Firearm Industry Inducts Three into NSSF Hall of Fame
The contributions of Bob Behn, Richard Lipsey and Bill Ruger, Sr., to industry and the shooting sports are recognized at the 2023 SHOT Show®.
LAS VEGAS — NSSF®, The Trade Association of the Firearm Industry, honored three inductees to its Hall of Fame at the 2023 SHOT Show, recognizing them for their leadership that spanned decades and their contributions to the growth of the industry and expanding the shooting sports.
Joe Bartozzi, NSSF President and CEO, praised the three men in remarks made today at the NSSF Members Meeting at the SHOT Show. SHOT Show is the largest trade show of hunting, shooting, law enforcement and outdoor-related products in the world.
“Pausing at the SHOT Show to recognize our past leaders and their accomplishments reminds us that their efforts and involvement have benefitted our industry in so many ways. They have contributed to our heritage through the companies they ran, the products they helped create and their unique individual talents. For that and so much more, they deserve this honor and our praise,” said Bartozzi.
The inductees and their accomplishments are detailed in large panels at the SHOT Show, visible to the tens of thousands of trade professionals in attendance.
The 2023 inductees to the NSSF Hall of Fame are:
Robert W. Behn joined the Marlin Firearms Company in 1969, eventually rising through the ranks to serve as the company’s President from 1997-2007 and then CEO until his retirement in 2008. After retiring from Marlin, Behn became a Senior Advisor to the Executive Chairman of Remington Arms while also serving as a director of Remington’s board. He is a past Vice Chairman of NSSF’s Board of Governors, as well as a past board member of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI®). Behn is a recipient of NSSF’s Ken Sedlecky Lifetime Achievement Award.
Richard A. Lipsey
Richard Lipsey is the founder of powerhouse wholesaler and distributor Lipsey’s. His career in the sporting goods industry has spanned nearly 60 years, during which he built Lipsey’s into one of the largest distributors in the country. A dedicated conservationist, particularly in the area of wetlands, coastal and waterfowl conservation across North America and in his home state of Louisiana, Lipsey is renowned for his philanthropy on the local, state and federal levels. A staunch supporter of NSSF and its wide-ranging efforts over the years, Lipsey is a recipient of NSSF’s Ken Sedlecky Lifetime Achievement Award.
William B. Ruger, Sr., was the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Sturm, Ruger & Company. Widely recognized as one of America’s greatest gun designers, Bill led the company to becoming the largest firearm manufacturer in the United States. He had a hand in the original design and time-honored styling of every firearm his company produced, and he continued to work on new creations up until his death in 2002. His first firearm introduction in 1949, a stylish .22 caliber target pistol, was considered “the first gun” of many Americans and is still one of the most popular target pistols in widespread use. Beyond his extraordinary accomplishments in the firearm field, Bill was a charter founder of NSSF and a tremendous supporter of the foundation’s efforts.
“The NSSF Hall of Fame reminds everyone of the pride we take in our industry and what our leaders then and now stand up for—the freedom to make, own and use firearms responsibly in America,” said Bartozzi.
This prestigious group of 2023 NSSF Hall of Fame inductees joins the ranks of past honorees, whose biographies who can be found on NSSF’s Hall of Fame website.
NSSF unveiled the Hall of Fame concept and inducted the inaugural class of six at the 2020 SHOT Show. No Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place in 2021 when SHOT Show was conducted virtually due to the pandemic. Six were inducted last year—three each for 2021 and 2022.
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, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org.