Henry Repeating Arms, gold sponsor for all three NJ SAFE Conferences, acknowledges that “it is true that we face specific challenges due to the fact that we have a plant located in Bayonne, but those are challenges that we’re willing to face,” says Communications Director Dan Clayton-Luce.
First opening for business in Brooklyn, N.Y., Henry “had several hundred employees that relied on us for a living to care for their families,” Clayton-Luce explains. “These employees that have been with us since the beginning are part of the reason that we are where we are today. Sure, it might be easier for us to move operations to a more firearms-friendly state — but leaving these valued employees behind is something we’re simply not willing to do. We’re rooted firmly in New Jersey, and we’re proud to be one of the last bastions of ‘Gun Valley’ in the Northeast.”
With New Jersey typically ending up as “the butt end of a joke” among gun owners nationwide, “there’s definitely a need for responsible, educational organizations to advocate for the right to keep and bear arms in the state — or we risk seeing those rights chiseled down to nothing over time. Providing sponsorship to NJ SAFE is our tip of the hat to what the organization is all about, and we hope to see its success continue and grow.”
While the national political climate has shifted favorably toward expanding Second Amendment rights, the New Jersey gubernatorial election Nov. 7 poses an immediate challenge.
“Over the years, we have donated countless dollars and given as much support as we can give to pro-2A organizations on a state and national level,” Clayton-Luce asserts. “We rely (on them) on not to forget about the states that are facing more gun control legislation than others.
“It’s not a lost cause, but it is imperative that everyone who believes in their right to keep and bear arms in the state of New Jersey to make their voices heard. There are so many people out there who have never handled firearms, never learned about their history, never been taught how to safely and responsibly own a firearm. But sometimes all it takes is providing this type of education to change their minds about gun control. It’s a polarizing topic for sure — but we feel that education is at the heart of making it a little less heated of a conversation.”
One thing that has cooled a bit lately is firearms sales, he says, concurrent with the election of President Donald Trump.
“During the previous administration, we had more people visiting their local gun shops and making purchases because there was a looming threat to that very right,” Clayton-Luce notes. “With these threats seemingly relaxed, we feel that people are now seeking value and practicality over anything else. Those are two things that we’ve always focused on from the very beginning.”
Henry backs all its firearms with a lifetime guarantee “so anyone who chooses to spend their hard-earned money on a Henry rifle knows that they are going to have that rifle for life — and they will be able to pass it down to their children one day.”
So often is the phrase “America’s gun culture” thrown around that it might surprise some to hear of Henry’s global reach.
Internationally, “as our supply chain continues to grow we, have seen a great deal of support coming from countries all over the world. Firearms and the United States go hand in hand, and we’re building the quintessential American firearm: the lever-action rifle. We have great relationships with some fans in Russia, Australia, the U.K., Canada, and many others that are very proud to own one or more of our rifles. Through social media, we’re able to interact with these fans that are thousands of miles away and make them feel like they’re a part of the family. It’s not easy to own a firearm in a lot of these countries, so we really appreciate them choosing to own a Henry.”
Giving back that support constantly, Henry does everything from donating door prizes for community shooting competitions to providing rifles for raffles to donating funds to 2A-related organizations.
“There are a lot of folks out there who have taken it upon themselves to actually do something, and we are proud to support them no matter how big or small they might be,” Clayton-Luce says. A couple of years ago, Henry representatives ran into New Jersey’s own Tony Simon, organizer of “The 2nd is For Everyone: Diversity Shoot,” and the company provided some rifles used for the event.
“We know how hard it is to start small and dream big, and we hope that by providing support to these types of organizations that we genuinely believe in, we’ll assist them with becoming a bigger part of the overall conversation.”
For the third year in a row, the NJ SAFE Conference, to be held Sept. 23 at the Princeton Marriot at Forrestal, will convene hundreds of people to amplify that conversation about the essential right to bear arms.
“Perhaps the most valuable things that NJ SAFE provides to New Jersey gun owners is education and community,” Clayton-Luce says. “The ability to bring people together from all walks of life (and) all levels of firearms knowledge and have all of them walk away with more knowledge than they started with is paramount to what makes NJ SAFE an important part of our community.”
Register here for the third-annual NJ SAFE Conference on Sept. 23, or for any of the three classes (N.J. self-defense law, Utah CCW or firearms and mental health) being conducted Sept. 22.