NSSF: It’s a Modern Sporting Rifle Dammit

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is the American firearms industry’s lobby group. And a damn fine job it does too. Only sometimes not so much. Two years ago, the NSSF launched a campaign to “re-brand” assault rifles as “modern sporting rifles.” Yes, well, anyone remember the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act of 1993? No? How about “The Federal Assault Weapons Ban”? Well exactly. Still, when  Eric at Gunmart Blog wrote an essay entitled I Dont like the Term “Modern Sporting Rifle,” the NSSF felt obliged to defend their failed attempt at Orwellian language modification and accuse our pal of sedition . . .

Whenever someone in the gun-owning community mistakenly calls an AR-platform rifle an assault rifle or an automatic rifle, they are assisting anti-gun organizations and lawmakers who are eager to introduce legislation to restrict ownership of these and potentially other semiautomatic firearms.

To date, NSSF has had a great response to its educational initiative. The term modern sporting rifle has been widely adopted by the firearms industry and by many leading media outlets.

NSSF continues to ask that media, gun owners and others use the term modern sporting rifle when describing AR-platform rifles, but if for some reason you cannot bring yourself to do so, then we ask you to refer to these firearms by their proper model name and number. Those from the gun-owning community who label them assault rifles are damaging an industry and potentially the right to own these popular semiautomatic rifles. They will also find that those individuals who like their columns best are not their friends.

Like George Bush, you’re either for us or against us? Ridiculous. Eric is one of the good guys. He’s no more giving aid and succor to “the enemy” by suggesting the “normalization” of the term “assault rifle” than Wayne LaPierre is when he insists “the guys with the guns make the rules.”

In fact, Eric raised the issue to pro-gun folks could be more effective in their defense of the right to keep and bear arms.

One of the best things about the NSSF: it appeals to the American mainstream (unlike some three-letter gun rights groups we could name). For the org to get its knickers in a twist about firearms nomenclature is a bit . . . petty. Anyway, as we all know, the proper name for this genre of rifle is “modern home defense sporting target COD rifle.”