From firearm historians to giants of Olympic shooting sports and legends of the silver screen, here is a look back at those lost to the gun community in 2021.
Jean-Paul Belmondo - The French equivalent of Charlie Bronson or Chuck Norris, Belmondo made a series of increasingly over-the-top military, police, and adventure films, often carrying everything from small pocketable Beretta M1934s and snub-nosed S&Ws to more full-sized Colt Troopers and Pythons, ensuring continued overseas popularity for those models in Western Europe. In at least two films, "The Outsider" (1983) and "Half a Chance" (1998), he carried the select-fire Beretta 93R, predating that very interesting 9mm machine pistol's use in such American films as "Broken Arrow," "From Paris With Love," and "3000 Miles to Graceland." He died in September at 88.
Rod Boll - The Canadian shooting sports figure competed in the men's double trap event at the 1996 Summer Olympics. He died in January at age 68.
Daniele Cioni - A champion trap shooter, Cioni won individual gold at three different European championships and was on the gold-winning team for five different world championships in the sport. He also represented Italy at the 1984, 1988, and 1992 Summer Olympics. He died in May, aged 62.
Arthur Edwin "Art" Cook - A legendary marksman who became the youngest American to win an Olympic gold medal in shooting, Cook represented the country at the 1948 Olympics in London. He went on to become a force in American competitive marksmanship and was described as "a grand ambassador" for sports shooting. He passed in March at age 98.
"Danny” - A folksy and fearless shotgun-wielding straight man in the often comedic world of YouTube gun channel Taofledermaus, Danny fired his final shells in 2021.
Robert Joseph "Bob" Dole -The longtime Republican lawmaker from Kansas and presidential candidate against Barrack Obama, Dole was also often outspoken against gun control. He was an early co-sponsor of the Firearms Owners' Protection Act, filibustered against the Brady Bill in 1993, led the bulk of the Republican caucus against the federal "assault weapons" ban, and later campaigned for the ban's repeal. He passed in December at 98.
Diána Igaly - Putting Hungary in the gold medal business at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, she scored a 72+25 in women’s skeet that year, besting her 71+22 score that earned her country a bronze at the 2000 Sydney games. Igaly also competed in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics as well as the 2008 games in Beijing. She died in April at age 55.
Frank Lupo - A television writer and producer who was active primarily in the 1970s and 80s, Lupo had a hand in making some of the most treasured gun-heavy shows on the small screen. His credits include "Battlestar Galactica," "The A-Team," "Magnum, P.I.," "The Greatest American Hero," "Hunter," and "Walker: Texas Ranger." He died in February at age 66.
Alfons "Alf" Mayer - The German-born Mayer immigrated to Canada as a youth after World War II and went on to wear the Maple Leaf as he competed for his country at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City as well as the 1972 games in Munich, specializing in small-bore rifle events. He passed away in November, aged 83.
Frantisek Maxa - Born in Czechoslovakia in 1923, Maxa competed in the 1952 and 1956 Summer Olympics. A pistol shooter, he continued instructing well into his 90s. He died in September at age 98.
Chip McCormick - The Texas-born competitive shooter made a name on the circuit in the 1980s, setting a new world record in a Steel Challenge Match with a time of 6.47 seconds for four runs. He went on to form Chip McCormick Custom, or CMC, creating the concept of the "modular 1911" as well as his famous "Shooting Star" magazines, which are often used today as factory OEM by 1911-makers. He died in June.
Poh Lip Meng - A Singaporean sport shooter, he won a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the 25m standard pistol pairs event and today holds that country's national records for both 10m air pistol and 50m free pistol men's events. He died in December, aged 52.
Desanka Pesut - A Yugoslav sports shooting phenom, Pesut thrilled the crowd at the 1970 World Championships in Phoenix, winning the gold in 50m prone rifle – repeating her performance the year before at the European championships – while picking up two silvers in other events. In all, she earned nine gold, 20 silver, and six bronze medals at the Yugoslav national championships in individual competition and went on to help coach the national team. She died in Serbia in June, aged 79.
Robert G. Segel - Noted firearms author and "EmmaGeeMan," Segel, was best known for his knowledge of all things machine gun. A senior editor for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal magazine, he had a hand in at least 22 books on firearms. He died in May.
Imre Simko - A Hungarian sharpshooter who won gold at the Warsaw Pact Army Championships as well as several European Championships in the early 1960s, Simko competed at the 1960 and 1964 Olympics. Teaching military and LE counter-terror teams, he later moved to America after the end of the Cold War and remained active as an instructor. He died in April at 82.
Adam Smelczynski - Besides winning a silver at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, the Polish trap shooter won the European trap-shooting championships in both 1972 and 1976. He is one of the few Olympians to have competed in six games. He died in June at age 90.
James Smith - An American sports shooter and a colonel in the Marine Reserves who graduated from Harvard Law, Smith competed in the 300m rifle event at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Olympics. He died in March, age 89.
Hans Standl - A competitive shooter, Standl competed in the 25m pistol event at the 1968 Summer Olympics, representing West Germany. He passed in March at age 95.
Chandro Tomar -- The winner of "countless" matches and more than 30 national championships in India, Tomar became well-known in the rest of the world in 2017 when, at age 84, she was billed as "The World's Oldest Female Sharpshooter." The "Shooter Dadi" (Shooter Grandmother) packed her pistols away for the last time this year and passed away in April at age 89.
Michael K. Williams - The New York-born actor best known for playing Omar Little in "The Wire," Chalky White in "Boardwalk Empire," and Leonard Pine in "Hap & Leonard," died in September. Williams also had several movie roles including the WWII film "Miracle at St. Anna" (2008) and the 2014 reboot of "RoboCop." Specializing in portraying crime figures, he often used a variety of shotguns and flashy handguns on screen. He died at 54.
Darius Young - A 12-time U.S. champion who set 18 American and 26 Canadian national records, Young competed at every Pan American Games between 1979 and 1995, earning over a dozen medals. An alternate to the 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic Teams, he went on to wear the red, white, and blue for Team USA in 1988 and 1992.