August is almost here — otherwise known as “National Shooting Sports Month,” designated three years ago by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Whether through target shooting at a favorite range, plinking in a backyard with friends and family, competing in a match or preparing for the fall hunting season, the month-long celebration acknowledges a common passion, and calls for welcoming and mentoring new shooters into the fold as we promote safe participation in all firearm-related activities.
Now the NRA — which has long promoted mentorship for those entering the shooting sports — is lending its support to this initiative, partnering with NSSF as it encourages shooting ranges, firearm retailers, public and private shooting clubs, shooting sports organizations and fish and wildlife agencies to collectively focus their attention on the fun and excitement of target shooting. To this end,hundreds of events are planned nationwide, along with many “Gearbox Giveaways.”
“NRA welcomes the opportunity to partner with NSSF on this initiative, as it speaks to the core mission of NRA and its members,” said Joe DeBergalis, executive director, NRA General Operations. “Anyone who was mentored into the shooting sports understands how important it is to pay it forward, and should invite others to share in the enjoyment of firearms and hunting. It is through our qualified mentorship of newcomers that our passion and pastime will live on indefinitely.”
It’s easy to take part in this initiative. Here’s how:
- Join fellow sportsmen and sportswomen at the range in August for some well-deserved trigger time. Find a range near you with this NRA search tool.
- Become an active participant in NSSF’s +ONE Movement, a nationwide campaign working to advance mentorship in hunting and the shooting sports by encouraging experienced shooters, hunters and firearm owners to take a new shooter to the range or field and allow them to experience first-hand what makes these pastimes so enjoyable.
- Go to LetsGoShooting.org to discover the ranges and retailers in your area for this year’s celebration.
- Participate in NRA’s Mentor Initiative, launched in 2015, which asks all NRA members to make a date to take new shooters to the range.
- Download a copy of the NRA Guide For New Shooters.
- Learn about NRA American Hunter’s “Join the Hunt” initiative, in which the focus is to offer guidance to the many Americans who may become hunters but lack a proper introduction to this pastime.
- Log on to NRA Shooting Sports USA’s “Coming Events” page for NRA-sanctioned competitive shooting matches.
- Be an NRA Recruiter — NRA has room for all types of people to recruit new members. Read the descriptions and decide which one sounds the most like you.
- Become an NRA Instructor and reap the rewards of training and mentoring new shooters.
- Volunteer for NRA in your community.
- Participate in one of the many women’s programs, like the Women’s Wilderness Escape or aWomen on Target Instructional Shooting Clinic.
- Attend a local Friends of NRA event.
- Build the next generation of hunters by signing your child up for the Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC).
For more information on National Shooting Sports Month, visit nssf.org or go to http://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2019/7/11/august-is-national-shooting-sports-month.