Lewis Danielson received this year’s prestigious Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award. His company, Crimson Trace, pioneered the firearm-mounted laser business, and not only introduced the word “Lasergrips” into the shooting sports lexicon, but remains the leader in the field. Others tried and gave up on handgun-mounted lasers, but Danielson saw the potential and persevered in the development of a working model with instinctive activation.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University (which subsequently inducted him into its Engineering Hall of Fame), Danielson worked in the steel industry, then on agricultural machinery before making his way to engineering and prototyping. During the day, Danielson made parts for the aerospace industry; while at night and on the weekends he worked on an idea that would change the firearm industry forever. Crimson Trace was born in 1994, and at his first NRA Annual Meetings, Danielson and one other employee manned a card table. Their modest card table was mobbed.
As the evolution of handgun design progressed, so did Crimson Trace. While the M1911 and Ruger Mk II were ideally suited to Lasergrips, Danielson and his engineers devised ways to put Lasergrips on polymer-frame guns, then invented the innovative Laserguard that clamshells around a pistol’s trigger guard. Crimson Trace is also in the weaponlight business with its Lightguard series, and has products for long guns as well, including the Railmaster Series and MVF-515.
Lewis Danielson is a proud patriot, a man who steadfastly employs American workers and has a strong passion for Second Amendment-protected freedoms.