On 9/11, I was on the phone with my girlfriend when one of her classmates interrupted to say that a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. I flipped on the television and started relaying what I saw. The smoke, the conjecture, the panic and confusion. Officer Walter Weaver's .38 Smith & Wesson, recovered from 9/11 on NRAblog Then the second plane hit. "Oh my god" was all I could say. Then I said it again and again and again.

The speculation of fear that we all subconsciously held came screaming to the surface. What just happened? What would we do? Where do we go from here?

One group of people who knew exactly what to do was the New York City Police Department. Along with their Fire Department brothers and sisters, they rushed into the chaos, into the smoke and flames with a mission to protect and serve. One of those who rushed in was Officer Walter Weaver. Like so many others that day, Officer Weaver didn't make it out of World Trade. But his revolver did.

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New York's Elmira Star-Gazette recently featured several young men from Pennsylvania and New York who placed high during last month's NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge in Raton, New Mexico:
Young shooters shine at national NRA contest

Ryan Haller took first place in the Junior Shotgun Event at the NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge Young shooters from the Twin Tiers captured some of the top honors when teams from across the country gathered late last month for the annual NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC).

The national competition alternates between Mansfield and Raton, N.M., and teams from Chemung and Bradford counties were among the hundreds of youth who traveled to New Mexico the last week in July.

One of the best local performers was Ryan Haller, a member of the Troy-based Pennsylvania Junior Gold Team.

Haller, 15, captured first place in the junior shotgun competition, and ranked in 13th place in the standings at the national event. Haller was the overall junior champion at the state YHEC event in June.

Preparing for the national championship meant a lot of hard work, but it was worth it and also fun, Haller said.

"Mostly what our club did was a lot of practices. Three days a week we'd go down to the club and practice," Haller said. "June 18 was the state shoot in State College. All clubs from Pennsylvania shot against each other. I think that prepared a lot of kids.

"Shotgun is what I enjoy the most and that's one of my best," he said. "I was very confident because at the state, I took first overall for junior. That boosted my confidence big-time. It was a very, very fun experience."

Finish reading the article here.

Top NRA Day Event Director Sandy Stornelli receives a Henry .22 Rifle from Claudia Olsen and Bill Poole of the Education & Training Division

We recently filled you in about three NRA Day Event Directors who won Henry .22 caliber youth rifles for their outstanding efforts in the NRA Day program. Steve Gibbs and John Leinberger won two of the rifles, but Sandino “Sandy” Stornelli stopped by NRA Headquarters yesterday to receive his rifle on a trip the D.C. area.

A resident of Medina, New York, Stornelli runs an NRA Day for youth at the Alabama Hunt Club in New York each year. This is his 4th year as the Event Director and his NRA Day event averages about 50 participants, drawing attendees from as far away as New York City.

“He really concentrates on educating the kids who attend,” said his wife, Marsha. “People really seem to like the family feel and have brothers, sisters, and parents all shooting together.”

NRA Day Coordinator Claudia Olsen and Bill Poole, Director of Education & Training, presented Stornelli with the Henry rifle and a certificate honoring and recognizing him for being one of the top NRA Day Event Directors.

“Our goal is to have people, especially children, learn to shoot in a safe and fun environment and develop the knowledge, skills, and attitude to participate in the shooting sports, and you’ve done just that,” Poole told Stornelli.

Stornelli credits his event’s success to help from fellow club members who work to ensure that all attendees have a great time while learning about the shooting sports and archery.

“I appreciate all that our club and its members have done to help build the event,” Stornelli said. “I coordinate it, but they do all the work to make it possible.”

But what about his plans for his new Henry rifle?

“My grandsons will enjoy it – I think they’ve got half of my gun collection anyway,” said Stornelli with a grin.

Otis Technology staff poses with their Training Counselors for the NRA Lyons Falls, New York - Steve Hoback with NRA’s Training Department was back on the road again this month, but this time he brought Senior Training Counselor Anthony Colandro, fresh off his record-breaking Friends of NRA banquet in Essex County, New Jersey.

The pair traveled to the headquarters of Otis Technology in Lyons Falls to provide eight of the Otis employees with Range Safety Officer and Instructor training in Rifle, Pistol, and Shotgun. Also in the class were a local law enforcement officer and an NRA Certified Instructor.

More on Otis Staff receiving NRA Training at their New York Headquarters ...

Joseph Best of VORP in New YorkAlbany, New York - We recently got in touch with Joseph Best, the Program Director for the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program of New York (VORP) School of Bail Enforcement.

Here's what he had to say about attending Club University in Albany, New York.

I attended Club U because I felt it would provide us with information about operating a pistol club. I learned how I can increase my club membership by making our club more attractive to potential members (bail enforcement agents).

I would recommend others attend Club University so they can learn more about firearm safety, local firearms laws, and the power of numbers, through membership, in influencing local politicians.

Thanks for the feedback, Joseph!

Gun for Hire

Gun For Hire Anthony P. ColandroAlbany, New York - NRA Club University always has a colorful collection of individuals in its audience. One such individual from Albany's Club U this past Saturday is Anthony Colandro, founder of Gun for Hire.

Gun for Hire is a Belleville, New Jersey-based operation that promotes "the positive aspects of safe and responsible firearms ownership." While this approach to firearm ownership may sound routine, their approach to marketing is anything but.

"I put my logo everywhere," Colandro told NRAblog. "Shirts, hats, bumper stickers ... I even have three vehicles with the logo on the side. It caused such a stir that local newspapers and tv stations have run stories on our outfit. Maybe it's our geographic location, I don't know. But like they say, any publicity is good publicity."

NRA workshop made possible through volunteers

NRA Friends of the NRA Coordinator Tiffany NguAlbany, New York - When it comes to events like NRA's Club University, there is more to the operation than those who step in front of the microphone and give a speech. There are the unsung individuals who operate behind the scenes to make things possible. One of those people who made the trip to add such support is Field Operations' own Tiffany Ngu.

Tiffany is a Financial Coordinator for Friends of the NRA. Though her regular duties don't include attending events like Club University, she came to Albany along with the rest of the staff to lend a hand where ever necessary.

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Albany, New York - The National Rifle Association would not be where we are today without the Institute for Legislative Action. To explain the ins and outs of the political side of the operation is ILA's Grassroots Coordinator Brent Gardner.

ILA's political insights are just one reason to attend Club University. There's also grants, insurance programs, and much more to make the trip worth while. So if you can, think about making that trip out to Sacramento.

Albany, New York - NRA Club & Association Marketing Manager Son Nguyen servers as emcee, lecturer, and chief bottle washer here at Club University in Albany, New York. I believe he's even giving some of the attendees a ride home.

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