Violent Crime Down, But Who Knows?

In February, the FBI released its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report for January-June 2013. Reflecting a growing trend, the report indicates the number of violent crimes in the nation decreased 5.4 percent compared to the first half of 2012. The number of murders declined 7 percent.

Those throughout the firearms industry welcome the good news of declining violent crimes, as should all Americans. However, this good news is not widely known, says Steve Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO.

“These crime reductions continue a 30-year trend as the Department of Justice reported last year, even while the public is largely unaware of this remarkable shift toward a safer society,” Sanetti said in a Feb. 28 blog on the NSSF website. “As we have pointed out before, the crime reductions correspond with a steady increase in the legal demand for firearms as law-abiding American people have sought to exercise their Second Amendment rights, enjoy recreational shooting and even go afield with a new modern sporting rifle (MSR).”

Sanetti reflected on the frustration of many in the industry with those who demonize MSRs.

“Let’s be clear in responding to our critics and opportunistic politicians on this important point: No matter how skilled our industry is in our marketing, there is no way that this demand could be generated through advertising and online videos. Americans wanted these firearms.
Those that live in the pricey precincts of New York City or San Francisco may not want to face this fact, but it is the truth,” Sanetti said.
In contrast, Sanetti said the mainstream media is quick to cite studies that fit a “preferred narrative.”

“One such study suggested alarming numbers of children accidentally injured by firearms. In actuality, the study mostly tracked violence among young men. The vast majority of the incidents included in the study, 84 percent, involved individuals in the range of 15-19 years old. These are children?” asked Sanetti, citing additional data often misrepresented in the media.

“Almost two-thirds of the cases examined were assaults, and, not surprisingly, almost all of the assault victims were between 15-19 years old. And this could well be an undercount, as it seems probable that a teenager may report an injury as unintentional when actually the result of an assault to avoid legal trouble or retribution,” Sanetti pointed out.

Despite the “only bad news” trend of mainstream media, Sanetti points to favorable attitudes concerning gun laws.

“A recent Gallup poll showed that the percentage of Americans favoring stricter gun laws fell seven points in 2014, from 38 to 31 percent. The country’s overall dissatisfaction with U.S. gun laws and policies has increased to 55 percent this year, up from 51 percent in 2013,” Sanetti said.

To read Sanetti’s entire blog, with hot links to studies and other data, visit NSSF’s website.


Beretta Expands In Tennessee

On Jan. 29, Beretta USA officials announced the company will expand its U.S. operations by building a new firearms manufacturing plant in Gallatin, Tenn. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam joined Beretta officials in making the announcement.

“From the moment we started to consider a location outside of the State of Maryland for our manufacturing expansion, Governor Haslam and his economic development team did an excellent job demonstrating the benefits of doing business in Tennessee,” said Franco Gussalli Beretta, Fabbrica d’Armi S.p.A VP and managing director and Beretta USA executive VP. “We are convinced we could find no better place than Tennessee to establish our new manufacturing enterprise.”

According to Beretta, the company will invest $45 million in a state-of-the-art manufacturing and R&D facility. Beretta will create 300 new Tennessee jobs. The company is expected to complete construction on the facility this year.

“Beretta is one of the world’s greatest companies and their decision to expand into Tennessee speaks to the standards of craftsmanship and quality our state’s workforce embraces every day,” Haslam said. “Attracting a legendary company like Beretta reinforces our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs.”

Beretta, established in 1526, traces its roots through 16 generations of continuous family ownership. Beretta USA Corp. was founded in 1977.


Remington Invests In Alabama

On Feb. 17, Remington Outdoor Co. announced the company is expanding its operation to Alabama, with the purchase of the old Chrysler building in Huntsville. George Kollitides, Remington Outdoor chairman and CEO, said growth drove the expansion.

“This additional capacity is essential to fulfill demand and introduce new products. Having watched our company grow from 2,400 employees in 2008 to 4,200 employees by the end of 2013 — a 5-year, 75 percent increase — it is easy to see why we’re investing now,” Kollitides said.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley welcomed Remington to state, citing the state’s workforce, business climate and quality of life.

“Remington will soon experience the same type of success that other companies in Alabama have already experienced. Today’s announcement will create more than 2,000 jobs in Huntsville, and reflects a statewide capital investment of $110 million. Our relationship with Remington is just beginning, and I look forward to a continued partnership with the company.”

Kollitides said 2013 was an “outstanding year” for Remington, “during which we grew by every key measure.”

“We are capitalizing on this momentum by strengthening our positions across the board. With demand for our products at a historic high and more new product launches planned for 2014 than ever before in our 200-year history, we are investing in the future,” Kollitides said.

By Russ Thurman

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