Thursday, August 27, 2009

Noted Artist David Wright Donates Painting as Fundraiser for the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association

Several years ago, in recognition of the importance to our nation of the history and heritage of the sport of muzzleloading, the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association began an endowment program entitled “1 of 1000.” The endowment fund’s purpose was to support the long-term financial stability of the Association, perpetually preserving the principal while at the same time generating sufficient interest to be used for the furtherance of the NMLRA’s education goals. The premise was to recruit 1,000 members to each contribute $1,000, thereby funding the program with one million dollars. NMLRA member, Bob Copner, is currently leading the fundraising campaign.

Artist David Wright, an NMLRA Life Member who is well known for his artistic renderings of the American Frontier and early American life, has graciously given of his skills and talents in support of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association’s 1 of 1000 Endowment. He has donated a large, specially commissioned original oil painting entitled “The Spirit of America,” from which limited edition, signed and numbered prints and canvas giclees have been reproduced. States Wright, “Bob and I wanted to depict a subject that would represent the rich heritage and unifying spirit that enabled our forefathers to settle our country. The painting depicts a group of self-reliant settlers as they take the country westward. Each and all, in their indomitable ways, represent the unique spirit that has always characterized the American people. As they faced forthrightly the unknowns, as they stared down life-threatening risk, as they challenged the wilderness frontally, as they heard the hum of arrows, they persevered; they planted their flag. They carried freedom and democratic ideals on their backs and have earned the gratitude of the generations that have followed. They epitomize the spirit of America. It is an honor to create this painting for the 1 of 1000 Endowment, and to be part of this worthy fundraising endeavor. It is my hope that this may help assure the perpetuity of the NMLRA.”

Mr. Wright is an accomplished artist, who received formal professional training with advanced study in Italy. He joined Graystone Press in 1973, and remains with them. He has produced works for many historical sites and not-for-profit organizations, including Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Wilderness Road State Park, the Lincoln County Historical Association, the World’s Fair Arts Pavilion, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. He has also won many prestigious awards, including the “Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award,” the “Victor Higgins Work of Distinction for Best Individual Work,” and the “Patrons Choice Award.” Wright’s paintings have been featured in numerous television documentaries, and his articles have appeared in journals, magazines, and books. He has served as an historical consultant in several television documentaries, and has served as Art Director for Native Sun Productions.

Wright will relinquish any royalties from the sale of the prints, and has agreed to attend the NMLRA’s National Championship Shoot in Friendship, IN on Sunday, September 13th. He will be on hand at 2:00 p.m. in the Media Room at the Clubhouse to personally sign copies of the prints and giclees which will be made available to the public at that time. This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet the artist and purchase a print, or to join the 1 of 1000 Endowment and receive a free print!

For more information on purchasing the “The Spirit of America,” or on joining the 1 of 1000 Endowment program, please visit the NMLRA’s website at, or call the NMLRA offices at 1.812.667.5131.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Veterans protest Gettysburg gun law

The following article appeared in the Evening Sun:

About 30 uniformed veterans showed up to the Gettysburg Borough Council meeting on Monday to protest what one called an "unfair, if not illegal," ordinance adopted by the borough in June.
Under Gettysburg's newly amended firearms ordinance, re-enactors and veterans' organizations that routinely discharge firearms in Gettysburg are now required to pay a fee, obtain a permit and show proof of insurance before firing blanks within the borough.
At the time the ordinance was adopted, members of Borough Council were reassured that the new requirement should not break the bank for any organizations - particularly those that perform military funerals - because the $20 fee is paid only once a year and will cover all of a permit holder's events for that entire year.
It's the principle of the matter, however, that packed the room with veterans on Monday.
As the group's representative, Gettysburg Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 15 Commander Bob Finch asked the council to waive the fee requirement for organizations that perform military funerals.
"We ask this not because it costs $20, but because levying any fee against this venerated ceremony speaks the wrong message and a waiver to this ordinance portrays the proper respect to those fallen service members," Finch read from a prepared statement.
Finch - who said he represented 10 "congressionally-chartered" military organizations in Adams County - said he had reason to believe the fee requirement also violates federal law.
That's because service organizations that perform military funerals do so as a representative of the Department of Defense and are therefore covered by government-provided liability insurance. He also pointed out that all eligible veterans are entitled to a funeral with military honors and that that responsibility is delegated to organizations like the VFW and the Adams County Allied Veterans Council.
"We believe this ordinance to be unfair, if not illegal, to our service organizations and inadvertently a measure of disrespect to our fallen brothers and sisters who have honorably served," Finch said.
He said about 70 military funerals were performed in Adams County last year and that more than 25 have been conducted so far in 2009. With "extreme reservation," the veterans council already paid the fee for 2009 "because we respect the law."
Borough Council President Dick Peterson responded by saying the council made a "very difficult decision" and that the matter would be revisited in the Finance Committee.
Councilman Robert Krummerich, who chairs that committee, said the ordinance was passed in an effort to protect residents from potential lawsuits because firing blanks can be dangerous and the borough could be on the hook for liability.
Out of fairness, council decided not to single out any groups - such as veterans, police or firefighters - for fee exemptions, he said.
"We wanted to make this as uniform and objective as possible," Krummerich said.
The ordinance amendments were proposed in March by Mayor William Troxell, who said the borough's existing law neglected to address the longtime Gettysburg tradition of discharging guns during re-enactment events and military ceremonies.
Before it was amended, the ordinance dated back to 1968 and simply read, "No person shall, except in defense of person or property, fire or discharge any gun or other firearm within the Borough of Gettysburg."
That vague description left a lot to interpretation.
Some officials also saw the amendment as an opportunity to regulate a potentially dangerous activity by requiring permit applicants to show proof of insurance.
Council had cited the pending criminal case of a 44-year-old re-enactor, who is charged with two counts of aggravated assault for allegedly shooting a 17-year-old re-enactor with an unloaded black-powder rifle at point-blank range. The shot resulted in powder burns to two of the teen's toes and the partial amputation of one, according to court documents.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rand House Museum Exhibits Announced for the National Championship Shoot

The National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association’s Rand House Museum will host several interesting collections of firearms, swords, and Native American stone tools for the National Championship Shoot scheduled for September 12th-20th, 2009.

An exhibit of different types of pistols, on loan from the Tippecanoe County Historical Association of Lafayette, Indiana, has several unique pieces, including an extremely rare circa 1860’s air pistol by Schemann and Wirsling of Cincinnati, Ohio, a Remington-Beals 1st model revolver, and a Bacon 2nd model revolver, with an estimated production of 3,000 pieces. The Historical Association is also sending some other firearms, including a full stock/percussion/curly maple, circa 1850, a half stock 410 gauge shotgun with a checkered/carved stock, showing several repairs, a Bixler and Iddings double barrel shotgun with a checkered wrist, and a full stock percussion Kentucky rifle with a four-piece brass patchbox.

There will also be a collection of swords from the Historical Association. Several Civil War and pre-Civil War military swords, including a Confederate “Fort Sabre” by Griswold and Company, New Orleans, several 1840 Heavy Cavalry sabres, otherwise known as “the wrist breakers,” and a probable Nathan Starr cavalry saber, circa 1812.

Native American stone tools are often of great interest to those who study the early history of our country, and the Rand House Museum will host a large collection of these exhibited by an anonymous collector. Many of these pieces and large parts of the collection have won top state and national awards from various archaeological societies, and numerous photos of these pieces have been published in various journals, books and magazines across the country. This collection is considered by many to be one of the best of its kind in the country.

A number of photos from the NMLRA archives that have not previously been exhibited are scheduled to be on display, and a special area will be set up with activities and museum handling materials for children.

The Rand House Museum thanks guest curators Jeff Jaeger and Rick Conwell for their assistance.

Museum hours for the National Championship Shoot will be posted on the NMLRA website at For more information on the Rand House Museum, or if you are interested in exhibiting at the museum in the future, please contact Leslie Martin Conwell, NMLRA American History Events Coordinator, 765.563.6792,

Saturday, August 1, 2009

NMLRA Recieves NSSF For Territorial Program

To: ALL MEDIAFor immediate release
July 27, 2009
For more information contact:
Bill Brassard Jr.bbrassard@nssf.org203-426-1320
National Shooting Sports Foundation Awards $245,000 in Grants to Shooting Facilities
NEWTOWN, Conn.—To encourage the development of new marketing strategies that will motivate people to go target shooting and hunting, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has awarded grants totaling $245,531 to 12 shooting facilities around the country. This is the second year that NSSF has distributed funding to qualifying target ranges through its Range Partnership Grant Program.
“Research tells us that millions of Americans would like to try target shooting and hunting, and the place to get started is at one of the thousands of shooting ranges across the country,” said Steve Sanetti, president of NSSF, trade association for the firearms industry. “These grants will help shooting range managers implement creative marketing strategies that will introduce newcomers and reactivate former shooters so they can enjoy lifetime activities that are fun and can be shared with family and friends. Time and again we see that when newcomers go target shooting, they like it—a lot. We just need to help get them started.”
Said Melissa Schilling, NSSF's manager of recruitment and retention, “These grants will help to test measurable projects that, if successful, will be shared with shooting facilities around the country.”
Thirty-eight proposals in all were submitted by shooting facilities nationwide. Some of this year's grant recipients proposed projects in partnership with organizations and agencies associated with recreational shooting and hunting.
The 2009 Range Partnership Grant Program recipients are as follows . . .
Wyoming Antelope Club, Florida Chapter, Saint Petersburg, FL--$13,594
Project: Increase the number of recreational shooters by marketing training and shooting programs utilizing cable television.
Turcotte Education and Shooting Facility (partnering with Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Foundation), Jackson, MS--$12,250
Project: Develop program to introduce new shooters, with an emphasis on women and youth 12 and over.
Pocono Pistol Club, Stroudsburg, PA--$33,213
Project: Develop classes designed for women interested in becoming familiar with handguns, safety and shooting techniques.
The National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association, Friendship IN--$13,500
Project: Build increased awareness and interest in the shooting sports and muzzle loading through the development of new promotional materials and stepped up outreach through the association's Territorial and Charter Club program.
West Coast Armory Indoor Range, Issaquah, WA--$23,034
Project: Increase awareness of the positive benefits of shooting using Web, cable and radio advertising to reach market segments within local communities.
Grizzly Ranch (partnering with California Waterfowl Association), Sacramento, CA--$21,540
Project: Promote and host hunter education camps, shooting clinics and mentored hunting opportunities at Grizzly Ranch.
Mid-Carolina Rifle Club, Rocky Creek, Harris Springs Sportsman's Preserve and Little Mountain Gun & Supply, Inc. (partnering with South Carolina Department of Natural Resources), Columbia, S.C.--$67,000
Project: Develop model methods for improving public awareness of, and accessibility to, shooting ranges in South Carolina.
Seymour Fish & Game Club, Seymour, CT--$500
Project: Use new media marketing to engage local newcomers to the shooting sports through a singles social networking site. Event will be free to participants and will follow the guidelines of NSSF's First Shots Program.
Cardinal Shooting Center (partnering with U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance), Columbus, OH--$26,000
Project: Launch an integrated marketing plan to establish the range as a recreational alternative for youth, families and businesses that can combine meetings with a target shooting activity.
Border Tactical Range, El Centro, CA--$17,000
Project: Develop targeted marketing initiative to attract non-shooters and lapsed shooters, teach firearms safety to youth and present the shooting sports in a positive light through radio, television and print ads and social networking sites.
Silverton Sporting Ranch, Canaan, ME--$5,000
Project: Create a television show that will expose potential participants to the possibilities of where to shoot and how to enjoy the shooting sports as a family.
Openrange Inc., Crestwood, KY--$12,900
Project: Encourage the 20-35 year-olds market to add target shooting to their regular entertainment/recreational activities, with a goal of increasing membership in this category by 50 percent.
Formed in 1961, the National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.