Nashville, Tennessee - Today marks the beginning of the 2012 National Sheriffs' Association's Annual Conference in Nashville. A gathering of the nation's sheriffs, deputies, like minded law enforcement professionals and one peculiar looking bird — Eddie Eagle.

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Sgt. Russ Henry, Sheriff Jim Ruth, Dillon Selby and his mom Debbie
Bradley County School Resource Officer Sgt. Russ Henry, Sheriff Jim Ruth, Dillon Selby and his mom Debbie.

Yesterday afternoon, Sheriff Jim Ruth presented Oak Grove Elementary School student Dillon Shelby an award for putting the lessons he learned from the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program to good use.

Here's more from the Bradley County Sheriff's Office:

Friday morning, May 18, fifth grade students were pouring onto the Oak Grove Elementary School playground when student Dillon Selby spotted a gun near the swing sets. He immediately yelled out to his classmates to "Stop," and get back. He called for a teacher who alerted school resource officer Jay Lawson.

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Nashville, Tennessee -This entry wraps up the wrap-up of NRA’s Club University in Nashville.

We'd like to thank the people at the Preston Hotel for providing such a great venue, the guys from Hero-Gear of Winchester, Tennessee for the wonderful displays, Executive Protection Bureau Training & Investigations for the ever-popular AIS PRISim® simulators, and those who traveled near and far to attend.

Special thanks also goes out to TNSSA President Ray Harvey and countless field representatives for their tireless efforts in making this one of the best Club Universities to date.

This event, our first of 2009, saw 82 people travel a total of almost 20,000 miles with the hopes of making their range operations just a little bit better.

Hero Gear at NRA's Tennessee Club UniversityNashville, Tennessee - Those who went up, down, and across the country to attend NRA's Club University in Nashville, Tennessee were greeted by one lone local vendor. That was Hero-Gear of Winchester, Tennessee.

Hero-Gear carries tactical and defensive firearms and is committed to the “serious shooter with the very best equipment for your job or hobby, along with industry leading customer service.” And not only do they carry the best equipment, but they also do their part for the local community by employing current and former: local Law Enforcement, Army Special Operations units, Army Aviation, local Firefighters and EMS techs, along with current members of Search and Rescue/Rescue Squad members.

Happy winner with Tennessee representative and an employee of Hero-GearBut back to the events surrounding our Tennessee Club University. After all was said and done, the guys from Hero-Gear were so impressed with the crowd's enthusiasm that they gave away one of their rifles. And on the left, you see our happy winner flanked by our local Tennessee representative and an employee of Hero-Gear.

So if you ever find yourself in Winchester, Tennessee, stop on by and check out their industry-leading customer service. As supporters of the NRA, they're a good group of guys who deserve your business.

The crew from Washington's Champion ArmsNashville, Tennessee - Last weekend’s NRA Club University enjoyed a diverse group of attendees. From the northwest corner of the United States came from Champion Arms, a 25-yard indoor shooting range and retail store in Kent, Washington. And from what they told us, it sounds like a great place to shoot.

“We believe in having fun,” said range maintenance guru Mack, pictured at right in green. “We’re always having fun. But we take our jobs very seriously – especially when it comes to the safety of those shooting at our range. It’s always a top priority.”

Champion Arms was founded three years ago by Mack, Scott, Steve, and Maria. With ten lanes, plenty of heat (or air conditioning, should the weather dictate,) and a wide range of rental guns, Champion's location – just off of 167 in Kent – is perfect for Maria.

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NRA's Nashville Club University participants take notes

Nashville, Tennessee - After a long day, filled with a telephone book-sized binder of information, Club University here in Nashville, Tennessee, has drawn to a close. It was quite the day, in a magnificent facility provided by the Preston Hotel.

Amanda Millward of the NRA Education and Training DivisionAll who attended had great things to say about their experience and the opportunity to learn from both NRA Staff and fellow attendees. Amanda Millward, pictured to the right, wrapped things up with a rundown of the programs NRA offers to all clubs and members: from Women on Target Instructional Shooting Clinics and Hunter Services to Eddie Eagle and Youth Programs, we have something for everyone. Nice work, Amanda!

But this is not all you’re going to get from our weekend in Tennessee. Over the next few days, we’ll provide a recap of subjects covered, highlight a few attendees, and let you know what you to expect should you be lucky enough to attend one of the next two seminars Club University puts on later this year.

Nashville, Tennessee - It's official: NRA's Club University here in Nashville, Tennessee, is the largest Club University in the history of NRA. The only thing that matches their numbers is their pure enthusiasm. Let me give you an example.

Club University I noticed a woman waving me over from the buffet line. At first I thought she was merely offering an obvious outsider comfortable settings to devour his lunch. But no. She was hungry for more on the morning’s presentation.

How do we get the media to cover events at our range? Who do we talk to about applying for grants? Why should we update our website? What programs can we use at our gun range? Where do we find new members? I said, Linda (that’s Linda Fowler from Camp Shooters in Dalton, Georgia), all you have to do is keep listening, read the materials, and give us a call if you still have questions. After all, that’s what we’re here for. So if you still have questions about Club University, contact us via phone at 800-672-2582 (ext. 1345) or email Son Nguyen at snguyen@nrahq.org right away.

NRA Club University

Nashville, Tennessee - As we sit here in the Preston Hotel, those attending NRA’s Club University in Nashville stand and tell who there are and where they’re from. Men and women from as close as Nashville and as far away as the state of Washington. Gun clubs, rifle teams – even a representative from the Boy Scouts – are here to find out what they can do to improve their clubs or operations.

So what’s on the agenda? Well, first we ask you to take a serious look at your club and the areas that need help. Maybe there’s a grant to improve facilities, maybe there’s some training for your members and instructors, and maybe there’s an issue with your range.

Either way, you can't help but pick up a few useful hints. More later.

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