ANNISTON, AL – The Civilian Marksmanship Program is mourning the passing of a friend and legal counsel, Michael Saporito, 76, of Winter Springs, Florida. Mr. Saporito passed away on September 3, 2014 after a brief illness.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our attorney and colleague. Mike knew the firearms safety business, understood and believed in the mission of the corporation, and was an exceedingly proficient lawyer. He was a true friend, supporter, and mentor to the CMP. His knowledge of the law, tempered by his unique wit and humor, cannot be replaced. We will indeed miss him," said Judy Legerski, Chairman, CMP Board of Directors.
Mr. Saporito served as legal counsel for the Civilian Marksmanship Program for the past seven years. He assisted the non-profit organization through a period of strong growth over the last several years. Prior to serving as the CMP’s chief legal counsel, Mr. Saporito was a veteran of the firearms industry, serving as Senior Vice President and Legal Counsel of RSR Group for 21 years until his retirement in 2001. Mike earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Syracuse University College of Law in 1967.
His dedication to firearm rights was evident through his countless awards and prestigious roles, including serving as a Founding Member and Chair of the American Shooting Sports Council, Inc., from 1992-1997. In December 1992, he was awarded the Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award, while becoming Gun Rights Defender of the Year in September 1996. In 1994, he appeared on an episode of ABC’s Good Morning America during a segment on the Firearms Industry.
Many of his great achievements included the St. Gabriel Possenti Medal for Leadership (1991), Industry Minuteman Award for Employer (1991), George Washington Patriot Award (awarded twice), the Prestigious Cicero Award by the American Firearms Industry, the 1994 Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence Man of the Year Award for Leading the Industry Pro Gun Rights Movement and a Lifetime Achievement Award Citizen’s Committee For the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
Additionally, Mike was recognized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for leadership in assisting the Bureau to achieve its goal of a safer America. He authored a column and website to motivate firearm dealers and the general public to protect their civil rights. Mike also co-authored a feature article for the 40th anniversary edition of Guns and Ammo magazine.
In his personal life, Mr. Saporito was an avid hunter, fisherman, private pilot and competitive marksman. Mike enjoyed participating the John C. Garand and Springfield Rifle Matches. He made trips to Camp Perry for the National Matches and to the Eastern CMP Games. He also had two children with his wife of over 48 years, Carol.
Funeral Services were held on Friday, September 12, 2014 at the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Winter Park, Florida. The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (256) 835-8455 or mailed to Civilian Marksmanship Program, Attn: Donations/Finance, 1401 Commerce Blvd, Anniston, AL 36207.