Tactical Shooting Industry News: Orlando PD Selects SIG Virtus; S&W Renews Military Appreciation

In the latest tactical shooting sports industry news, the Orlando Police Department has adopted the Sig Sauer Virtus Rifle as part of its standard issue equipment.
Tactical Shooting Industry News: Orlando PD Selects SIG Virtus; S&W Renews Military Appreciation

Here is the latest tactical shooting sports industry news:

The Orlando Police Department has adopted the Sig Sauer Virtus Rifle as part of its standard issue equipment for the department's uniformed officers, detectives, watch commanders, and sergeants.

The Orlando Police Department is comprised of more than 700 sworn officers protecting more than 275,000 citizens in the City of Orlando.

The SIG Virtus is a modular rifle engineered for the demands of special operations forces. The rifle features a free-float M-LOK handguard, ambidextrous AR-style controls, a telescoping or folding stock, and can be easily suppressed.

“SIG has a strong partnership with the Orlando Police Department that began with their adoption of the SIG P226 and has now extended to the SIG Virtus rifle," said Tom Jankiewicz, Executive Vice President, Law Enforcement Sales for Sig Sauer. "The Virtus is a significant upgrade to their existing platform, bringing the latest in rifle technology that will enhance their capabilities, improve accuracy, and allow them to become more effective and expeditious in their response.”

Sightmark Congratulates Kazanskis

Competitive shooter Marius Kazanskis, who is sponsored by Sightmark, was named Lithuania’s Top Rifle Shooter for 2018 after placing first in the Lithuanian Ranking 2018 – Rifle Semi-Auto Open division.

Sightmark competitive shooter Marius Kazanskis of Lithuania

Kazanskis earned the ranking after four ranked matches and a local season-closing match. Marius also placed second in a PCC division match on Christmas Day.

“I am very proud to be sponsored by Sightmark because they are a growing company with great value and quality balance in their product,” Kazanskis said, “I am very happy with my cooperation, communication and support that I get from them.”

In 2017, Marius asked for Sightmark’s support as part of his new project in the Baltic Region – Rifle/Carbine Competitions. Since then, Marius has won major Lithuanian IPSC events in pistol-caliber carbine competitions.

For being the No. 1 ranked Semi-Auto Open Rifle Shooter in Lithuania, Kazanskis has been invited to represent his country in the Rifle World Championship 2019 in Sweden. Kazanskis has competed on the world stage in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016 in European and World Handgun Championships.

S&W, T/C Renew Military Appreciation Program

Smith & Wesson and Thompson/Center Arms have renewed the “Thank You For Your Service” military appreciation program for 2019 for eligible United States armed forces personnel.

New for 2019, the programoffers eligible personnel a discount on M&P Shield pistols and M&P 15 Sport series rifles and other qualifying Thompson/Center and Smith & Wesson firearms purchased from January 1, 2019 to April 30, 2019.  This program applies to all active duty, honorably discharged, retired, or disabled members of the U.S. Armed Forces or Reserves.

Purchases of a new Smith & Wesson or Thompson/Center firearm from the categories below between January 1, 2019 to April 30, 2019, will be eligible to receive the following:

— $75 Smith & Wesson prepaid MasterCard* on any new, qualifying Performance Center® T/C® LRR rifle
— $50 Smith & Wesson prepaid MasterCard* on any new M&P, T/C Compass® or T/C Venture™ rifle
— $40 Smith & Wesson prepaid MasterCard* on any new M&P pistol (excluding Performance Center pistols)
— $30 Smith & Wesson prepaid MasterCard* on any new Smith & Wesson, Performance Center, or M&P revolver
— $25 Smith & Wesson prepaid MasterCard* on any new T/C T/CR22® rifle (including Performance Center T/CR22 rifles)

To participate in the “Thank You For Your Service” electronic rebate program, customers must complete and submit the online rebate form at www.smithandwessonrebates.com. All submissions must include proof of purchase and be submitted on or before May 31, 2019.

Crimson Trace Shipping Laserguard for S&W M&P Shield EZ

Crimson Trace is now shipping the Laserguard LG-459 laser sight with red diode and the LG-459G laser sight with green diode, both designed for secure fit onto the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ pistol.

These laser sights secure onto the pistol’s trigger guard, are activated with Crimson Trace’s Instinctive Activation engagement system, provide reliable operation, and are light weight at approximately 1 ounce including the installed battery.

The new Laserguard LG-459/G laser sights are designed to fit onto Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ pistols chambered in .380 caliber.

Customers can purchase the LG-459/G red and green laser sights in retail stores and outlets across America, on commercial websites that sell Crimson Trace products, and in the company’s online store at www.crimsontrace.com. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price begins at $229 for the Laserguard LG-459 laser sight with red diode.

Sig Sends 72.4K Rifles to Indian Army

The Ministry of Defense for the Government of India  has officially contracted with Sig Sauer to build and deliver 72,400 SIG716 rifles for its frontline infantry soldiers.

The Indian Army is the second largest standing army in the world with more than 1.2 million active troops. It currently is undergoing a comprehensive firearms procurement process to advance the capabilities of the Indian Army’s infantrymen.

“This is the first large firearms procurement of the Indian Government in decades, and the explicit mission for this tender was to modernize the infantry troopers of the Indian Army with the best rifle available," said Ron Cohen, President and CEO of Sig Sauer. “We competed in an open tender with small arms manufacturers from around the world. The SIG716 rifle underwent a comprehensive and exhaustive testing and evaluation process where it outperformed the competition, and was ultimately chosen, and met all the criteria, as the best rifle to modernize the Indian Army.”

The SIG716 is an enhanced AR platform featuring a 16-inch barrel, M-LOK handguard, and a 6-position telescoping stock.

“The global importance of this contract for Sig Sauer is far reaching based on the size, location, and economic strength of India in the global market. We are very proud, and honored that the SIG716 was chosen for use by the fighting forces of the Indian Army, and we are looking forward to developing a strong partnership with India’s Ministry of Defense,” Cohen added.

Sig Sauer will build the SIG716 rifles for the Indian Army in New Hampshire.

Cadet Program Prepares Young People for Public Safety Careers

A new national program is working hand-in-hand with law enforcement and other public safety entities to give young people direct, intensive experience in the field. The Public Safety Cadets (PSC) is a nonprofit organization that aims to mentor, train and prepare young men and women for a career in law enforcement, fire-rescue or emergency medical services.

The new organization was founded, and is managed by, active and retired law enforcement officers and public safety industry leaders. PSC President Kent Jefferies—a former police officer and 21-year Secret Service veteran—said the program was conceived to fill an increasing gap in the community.

“We need to foster better conversations and interactions between cops and kids,” Jefferies said, “and help young people see public safety as an appealing career choice, like previous generations did.”

Jefferies says that PSC is an immersive experience for the Cadets, who range in age from 14-21. The program addresses education, physical fitness, practical training, character building, and other career and life skills. Scholarships and other awards will also be available.

“This is not just an observer experience or ride-along program,” Jefferies said. "We are actively creating a recruiting pipeline to the profession.”

That pipeline benefits the agencies as much as it does the Cadets. A 2017 Department of Justice report on law enforcement hiring challenges concluded that: Millennials, and now the first members of Generation Z, dominate the entry-level applicant pool. They represent the bulk of the individuals that police agencies must recruit and hire for years to come… many of today’s young people do not envision spending their entire lives in a single career, much less a single job…agencies that recognize and embrace change will be on track to maintain their numbers while also filling their ranks with the types of officers that are best suited for the challenges of 21st century policing.

The Public Safety Cadet program seeks to help agencies meet these challenges, and importantly, to do so in a manner that does not strain limited financial resources. PSC President Jefferies says that registration fees for both agencies and cadets are minimal.

“Law enforcement leaders have told us that the cost of outreach programs has always been a struggle," he said. "But with the high-level of involvement our leadership has in the industry, and through our funding efforts, we are working hard to minimize that obstacle.”

The first department to be granted a PSC charter was the Fairfax County (VA) Police Department, with others quickly following suit. Jefferies says that the organization anticipates adding at least 1,000 agencies and 10,000 cadets between 2019-20.

For more information, visit www.publicsafetycadets.org.


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