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January 9, 2009

NSSF’s SHOT Show


Very light blogging recently as we prepare for NSSF's SHOT Show, the annual trade show for the shooting, hunting and outdoor trade that moves from Las Vegas to Orlando this year, January 15-18. The show is the largest of its kind in the world, and one of its main features is the 1,300 members of the media, mainly representatives of the outdoor media, who attend. This largest gathering of outdoor communicators focuses mostly on new products (firearms, ammo, apparel, accessories, law enforcement equipment and more) that will be available to consumers and law enforcement armorers later in the year. In the weeks following the show, these new products can be seen on outdoor TV and radio shows, in magazines and newspapers, and on the Internet on Web sites and blogs.

What adds interest to the 2009 show is that it will take place as gun sales continue to surge throughout America. In December, there was a 24 percent jump in the number of FBI background checks, continuing a trend from the previous months. Since a background check is required by federal law for anyone purchasing a firearm from a retailer, the checks are regarded as a good indicator of sales. Sales are at such an unprecedented level that the government has even run out of the forms required to complete sales and do the mandatory FBI background checks, stating for the first time that it's OK to use photocopies of the form, known as the "4473." What's driving the increase in buying is concern among gun owners that the sale of certain types of semi-automatic firearms may be restricted when the new president takes office and begins working with the new Congress. These concerns are borne out by a recent poll of hunters and target shooters by Southwick Associates that found an extraordinary 80 percent of respondents believe it will become more difficult to purchase firearms under the incoming administration and Congress.

The SHOT Show is the one place where the shooting sports industry gathers each year to buy, learn and network, and where its passion for firearms and united support of the Second Amendment are on display. Even though show registration was down several weeks ago, figures have jumped over the last week to pull even with Orlando show of 2007. That says a lot about our industry in this anemic economy and bodes well for another successful and exciting event. Although SHOT is open to the trade only, those interested in what's happening in Orlando can watch videos and read articles about the show at www.shotshow.org.