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News & Notes

USA Shooting Partners With NSSF First Shots Program to Promote Safe, Responsible Introductions To Target Shooting

Representatives of the USA

Shooting Team are joining forces with the National Shooting Sports Foundation to create an athlete ambassador extension to the organization’s established First Shots® program that devel- ops safe and responsible new shooters and increases traffi c to local target shooting ranges. Developed by NSSF in 2005 and hosted by independent shooting facilities, First Shots provides participants with a comprehensive introduction to shooting by qualifi ed range operators and instructors that includes fi rearm safety, local ownership requirements, shoot- ing fundamentals, hands-on instruction and how and where to continue. First Shots has helped ranges across the country introduce thousands of individuals to shooting and fi rearm safety. USA Shooting’s participation will include athlete ambas- sadors taking part in a variety of programming centered on awareness, safety and promo- tion.

“USA Shooting’s connection to the industry is as strong as it has ever been and there’s a strong role we can play as sport ambassadors given the state of the industry,” said USA Shooting

CEO Robert Mitchell. “Partner- ing with the NSSF helps identify our athletes as authorities and mentors within our industry and allows us to play a role in the education of responsible gun ownership and the shooting sports.”

Athlete ambassadors

participating will include 2012 Olympian Amanda Furrer (Spo- kane, Wash.) and Paralympian Eric Hollen (Colorado Springs, Colo.). In addition, 2012 National Skeet champion Jaiden Grinnell (Port Angeles, Wash.) will also serve as an inaugural First Shots Athlete Ambassador. A 15th place fi nisher at the 2012 Olympic Games in Lon- don, Furrer fi rst started shooting at 11 years old as member of the Spokane Junior Rifl e Team. Shooting, like for so many gun enthusiasts, is a family sport for the Furrers and all compete and shoot guns together. “I am so excited to work with

the First Shots program,” said Furrer. “I think it is essential for people to learn gun safety and become comfortable handling fi rearms. I think about all of the opportunities that shooting has brought to me, such as a col- lege scholarship and getting to compete in the Olympics, and I can only wish that more people

get a chance to experience what I have even if they aren’t competing. People of all shapes, sizes, genders, and abilities can take part in shooting; it’s a sport that includes everybody.” Hollen has been involved in shooting his whole life. He joined the U.S. Army and became a U.S. Army Ranger in 2/75 Ranger Regiment. Shortly thereafter, Eric completed the Special Forces Qualifi cation Course and became a proud member of the 2nd Bn. 10th Special Forces Group at Ft. Carson.

After a life-altering injury he sustained on his horse farm in Tennessee, Hollen gained a new lease on life by seizing the opportunity to compete in the sport of shooting. His renewed purpose was to attend school and develop his shooting abilities. Hollen completed his bachelor’s degree in April of 2010, and is currently a mas- ter’s student with the University of Southern California. Grinnell began shooting BB guns and .22 caliber rifl es at 6 years old. She began shooting rifl e through her local 4-H Program at the age of 12. Jaiden’s father, a competitive shooter also, told her that if she achieved good grades in

USA Shooting is proud to once again be a part of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) program for the next year. Our campaign number is 11094 and we would ask that you consider USAS when making contributions or payroll deductions. We sincerely appreciate your donations to USA Shooting!

8 USA Shooting News | July 2013

school, they would make a trip to Sunnydell Shooting Grounds. Her introduction to shotgun at Sunnydell has become a lifelong obsession and led her to setting a USA Shooting record for skeet at the 2012 USA Shooting National Championships. “It is my belief that with a strong education program, such as First Shots, we can unseat fear by simply making known the unknown,” said Grinnell. “We can give experiences and mem- ories, and prove that fi rearms can and should be used for sport, not for violence. We have a great opportunity to paint a different picture for fi rearms and start a new movement in family togetherness in outdoor sports.” The NSSF has been a valu- able contributor to USA Shoot- ing for many years now, and its contributions to the organization helped create the Progressive Pistol Program, a junior event that provides a great intro- duction to the sport of pistol shooting. For more information on First Shots, click here or contact Tisma Juett of the NSSF at (203) 426-1320 or by e-mail at For more information on the National Shooting Sports Foundation, please visit www.

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