The NRA National Sporting Arms Museum held its grand opening on Aug. 2 at the Bass Pro Shops flagship superstore in Springfield, MO.
The museum, home to more than a thousand firearms, focuses on the history of hunting, conservation and freedom.
The grand opening included speakers such as Kyle Weaver, NRA’s executive director of general operations; Richard Childress, founder and CEO of Richard Childress Racing; Bob Ziehmer, director of the Missouri Department of Conservation; and Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops. In addition, Missouri Governor Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon issued a proclamation commemorating the museum’s grand opening that stated “thanks to the outstanding partnership between Bass Pro Shops and the National Rifle Association, Missouri will have yet another attraction to draw visitors from all over the world.”
An estimated 13,000 people toured the museum the first three days it was open. With the museum’s location in the heartland of America at Bass Pro Shops’ “granddaddy of all outdoor stores” in Springfield, interest in the museum is expected to remain high. Nearly four million people visit the Bass Pro Shops Springfield location each year, making it one of the most popular destinations in Missouri.
“Being able to share a sporting arms collection that tells the story about the history of hunting and conservation is really special,” said Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops. “I hope visitors enjoy stepping back in time and seeing the types of firearms used by Lewis and Clark, Theodore Roosevelt and others.”
The National Sporting Arms Museum is the result of a partnership between Bass Pro Shops and the NRA. Bass Pro Shops helped create the museum by donating the space and designing and building the 7,500-square-foot museum while NRA provided the firearms, text and storylines for the exhibits. The result of these partnership contributions means that admission is free for museum visitors.
“This museum was born of the generosity and vision of Johnny Morris working with Wayne LaPierre and with the help of Richard Childress, beginning years ago,” said NRA museum director Jim Supica. “I am extremely proud to be associated with this museum and with the team who put it together, from the construction crew, store managers and amazingly talented graphics, layout and visualization team to the NRA staff who worked on the design and installation.”
Visitors can see this one-of-a-kind collection by visiting the NRA National Sporting Arms museum, which is located at 1935 S. Campbell in Springfield, Mo. The museum will be open every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and admission is free. For more information about the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum, visit http://www.basspro.com/nramuseum.
Bass Pro Shops operates 77 retail stores and Tracker Marine Centers across America and Canada that are visited by more than 116 million people every year.