NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearm and ammunition industry, is grateful for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) inclusion of the firearm industry’s manufacturing, distribution, retail and range businesses as essential critical services that should remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. NSSF has been working closely with the Trump Administration and DHS to convey the important role the firearm and ammunition industry performs for national security, public safety, and the ability for continued exercise of individual constitutional liberties and self-protection.
“We are deeply appreciative to the Trump Administration and Department of Homeland Security for recognizing the vital role our industry fulfills in our nation,” said Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for NSSF. “We have seen over the past week hundreds of thousands, even millions of Americans choosing to exercise their right to keep and bear arms to ensure their safety and the safety of loved ones during these uncertain times. Americans must not be denied the ability to exercise that right to lawfully purchase and acquire firearms during times of emergency. This guidance from the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is crucial to governors and local officials as they craft the orders to preserve public health.”
The firearm industry continues to provide small arms to the U.S. military, even during times of crisis. The national security mission remains and U.S. Armed Forces, with rare exception, rely upon domestically manufactured small arms. Most law enforcement departments rely on local firearm retailers to supply them with their firearms to perform the critical duty of providing for community safety. Law-abiding individuals also rely on these retailers for the ability to purchase their firearms and ammunition. It is also where retailers are able to explain the responsibilities of safe firearm ownership and storage and new gun owners are able to access ranges to learn to safely handle their firearms.