A Gun Maker Who Gives Back

A Gun Maker Who Gives Back
Louis Zamperini, a runner in the 1936 Olympics who served in the U.S. Air Force as a bombardier in the South Pacific during World War II, admires the Henry Repeating Arms rifle given to him by company president Anthony Imperato. Laura Hillenbrand’s book “Unbroken” tells Zamperini’s story.

What’s the best way to make a small fortune in the gun business?

Start with a big fortune.

There’s more truth than humor in that saying. It isn’t easy to make money in the gun business, which is part of the reason why I find the generosity of the industry so humbling at times.

I’d like to say that the company’s president, Anthony Imperato, puts his money where his mouth is, but I’m not sure how he even affords to feed himself. When I try to tally the number of guns he donates to worthy causes, and the funds he ends up raising to protect our rights and to support the future of the shooting sports, I’m at a loss to explain how Henry stays in the black. In Bayonne, New Jersey, no less.

A Gun Maker Who Gives Back
Imperato is on the board of directors of the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance. He donates many of his rifles to promote the shooting sports.

I was at the Nation Rifle Association banquet in April the night he presented a series of veterans with their own lever guns. And it wasn’t just a couple of people. There must have been 30 servicemen and servicewomen on that stage before he was through. These vets represented every branch of the military, and included folks who were still serving and fighting to those who represented us in every conflict going back to the Second World War.

I don’t wish to embarrass Anthony, who is a friend, but he could barely control his emotions during the ceremony as he recounted the sacrifices those men and women had made on behalf of our country. It was no publicity stunt.

But that was only the tip of the iceberg at the NRA annual meeting. At the show he donated numerous rifles to be auctioned off to benefit various groups within the NRA. All told, these guns, which included the one-of-a-kind set of three Big Boy rifles, raised more than $100,000.

Anthony is also on the board of directors of the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance, a group that I'm honored to be a part of as well. His generosity with the YSSA is just as significant and heartfelt.

A Gun Maker Who Gives Back
Henry Repeating Arms lever-action rifles are chambered in calibers from .22LR to .45-70 and come in many different styles and finishes.

Now I’m not saying you should rush out and buy a Henry rifle just because Anthony is such a swell guy. But I am telling you to go buy one because they are amazingly fun rifles to shoot. If you haven’t had a chance to play around with a Henry lever gun, do yourself a favor and go try one out.

If you don’t end up grinning while spitting a stream of lead downrange with it on your shoulder, then call 9-1-1 because I doubt you have a pulse.