This feature appears in the February ‘17 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.
The sound of freedom echoed through the desert hills outside of Phoenix on Nov. 14, 2016, as 1,000 shooters from across the country took positions on the firing line at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, shouldered their Henry Golden Boy rifles and let fly a thunderous volley.
They were participating in the 1000 Man Shoot, an event that will go down in NRA annals as a record number of participants to simultaneously fire rifles. However, it was intended to be much more than that, to show the world that, despite what some politicians and media elites wanted to sell the public, Americans adamantly support the right to keep and bear arms.
Anthony Imperato, president of Henry Repeating Arms, hatched the idea for the 1000 Man Shoot more than a year before the shots rang out, during a time when gun rights were under siege.
“We’re all gathering to make this very patriotic event one of unity, one of unwavering support of the Second Amendment—and to have a lot of fun as well,” Imperato said to the 1,000 participants, 400 instructors and safety officers, and many onlookers who attended.
Henry donated the rifles to the NRA, the one organization Imperato knew could muster the support and handle the logistics of such an event. The NRA, in turn, is using the gift rifles to raise money for its continued fight to protect the Second Amendment. Shooters were offered an opportunity to purchase the commemorative .22-cal. Golden Boys they fired; those that went unpurchased will be auctioned at Friends of NRA banquets in the future. The hope is that the sale will net about $1 million for NRA programs.