NEWTOWN, Conn. – NSSF®, the firearm industry trade association, is pleased to announce that it has formed a partnership with the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) to promote NSSF’s First Shots® program and +ONESM Movement initiatives through SSSF’s family of teams and their home ranges.
SSSF is a 501(c)(3) public charity that oversees all activities of its two youth development programs, the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) and the Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP). SCTP focuses on fostering participation in the clay target sports, including skeet, trap, sporting clays and Olympic-style trap and skeet disciplines, whereas SASP supports participation in steel-target action handgun and rifle competitions. Both team-based programs welcome youths ranging from grade-school through college age, with students mentored and coached by trained volunteers.
NSSF’s +ONE Movement likewise has fostering participation in the shooting sports as its foundation. Launched in 2019, +ONE was created to inspire gun owners to introduce someone to target shooting or hunting. Mentors signing the +ONE Pledge take the time to show how safe and enjoyable the shooting sports are and are encouraged to extend invitations to those whose families don’t traditionally own firearms, target shoot or hunt. It is, at its heart, a “pay-it-forward” movement, one designed to welcome anyone who might have an interest in these pursuits but didn’t know where or to whom to turn to get involved.
“A partnership with SSSF is organic outreach at its best,” said Zach Snow, NSSF Director, Retail & Range Business Development. “Mentoring is not only what SSSF does best, it’s what its students do best. All of them are out there asking their schoolmates, Sunday school classmates and sports teammates to join them—and their parents are doing the same with neighbors, work colleagues and friends who have children. Our +ONE resources will only expand what this organization and its club members already do so well.”
Adding First Shots to the mix is a natural, Snow added. The newly introduced First Shots Clay Targets program combined with the original First Shots programs for handguns and rifles will serve as a key community outreach and recruitment tool for SCTP/SASP teams along with their home ranges. Intended for people who have never handled a firearm before or who are just getting started, these events typically start in the classroom where firearm safety and functionality are covered. Participants then move to the range where, with personal instruction, they take their first successful shots and start their shooting sports journey.
“The kids and young adults participating in SCTP and SASP competitions are, of course, experienced with safe firearm handling and have advanced skill sets. But they didn’t start out that way. Each and every one of them had someone introduce them to the shooting sports,” said Snow.
“Because of those strong beginnings, they are passionate about competition and teamwork, so they also have a natural tendency to ask their peers to give it a try. Making our First Shots program and resources available to SCTP and SASP clubs adds an easy, safe and, most importantly, enjoyable method of entry for those who want to shoot alongside their friends. Used in conjunction with +ONE, we expect this to be a model for reducing barriers to entry and increasing participation in the shooting sports.”
“We at SSSF are in the perfect position to partner with the NSSF for the +ONE Movement,” said Ben Berka, SSSF President and Executive Director. “With thousands of adult volunteers and young SCTP & SASP athletes across the country, we believe our community can make a big difference in introducing shooting sports to those who may not have otherwise had the opportunity. The SCTP was started by NSSF, and its goal of growing the shooting sports continues to align perfectly with our program mission statements. We look forward to continually growing the shooting sports community with the help of +ONE and First Shots resources, focusing our efforts on the youth demographics that SSSF serves.”
For more information on how your club or range can become a First Shots event host, contact Zach Snow at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-426-1320 ext. 224. To take the +ONE Pledge and discover the resources available to help you succeed as a mentor, visit LetsGoShooting.orgTM and LetsGoHunting.org.TM Details about the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation, including contact information for program administrators and regional and national development directors, can be found at SSSFonline.org.
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.