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June 12, 2020

National Shooting Sports Month 2020 Event Insider No. 2: It’s Open House Time!

Welcome to NSSF’s second installment of event ideas to make this August’s National Shooting Sports Month® a success no matter what restrictions stores and ranges may be operating under.

Our last article talked about First Shots® introductory programs, great for ranges where larger gatherings may be prohibited. But not all ranges are operating under reduced-capacity restrictions, so let’s talk about creating a bigger event, one where social distancing can still be accommodated, the “Get to Know Us Open House.”

Pick a Saturday or Sunday, put some hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill outside, and encourage your regular customers to bring someone new with them to see what your firearms business and the shooting sports are all about! Seeing your staff handle firearms responsibly and talk about them intelligently can go a long way toward easing apprehensions people unfamiliar with firearms often have—and can help spark the curiosity that turns them into customers.

There are thousands of new gun owners in your area! Invite those who purchased their first firearm from you, especially during the early months of the pandemic, back to your store for this open house. Tell them about your classes. Offer seminars like basic gun maintenance or host Q&A sessions for novice shooters and help them become safe, responsible firearm owners and introduce them to the entertainment of target shooting. It will go a long way toward turning these new customers into regular customers!

A “Get to Know Us Open House” is just one way to promote National Shooting Sports Month. No matter what event you choose to hold:

  1. Visit our COVID-19 resources page to learn about evolving best practices for your business. NSSF members should also log in to SHOT University Online to access a number of new courses related to operating in the COVID-19 era (and remember, those courses are free for NSSF members).
  2. List your August events and promotions on the national events calendar at Shooting Sports When you do, NSSF will send you our 2020 promotional package of T-shirts, ball caps and other items to use as giveaways and prizes.

What do you do if your range or store is restricted from accommodating a crowd in August, but those restrictions are scheduled to be eased in the months to come? Put that open house on your fall or winter events calendar! While August is the official National Shooting Sports Month, the concept behind it can be applied any time of year.

Plan now, stay flexible and focus on delivering a great experience to every client who passes through your doors. As we return to normal, you’ll have a growing base of customers loyal to your brand and business.

For more information on hosting National Shooting Sports Month events, including event ideas, contact Ann Gamauf, NSSF Retail & Range Business Development Coordinator, at or 203- 426-1320 ext. 247.

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