The 38th edition of the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) opened January 19 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada and continued through Jan. 22, 2016.
Cheaper Than Dirt! staffers covering the 2016 SHOT Show in Las Vegas filed their first Shooter’s Log reports on dozens of new products and other topics that affect the firearms industry, gun ownership, and gun regulation.
The SHOT Show is owned and sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry. The show is produced and managed by ConvExx. The show generates millions of the dollars in revenue that funds NSSF programs and services that help “promote, protect and preserve” hunting and the shooting sports. Among those programs are Project ChildSafe, the industry’s firearm safety education program; Don’t Lie for the Other Guy, which works to help prevent illegal straw purchases; and First Shots, which provides introductions to target shooting.
The 2015 SHOT Show attracted more than 60,000 in total attendance and was the sixth consecutive SHOT Show held at Sands Expo. The National Shooting Sports Foundation and Sands Expo and Convention Center have agreed to hold SHOT at this site through 2020.
Firearm sales in 2015 were the highest ever, according to total NICS checks data. More than 23 million firearms were sold last year, setting the stage for a lot of new product to hit the shelves in 2016.
The industry notes that violent crime continues to decline even as Americans purchase firearms in record numbers, underscoring that more guns do not lead to more crime, as anti-gun groups inaccurately claim.
“Our industry continues to see new and different customers embrace firearms ownership and the shooting sports,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. “New gun owners—someone who has purchased their first firearm in the last five years—represent about a quarter of the total, and they are younger, female, urban/suburban-based and from many ethnic backgrounds.
“These new participants,” added Sanetti, “are altering people’s perceptions of who firearm owners are and what they look like. It’s very gratifying to see the broad-based appeal of our sports and culture. As an industry, we are determined not only to provide people with excellent gear to enjoy recreational shooting but also to deter legislation intended to burden law-abiding gun owners and provide appropriate safety and educational materials to help deter unauthorized access to firearms.”
SHOT Show is the fifth largest trade show in Las Vegas and the largest trade show of its kind in the world.
On the exhibit floor, which covers 630,000 net square feet and has 12.5 miles of aisles, manufacturers and distributors display a wide range of products, including firearms, ammunition, gun safes, safety locks and cases, optics, shooting range equipment, targets, training and safety equipment, hunting accessories, law enforcement equipment, hearing and eye protection, tree stands, scents and lures, cutlery, GPS systems, holsters, apparel, leather goods, game calls, and decoys. If you were to visit every booth during the show, you would have only 22 seconds to visit each one of them.
Concealed carry is not permitted at the show. According to the Policies page of SHOT, “No personal firearms or ammunition allowed. Only firearms on display by exhibitors whose firing pins have been removed and have been inspected by SHOT Show Safety Advisors will be permitted on the show floor.”