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Bryan GOP honors Daniel Defense founder

Former chairman also honored

POSTED: February 16, 2017 11:35 a.m.

The Bryan County Republican Party honored Daniel Defense founder Marty Daniel and longtime County Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed during the group’s monthly meeting Feb. 9.
Burnsed, who served 12 years as chairman and as a mentor to a number of local leaders, including Richmond Hill Mayor Pro-Tem Russ Carpenter, received Bryan GOP’s Lifetime Achievement Award from Carpenter at the event, which was held at Love’s Seafood.
But it was Daniel who held center stage at the meeting, first as guest speaker, then as recipient of the Bryan GOP’s first Patriot Award, which was presented by Sean Register, a member of the Development Authority of Bryan County.
Daniel also was given the Fighting Capitalist award from Georgia First District GOP Chairman John Wood “for creating local jobs and creating a product that helps soldiers defend the freedom of the United States,” Wood said.

Daniel, who is reportedly moving to South Bryan at the same time he’s consolidating and expanding his operation in Black Creek, lived several years in Pembroke as a child.
Daniel said that’s where he said he learned the value of work.
“I was about 7 years old and some of us were playing around and we were throwing rocks and one of those rocks accidentally hit a car,” Daniel said. “It was at that point that my father thought I needed to have gainful employment. I did everything, on occasion my father would rent me out to haul hay, pick tobacco or whatever needed doing. I enjoyed playing football in high school because football was easier than hauling hay or the other tasks I had to do.”
Daniel graduated Pinewood Christian Academy and enrolled at Georgia Southern to major in electrical engineering. It didn’t take, at least not at first.

“I didn’t study, I liked beer and enjoyed college and flunked out of the engineering program, not once but twice,” Daniel said. “The second time my mom helped me get a job at a saw mill and it was a hard work but I learned the job and was able to prove myself a valuable hand, and my boss told me if I didn’t get back into college I certainly had a job there.”
Today, Daniel is on the board of Georgia Southern’s engineering school and when speaking to incoming students to the program he reminds them that he flunked out of the program twice.
“I got a letter at one point from the engineering school asking me not to re-apply to the program, but my persistence paid off, and I made the most of a last chance,” Daniel said.
Degree in hand, Daniel found an entrepreneurial spark and built a successful business, Daniel Overhead Doors and Windows. It was then that he began to find inspiration for what his company became, Daniel said.
“I had just come in from playing golf and I was kind of upset I wasn’t playing as well I thought I should have. A friend of mine, he was a shooter, asked me if I wanted to shoot with him. I grew up hunting but had never shot for pure sport enjoyment and so I went with him and really enjoyed it,” Daniel said.
But Daniel said he saw ways that he could take his existing Colt AR-15 and make it better. The problem was that it was hard to find the parts he wanted to improve his weapon.
Daniel wanted to buy a piece to mount a scope on the rifle, but to get them you had to buy them in bulk.
He used the ones he needed and sold the others on a website he created, making a small profit, then created additional parts with military and civilian applications.
Daniel was at gun show in Orlando when a contractor with the U.S. Army Special Forces noticed his work and invited him to bid on government contracts.
He said he provided better customer service and better parts and began winning contracts.
Then Daniel’s father took a leap of faith in his son.
“My dad helped me borrow $250,000, using his farm as collateral to purchase our first manufacturing facility. We were both nervous, but we both knew that it was going to work out,” said Daniel, who now owns that farm in Tattnall County.
It worked. Daniel was featured as one of the emerging entrepreneurs in the world in a recent issue of Forbes Magazine.
Daniel Defense has had a weapon named gun of the year by Guns & Ammo magazine, and the company is considered one of the fastest growing in the United States by several sources.
Daniel Defense now has more than 300 employees and is closing up shop in South Carolina and bringing those operations to an expanded 300,000 square foot plant in Black Creek.
That $29 million expansion is expected to add an additional 75 jobs to Bryan County.
What’s more, today Daniel Defense provides rail systems to the United Kingdom Army and has won accolades from the National Rifle Association and other such groups. Not surprisingly, Daniel himself is staunchly pro Second Amendment,
Two years ago, Daniel, created a commercial for the Super Bowl that the NFL reportedly refused to run, giving Daniel a wide platform on channels such as Fox News.
Recently, he made headlines by teaming up with Richard Childress of NASCAR fame to sponsor an Xfinity Series race car. Daniel also reportedly terminated an agreement with Academy Sports after that chain pulled modern sporting rifles from its displays in 2016 after a shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.
He was also a supporter of President Donald Trump in the 2016 election, and told Bryan GOP members on Feb. 9 that Clinton would have been disastrous had she won the election.
“It was a really serious election. Had Hillary Clinton been elected she would have certainly made her mark on this country by putting liberal justices on the Supreme Court that would attacked gun rights and the Second Amendment full force,” Daniel said.
He said he has a strong relationship with Benghazi survivor Mark Geist, an author who has been critical of Clinton’s handling of the attack on the American embassy in Libya when she was secretary of state.
“Mark Geist was influential in helping to defeat Hillary Clinton. He made his mind up that he was willing to do whatever he could to make sure she would not win. Anyone that is willing to die for their country certainly deserves a voice,” Daniel said.
Daniel and his wife Cindy went to Washington D.C. to the inaugural festivities and said he was awe struck by a conversation he had with Colorado Fourth District Congressman Ken Buck, who told Daniel that he was apprehensive about the speed and method that Trump was going about running the country.
Daniel compared the election’s aftermath to halftime of the Super Bowl, where Atlanta held a commanding halftime lead before falling to the Patriots in overtime.
“If you think that because the Republicans won the White House and hold Congress that we have won and we can quit fighting you are wrong,” Daniel said. “This is just halftime. Consider a week ago the Falcons had a large lead and came out in the second half and played good enough to not lose but didn’t play to win and they didn’t win. We have stay in the fight, and we must encourage others to stay in the fight.
Daniel is now a supporter of a bill that would deregulate the sale of noise suppressors, which currently are licensed and taxed.
Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga. 1st, also has endorsed the bill as a co-signor, Daniel said.
“This is an important bill and we will be sending a video nationwide to make sure there is going to be strong support. Common sense legislation like this that helps people is one of things that we can accomplish in this administration. We all need to get behind President Trump and the things he is trying to do because he is doing his best to follow through on his campaign promises and do what is right for the people and the government of this country,” Daniel said.

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