The National Rifle Association’s Publications Division is pleased to announce Mark. A. Keefe, IV, has been appointed Editorial Director, succeeding John Zent, who held the post from 2004 until April of this year, retiring after nearly four decades as an NRA staff editor. Brian Sheetz will replace Mark Keefe as editor in chief of American Rifleman.
“NRA Publications has been blessed with great journalistic talent for a long time. I am pleased to congratulate John Zent on his nearly 40-year career and his recent retirement,” said NRA Publications executive director Doug Hamlin. “I am also delighted to promote Mark Keefe as John’s successor as editorial director, NRA Publications Division. Mark has been with the NRA for 31 years, with 21 years as the editor in chief of the American Rifleman.”
In his new role Mark will be responsible for the editorial management and content production for nine independent editorial brands—that reach a monthly audience of more than 20-million viewers, and more than 30 staffers in his charge,” said Hamlin. Keefe will be directly responsible for day-to-day editorial operations and content production for four monthly magazines and affiliated online sites covering all facets of shooting and hunting. Included are industry leading Official Journals, American Rifleman, American Hunter, America’s 1st Freedom and Shooting Illustrated. He will also oversee American Rifleman Television, along with Shooting Sports USA, NRA’s digital magazine and website for competitive shooters, as well as NRAFamily,org, NRA HUNTERS Leadership Forum (HLF), and NRAWomen.com, NRA’s newest digital property dedicated to the fastest-growing community of firearm owners, hunters and defenders of freedom.
“Mark is enthusiastic, passionate about everything firearms related, and uniquely talented to take this next step in his distinguished career,” said Hamlin. Keefe was appointed editor of American Rifleman magazine in 2000, and was promoted to editor-in-chief of American Rifleman, americanrifleman.org and American Rifleman Television in 2003. He started out as a volunteer at the National Firearms Museum in 1989 and became a curatorial assistant there in 1990. An NRA Life member, Keefe is a shooter, hunter and gun collector, specializing in British Lee-Enfield rifles. He has competed in NRA High Power Rifle, Smallbore Rifle and Bullseye Pistol events, as well as trap, skeet, sporting clays and cowboy-action shooting.
An Eagle Scout, Keefe taught rifle shooting, shotgun shooting and archery at Goshen Scout Camps while in college, becoming an NRA Certified Instructor in Rifle, Shotgun and Muzzleloading Rifle. Keefe earned a bachelor of arts in History from the University of Maryland in 1989. He has written hundreds of bylined and non-bylined articles on virtually every facet of the shooting sports, ranging from detailed firearms reviews to sensitive legislative issues.
In 2002, Keefe created the format for American Rifleman Television, currently directs and supervises its editorial content, and serves as host for the weekly show airing on The Outdoor Channel—as well as making regular appearances on “Gun Stories With Joe Mantegna.”
A small sample of Keefe’s publishing awards:
- 2002 Man-At-Arms Cup for "outstanding service in the field of arms and armour”
- 2008 the Leupold "Jack Slack" Writer of The Year
- 2009, Smith & Wesson Editor Of The Year
- 2015 Grits Gresham Shooing Sports Communicator Award from the Professional Outdoor Media Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).