Tony Palermo, a native of Sulphur, La., is the man behind the gun collection prominently displayed at Ducks Unlimited's National Headquarters. This collection represents one of the few complete sets of Ducks Unlimited dinner guns dating from 1973 to 2009. Each gun in the collection is unfired and in "new in box" condition.
Palermo worked for more than six years to complete the collection, taking out advertisements in Ducks Unlimited magazine and following leads as far away as Canada. "I realized that the guns sold at Ducks Unlimited banquets are essential to making the wheels turn so waterfowl can continue to thrive," Palermo said. "These guns are special. They hold a unique place in the history of Ducks Unlimited, and I was honored to take on the challenge of collecting these firearms."
A lifelong DU member and duck hunter with a strong conservation ethic, Palermo has hunted waterfowl around the globe-throughout North America and in locations as far away as Africa. His expertise as a gun collector has earned him international recognition. Palermo owns and operates a successful real estate development and construction company. He and his wife, Tina, are avid outdoor enthusiasts with a passion for wildlife and the land. Together they enjoy hunting, fishing, and showing cutting horses.
Palermo's gift to Ducks Unlimited is more than a collection of guns spanning four decades. His gift also honors DU's traditions and our shared waterfowling heritage. This collection is a wonderful example of an individual dedicated to helping Ducks Unlimited realize its vision of wetlandss sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow, and forever.
"Thank you, Ducks Unlimited, for your unwavering commitment to North America's waterfowl and for all your efforts to perpetuate our waterfowling tradition. Ducks Unlimited deserves this collection, and I'm happy to give it," Palermo said.
DU Dinner Gun Collection
Since 1973, the Ducks Unlimited dinner gun program has remained a cornerstone of grassroots fundraising.
A model for conservation fundraising nationwide, the DU dinner gun program raises an average of more than $2 million annually for wetlands conservation. While customized to DU specifications, all dinner guns are based on manufacturer's field models and carry the same functionality.
Through the years, more than 100,000 Ducks Unlimited dinner guns have been sold at DU events. Many are considered modern classics, and their collector value has risen accordingly.
Download Complete Dinner Gun List (PDF)