by Christina Paladeau - Friday, October 27, 2017
Made in America, or Not Made At All.
The Henry Repeating Arms motto proclaims the company’s dedication to American production, and it also represents a much deeper passion for ensuring the future of American firearms traditions and freedoms.
Started in Brooklyn in 1996 by Louis Imperato and his son Anthony, Henry Repeating Arms has become the leading lever action manufacturer and one of the most productive firearms companies in the U.S. Anthony Imperato now continues his family’s more than 100-year history in the gun business as the owner and President of Henry Repeating Arms. Between the headquarters established in Bayonne, N.J., in 2008 and a second manufacturing facility in Rice Lake, Wis., it produces more than 300,000 rifles annually. Many of the models in that lineup are incorporated into the Friends of NRA fundraising program, including the signature Golden Boy and Big Boy lever action rifles along with the Henry US Survival AR-7 semi-automatic takedown .22LR and the newly introduced Henry Lever Action 410 gauge shotgun.
Having started working in the family’s gun shop—the country’s oldest, still open in downtown Manhattan—in 1978, Imperato has 39 years in the gun business. Growing up in the firearms industry and as part of a family-owned business has helped shape him and shaped the company he runs today. “Working behind the retail counter at our family-owned gun shop laid the foundation for our reputation for providing exceptional customer service at Henry Repeating Arms,” he says. “Earning respect is what motivates me, and it’s earned by keeping our consumers, dealers, distributors, employees, vendors and industry partners happy.”
The company’s reputation for engaging and enthusiastic support carries over into its 20-year relationship with Friends of NRA and The NRA Foundation.
Despite its size, Henry Repeating Arms maintains a distinct sense of family. The family-owned and operated business views its 400 employees and thousands of customers as family members and a key part of its success. That philosophy is reinforced by the company’s award-winning customer service and the accessibility of its owner and President to the public, along with a lifetime guarantee on all Henry firearms.
The company’s reputation for engaging and enthusiastic support carries over into its 20-year relationship with Friends of NRA and The NRA Foundation. When Imperato and his father started Henry Repeating Arms in 1996, Friends of NRA reached out to bring them into the Vendor Direct merchandise program that supplies much of the product used for fundraising at its events nationwide. Attendees value the “Made in America” label and Henry’s rifles offered that in a historical firearms package.
In 2015 the company expanded on that commitment as a Friends of NRA National Corporate Sponsor and sponsor of the Wall of Guns and NRA Foundation Banquets at both the Great American Outdoor Show (GAOS) and NRA Annual Meetings. As a 2016 and 2017 sponsor of Friends of NRA, Henry has donated tens of thousands more dollars in monetary support and firearms to the program, including 1,150 Frontier Model lever action rifles to be used at Friends of NRA events across the country. On top of that, the company sponsored the Wall of Guns and NRA Foundation Banquets at both the 2016 and 2017 GAOS and NRA Annual Meetings.
The presentation is always an emotional highlight of the events, reminding everyone in attendance of the true meaning of fighting for American freedom.
This year Imperato also continued the tradition he established in 2015 with his idea to recognize and thank local heroes of the community including first responders, veterans and active military members by inviting them to the national NRA Foundation Banquets at GAOS and Annual Meeting and presenting them each with a rifle from Henry’s line of commemorative tribute rifles. The presentation is always an emotional highlight of the events, reminding everyone in attendance of the true meaning of fighting for American freedom.
At the NRA Board of Directors Meeting at the 2017 NRA Annual Meetings in Atlanta, Ga., NRA Past President Allan Cors and NRA President Pete Brownell presented Imperato with an award for Distinguished Philanthropic Leadership, recognizing the contributions Henry Repeating Arms has made to the fight to protect and promote the Second Amendment. In addition to donating the 1,000 Golden Boy Silver rifles fired simultaneously at the world record-breaking 1000 Man Shoot in November 2016—some of which were then donated to Friends of NRA's fundraising efforts—Henry Repeating Arms is also an annual sponsor of NRA Gun Gurus TV and supporting sponsor of NRA All Access.
For two decades Henry Repeating Arms has stood firmly with Friends of NRA, The NRA Foundation, and the NRA, contributing more than $2.7 million in cash, gifts-in-kind and sponsorship support. “We are grateful for the endless generosity, steadfast support and enthusiastic involvement from Henry and the impact it has had on our fundraising,” emphasizes NRA Director of Volunteer Fundraising Sarah Engeset. “It is an honor to work alongside Anthony and share his passion for ensuring our shooting sports freedoms and traditions for the next generation.”
As Friends of NRA celebrates 25 years of fundraising in 2017, Henry Repeating Arms continues to provide the program with unwavering support.
As Friends of NRA celebrates 25 years of fundraising in 2017, Henry Repeating Arms continues to provide the program with unwavering support. “Congratulations to Friends of NRA on achieving this great milestone!” Imperato shares. “The hard work at all levels, from the top down to the volunteers around the country, has paid off. The program has done so much good in so many areas—firearms safety, youth shooting sports, and on and on.”
The relationship between The NRA Foundation, its Friends of NRA program and Henry Repeating Arms looks to have only more good things ahead, including another National Corporate Sponsorship in 2018. “It’s been a great partnership since day one, and that is an understatement,” Imperato remarks. “It is a significant part of our overall support of the NRA and the Second Amendment, and I look forward to the future. We understand each other, and we have similar goals—like protecting our Second Amendment rights, promoting youth shooting sports, and firearms safety amongst many others.”
Not only are firearms a family business for Imperato, they are also a family pastime.Not only are firearms a family business for Imperato, they are also a family pastime; he notes the value of clubs and shooting ranges’ efforts to create safe, fun and accessible environments that welcome families and make their time together at the range more commonplace. Protecting, sharing and passing on passion and support for the shooting sports lifestyle and American freedoms is also a personal effort for him. “My favorite is taking people who have had no experience with firearms out to the range, where they quickly become hooked on the discipline and beauty of the shooting sports lifestyle,” Imperato says, then continues with a nod to his New York roots. “Taking them for a great sausage pizza after doesn’t hurt either!”
We want to thank Henry Repeating Arms and its staff for all the support they provide The NRA Foundation as an American company providing an American product for use at our national and local events. Their commitment to The NRA Foundation, the National Rifle Association, and Second Amendment supporters across our great nation helps us continue our mission to Teach Freedom.
Interested in becoming a Friends of NRA donor or sponsor? Click here for more information or contact the NRA Corporate Development Team at 703-267-1356.
Republished from Traditions Quarter 3: 2017