Over 18 million Americans participate in Shooting Sports, and the number is growing. In a 2006 survey, 17% of Americans, or about 50 million people said they had been shooting with a rifle in the past two years, 15% with a handgun and 8% with a shotgun. The Sporting Firearms Industry makes a huge impact on the American economy creating over 220,000 jobs and a $33 Billion dollar impact. Despite shooting’s popularity, and the large number of Manufacturers serving the Shooting Sports and Tactical enthusiast, the Industry is scattered throughout the United States. Many of the gun manufacturers date back to the 1800’s and remain in the Northeastern States where they were founded. These states have become increasingly hostile toward gun ownership, and interest in Shooting Sports has declined. While the Northeastern States have passed laws which weaken the second amendment, the Sunbelt states have continued to honor a citizen’s right to bear arms, and the popularity of shooting sports and Tactical Training has increased.
In the 1960′s, Walt Disney recognized the mistake he made with Disney Land. By not controlling his surroundings he could not control his future. Disney didn’t repeat his mistake with Disney World. He chose a location with no development and created his vision. Like Disney, Freedom’s Forge Florida has a vision of a Community dedicated to the Sport and Culture of Shooting and Firearms. Freedom’s Forge Florida will be the Silicon Valley of Firearms where manufacturing, service, research tourism and education create a symbiotic cluster that will sustain the Firearms Industry thru the 21st Century. Freedom’s Forge will feature world class shooting facilities that cater to enthusiast of all ranges of shooting sports from Black Powder to High Tech Sniper training. Freedom’s Forge will provide Public Education from Kindergarten to the University level. Respect for the constitution will be a centerpiece of the primary and secondary school system. State of the Art facilities teaching cutting edge technology in manufacturing and ballistics will assure the Manufactures of a highly trained and skilled workforce. The shooting themed entertainment complex will attract a share of the 50 million visitors a year who come to the greater Orlando area and will become a destination for shooting aficionados. The Center will offer everything from hard core tactical training to an introduction to shooting for the novice. Housing will be provided for the workers and visitors that will range from luxury to workforce. Freedom’s Forge will be a self-contained, sustainable community with shopping, healthcare, restaurants and entertainment , schools, fire and police, and all the elements needed for a community of like-minded people to coexist.
While in its early stages of development, Freedom’s Forge Florida is off to a fast start. The Freedom’s Forge Industrial Park has all approvals in place and has secured its first users, an ammunition manufacturer and wholesale powder storage and distribution magazine. Ammunition Depot has recently signed a letter of intent to open a factory outlet with exposure on Florida’s Turnpike. Ammunition Depot and the ammunition manufacturing company have recognized the symbiotic nature of the other elements and understands that the nearby entertainment center and ranges provide an opportunity to introduce consumers to their product. Land has been secured for the shooting themed entertainment center, and plans and permitting are underway so that the first phase can open in Fall of 2014.
Freedom’s Forge Florida is truly a private, public partnership, and could not have come to fruition without the cooperation and assistance of the State and Osceola County. The County offers expedited permitting and works closely with the State to provide financing and incentives. A commitment to attracting the Firearms Industry runs all the way from the Governor’s office to the County Commission to the local work force.
Come be a part of the Freedom’s Forge Florida experience.