at all levels of government, right alongside our Government Relations team, letting them know what was happening in their communities. Together, they made the message crystal clear: It is critical, essential, that our manufacturers, distributors, retailers, ranges and importers remain operational.
Our collective ability to influence lawmakers and keep our businesses open now has federal backing. Late in March, NSSF secured a “critical infrastructure” listing from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for nearly all sectors of our industry—and again, it was NSSF members, working right alongside us, who were instrumental in championing this effort.
I’m asking you now to join your colleagues—especially if your business has remained open during this crisis—and become an NSSF member. There are many, many challenges we have yet to face and many unknowns, but as the trade association for the firearm industry—your trade association—we know from long experience in other difficult times that our strength derives from our numbers.
This crisis will pass and, if there’s a silver lining in it all, there are hundreds of thousands, evenmillionsof people who have become firearm owners for the very first time during this pandemic—and they will be turning to your business for new products and education when it’s over. Please join us in being a part of the fight to get through this and the successes to be found at the other end.
National Shooting Sports Foundation
Managing Director – Member Services