December 18th, 2012

Cerberus Will Sell Off Freedom Group Companies

Freedom Group CerberusCerberus Capital Management, LP (Cerberus), announced today that it would sell its stake in Freedom Group, Inc. (Freedom Group), a holding company that owns numerous firearms-industry businesses. The Freedom Group Family of Companies includes Remington, Bushmaster, Marlin, H&R, DPMS, Barnes Bullets, Eotac, and Dakota Arms. A Bushmaster AR15-type rifle was one of the weapons found at the scene of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings. Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old shooter, also carried Glock and Sig Sauer pistols.

Freedom Group Family of companies

In deciding to sell the Freedom Group, Cerberus was influenced by its large institutional investors. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which has over $700 million invested in Cerberus, stated that it was re-examining its Cerberus investment in light of recent events. Translation: After Newtown, this big pension fund was very uncomfortable with the fact that Cerberus was so heavily involved in the gun business (through its ownership of the Freedom Group and specifically Bushmaster).

Here is the text of the Press Release issued by Cerberus on December 18, 2012:

We were shocked and deeply saddened by the events that took place at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT on December 14, 2012. We cannot comprehend the losses suffered by the families and friends of those killed by the unthinkable crimes committed that day. No words or actions can lessen the enormity of this event or make a dent in the pain that was inflicted on so many.

In 2006 affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. made a financial investment in Freedom Group. Freedom Group does not sell weapons or ammunition directly to consumers, through gun shows or otherwise. Sales are made only to federally licensed firearms dealers and distributors in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. We do not believe that Freedom Group or any single company or individual can prevent senseless violence or the illegal use or procurement of firearms and ammunition.

It is apparent that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level. The debate essentially focuses on the balance between public safety and the scope of the Constitutional rights under the Second Amendment. As a Firm, we are investors, not statesmen or policy makers. Our role is to make investments on behalf of our clients who are comprised of the pension plans of firemen, teachers, policemen and other municipal workers and unions, endowments, and other institutions and individuals. It is not our role to take positions, or attempt to shape or influence the gun control policy debate. That is the job of our federal and state legislators.

There are, however, actions that we as a firm can take. Accordingly, we have determined to immediately engage in a formal process to sell our investment in Freedom Group. We will retain a financial advisor to design and execute a process to sell our interests in Freedom Group, and we will then return that capital to our investors. We believe that this decision allows us to meet our obligations to the investors whose interests we are entrusted to protect without being drawn into the national debate that is more properly pursued by those with the formal charter and public responsibility to do so.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and communities impacted by this tragic and devastating event.

Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.

About Cerberus Capital Management: A private equity firm established in 1992, Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. has more than US $20 billion under management invested in four primary strategies: distressed securities & assets; control and non-control private equity; commercial mid-market lending and real estate-related investments.

Read Related Chicago Tribune Article about Freedom Group Divestiture.

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March 25th, 2012

Williamsport 1000-Yard Benchrest School Set for April 27-29, 2012

Williamsport benchrest schoolIf you want to learn how to shoot accurately at very long-range, one of the very best places to learn is the Williamsport 1000-Yard Benchrest School. The Fifth Annual Benchrest School will be held April 27, 28 and 29 this year. There are still a few slots available for this year’s sessions. Classes, taught by top 1K shooters, are held at the Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club Range, one of the best 1K ranges in the country.

Prospective students will be taught all aspects of long range benchrest shooting from some of the most skilled marksmen in the country. All areas are covered from load development, precision reloading, bench skills, and target analysis. Much time is spent at the loading bench and on the firing line.

Williamsport 1000 yard Benchrest School

If you’re interested, you need to contact the school directors right away. While these Benchrest schools typically sell out, as of 3/24/2012, there were still a few student slots available for the late-April class session. If you want to grab one of the remaining slots for the 3-day school, don’t hesitate. For more information or to sign up for the 2011 1000-Yard Benchrest Class this April, contact School Director Frank Grappone, or visit the Williamsport website, PA1000yard.com.

To see what the 1K Benchrest school is like, watch the slide show/video below, produced by Sebastian Reist, an alumnus of the 2009 Williamsport 1000-yard BR school. Sebastian, a talented professional photographer, captured the highlights of his Williamsport 1K training weekend:

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Williamsport 1000 yard Benchrest School

Photos and slideshow courtesy Sebastian Reist, www.sreistphotography.com.
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May 10th, 2010

NSSF Provides FREE Firearm Safety and Conservation DVDs

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) now offers FREE educational video DVDs about firearm safety and wildlife conservation to teachers and school administrators. Already, more than 4,500 DVDs have been ordered by educators. Teachers can order the DVDs (and download related PDF brochures) via the NSSF website. In addition to the videos, each DVD contains guides and activity planners to assist teachers. For more information, visit the NSSF Education Videos webpage.

NSSF Firearms Safety

The Firearms Safety DVD contains three video segments, two designed for viewing by students and one for a general audience. These videos show students how to make correct decisions when encountering a firearm in an unsupervised situation at school, at home or at a friend’s home. The Wildlife Conservation DVD features three videos that teach students about America’s wildlife management system and explain how hunters contribute funding for conservation. Teachers can preview both the Firearms Safety Videos and the Conservation Videos on the NSSF Website.

“We believe teachers and school administrators should teach students how to correctly respond if they encounter an unattended firearm. Students who understand what to do in such situations can potentially save lives,” said Steve Sanetti, NSSF President. Regarding conservation education, Sanetti said, “We have a generation of children who spend less time outdoors and who see more wildlife on television than in the wild. It’s important that students today understand how once-endangered species such as white-tailed deer and wild turkey have been brought back to abundance through efforts funded by hunters.”

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April 11th, 2009

Long-Range Benchrest School at Williamsport, PA

From June 5-7, the Original Pennsylvania 1000 Yard Club will host a multi-day, long-range benchrest school at its Williamsport range. For $200, up to 36 students will enjoy 1 night and 2 days of intensive training under the tutelage of some of the nations’ top 1000-yard shooters. On Friday night (June 5th), students will meet their mentors, including school director Frank Grappone, and will work on informal “homework” assignments.

Saturday morning (June 6th), the class moves to the range for a full day of hands-on technical training. Topics will include precision reloading, load development, gun handling, use of chronograph, analysis of shooting results, gun cleaning, and target analysis. The Williamsport Club will provide the rifles, plus all reloading components–powder, primers, and bullets. Saturday’s training sessions are followed by a steak dinner, included in the $200 seminar price.

On Sunday (June 7th), after an early training session covering bench set-up and match strategies, students will participate in a 1000-yard match, spending time both behind the trigger and in the pits. Instructors will explain how to read conditions, and will demonstrate target measuring and analysis after the relays. The program will wrap up before 4:00 pm on Sunday.

The 1000-yard Benchrest School is limited to 36 students. Gunsmiths Bruce Baer and Mark King, and many Williamsport Hall of Fame shooters will provide instruction. There should be no more than three students per advisor. Over the course of the weekend, trainees will receive 14-16 hours of quality “hands-on” instruction, plus actual match shooting time. This program is designed for novice to intermediate shooters. For more info, email School Director Frank Grappone, frankgrappone [at] sbcglobal.net.

Act soon, if you want to attend — the sign-up deadline is June 1st. Available slots are mostly filled already. If you’re interested, don’t delay — the classes fill up quickly.

Williamsport Benchrest School

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