The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), formed in 1961, is an American national trade association serving the firearms industry. Based in Newtown, Connecticut, the foundation has over 8,000 confirmed members ranging from firearms manufacturers to retailers, sportsmen’s clubs, shooting ranges, distributors, and members of the media. The NSSF mission states their purpose is to “promote, protect, and preserve hunting and the shooting sports”.
What to Know About the NSSF
Th NSSF has a rich history, and there are notable events and facts that are of interest involving the trade association and its members over the course of its 56 years. Many political events have transpired that were a part of NSSF developments, and several US Presidents have interacted with policies that directly affected the organization. Current events, laws, and changes in the firearms trade have all been influenced by the NSSF, which has played a direct role in shaping America’s relationship with firearms. Let’s take a look at some of the events that have involved the NSSF:
- Gun Rights. The NSSF has been a long-term advocate of gun rights, arguing relentlessly against the broad use of the term “assault weapon” and against imposing limits on high capacity magazines used in firearms.
- Legislation Support. The NSSF has supported various acts of legislation that permit concealed carry and has tendered proposals to the EPA to prevent the regulation of chemicals such as lead in use with ammunition. President of the NSSF since 2008, Steve Sanetti has helped direct “the successful coordinated response to municipal lawsuits that threatened the firearms industry in the 1990’s”.
- Lobbying. As noted by the Sunlight Foundation, $1.7 million was spent by the NSSF from 1998 to 2012 on lobbying efforts. The voter education website “Gunvote” was opened in 2012.
- SHOT Show. Hosted through the NSSF, the SHOT show is the largest gun show in the US, attracting over 60,000 attendees to Las Vegas to an exhibition space of over 630,000 feet. This show is listed as on of the top 25 largest trade shows in the entire nation.
- Controversy. Between the years of 2000 and 2003, the FTC held an anti-trust investigation of those in the gun industry, including the NSSF who was boycotting Smith & Wesson due to Clinton era background checks and other requirements. In 2003 the probe was suspended by then President George W. Bush., with claims by NSSF general counsel that the probe had been politically motivated from the start.
The NSSF claimed that in 2008, the Obama campaign had unlawfully gained an email list that was used to email and promote a National Hunting and Fishing day.
After the tragedy in Sandy Hook on December 14th, 2012, only three miles away from NSSF headquarters, NSSF president Sanetti made the statement “Who among us has not been moved by that unspeakable tragedy that was inflicted by a deranged man upon the children of Newtown, Connecticut, our very home as the NSSF?”
The NICS Instant Background Check and You
In order to prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands, and to protect law-abiding citizens, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NCIS) was put into place on November 30, 1998. This safeguard was instituted after legislation known as the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 was enacted to help prevent gun violence. Intended to instantly determine who is eligible to purchase firearms, 1.3 million denials out of 230 million checks have occurred.
The offices of the NCIS are centrally located in the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division in Clarkson, West Virginia. Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL’s) are instructed to call the FBI to conduct a routine check at the point of sale when people come to purchase firearms. The FFL must fill out a form for the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives (ATF Form 4473) and then make the call. The FBI offices are open 17 hours a day, every day including holidays, except Christmas. Calls may be monitored and recorded for all authorized purposes.
What the NSSF Offers to Their Members and Our Nation
The NSSF works tirelessly to maintain the right in America to bear arms. Gun owner’s rights are their main priority and they engage in political and lobbying efforts to keep America and our citizens safe and protected by law, while reserving their right to legally own guns to protect themselves and others from criminals who would endanger them and infringe upon their rights and property.
Shooting sports is also a point of pride for the association, who seek to preserve the right for Americans to pursue these sports. The NSSF is a well-known and respected association of gun proponents who take seriously the need for the citizens of America to have all their rights respected under the law. The NSSF is working on keeping our country safe and does not support lawless criminals or those unfit to bear arms.