The 36th edition of the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) opened today at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV and will run through January 17.
Owned and sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the SHOT Show is the largest trade show of its kind in the world; it is open to industry members only and not the public. Shooting sports enthusiasts will see new products unveiled at the show to be on retailers’ shelves during the year.
The $6 billion industry has seen record sales over the past several years fueled in part by the surging number of new gun owners. A recent study by NSSF showed one-in-five target shooters is a newcomer—that is, someone who has taken up the sport in the last five years. The same study showed that the industry’s customer base has greatly expanded, with new target shooters being younger, female and urban-based.
During the show, NSSF will present a first-ever study that looks at the impact target shooters’ spending has on the economy. The study, “Target Shooting in America,” will complement the “Hunting in America” economic impact study released last year by NSSF and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Together, the two studies capture how billions of dollars in spending by millions of target shooters and hunters support many thousands of businesses and jobs and broadly contribute to the financial well-being of the nation.
Another driver of sales in recent years has been firearms purchased for personal and home protection. Many of industry’s newest model firearms and accessories have been developed to satisfy this rapidly growing market. Women, in particular, have a high interest in obtaining their concealed carry permits after purchasing their first firearm, according to NSSF’s First-time Gun Buyers Report. Also, women’s participation in both target shooting and hunting has increased dramatically over the last decade.
Even as Americans purchase more firearms, the industry points out that violent crime continues to decline, demonstrating that more guns do not lead to more crime, as anti-gun groups often claim.
“The variety of new and existing products that will be on display at the SHOT Show reflects the tremendous interest in the shooting sports by Americans from all walks of life–across all income levels, including men and women, adults and youth and those from rural communities to urban areas,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti.
“This growing interest demonstrates that despite continued challenges to our industry and our sports, our hunting and recreational shooting traditions are here to stay,” Sanetti added. “And we will do everything possible to protect those freedoms and the way of life that we cherish.”
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.
Cheaper Than Dirt! staffers covering the 2014 SHOT Show in Las Vegas have filed their first reports on breaking news that affects the firearms industry, gun ownership, gun regulation and other topics. In this edition, two gun groups sue the State of California to stop microstamping laws from taking effect.
Firearms Trade Association and Manufacturers’ Institute Seek to Invalidate Unworkable Microstamping Law
Late last week, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) filed a lawsuit against the State of California challenging the state’s microstamping law.
In Fresno Superior Court, NSSF and SAAMI seek to invalidate and enjoin enforcement of provisions of state law made effective in May 2013, requiring that all semiautomatic pistols sold in the state not already on the California approved handgun roster contain unproven and unreliable microstamping technology.
Under this law, firearm manufacturers would have to micro laser-engrave a gun’s make, model and serial number on two distinct parts of each gun, including the firing pin so that, in theory, this information would be imprinted on the cartridge casing when the pistol is fired.
“There is no existing microstamping technology that will reliably, consistently and legibly imprint the required identifying information by a semiautomatic handgun on the ammunition it fires. The holder of the patent for this technology himself has written that there are problems with it and that further study is warranted before it is mandated,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel.
In 2007, California Assembly Bill 1471 was passed and signed into law requiring microstamping on internal parts of new semiautomatic pistols. The legislation provided that this requirement would only became effective if the California Department of Justice certified that the microstamping technology is available to more than one manufacturer unencumbered by patent restrictions. The California legislature subsequently reorganized certain statutes concerning the regulation of firearms, including the microstamping law in 2010. On May 17, 2013, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris provided such certification.
“A National Academy of Science review, forensic firearms examiners and a University of California at Davis study reached the same conclusion and the technical experts in the firearms industry agree,” said Keane. “Manufacturers cannot comply with a law the provisions of which are invalid, that cannot be enforced and that will not contribute to improving public safety. As a result, we are seeking both declaratory and injunctive relief against this back-door attempt to prevent the sale of new semiautomatic handguns to law-abiding citizens in California.”
Do you think the California law will stand? Weigh in and give us your thoughts in the comment section.
Armscor Unveils Season 3 of ‘On the Range’
Armscor announced today that Mike Seeklander will star in season three of the company’s popular video series “On the Range.” The 6 episodes of the season will draw on Seeklander’s own training series with a focus on the basics of shooting from grip, muzzle control, stances, reloading and competitive vs. self defense scenarios.
Seeklander provides a wealth of expertise from his background as a champion competitive shooter, U.S. Marine Corp combat veteran, law enforcement officer and as an instructor in self-defense training. Seeklander most recently won the International Defensive Pistol Association Back Up Gun Nationals that focuses on real world self-defense scenarios.
Seeklander has authored and produced books and videos on defensive handgun training and competitive shooting. Viewers may also recognize him as the co-host of Rapid Fire and through TV appearances on “The Best Defense” and the History Channel’s “Top Shot” series. Past seasons have featured other Team Armscor members including championship shooters Eric Grauffel, JJ Racaza and Athena Lee.
The new episode of “On the Range” can be seen on the Armscor YouTube channel. To learn more about Armscor, visit www.armscor.com. More information about Mike Seeklander and his self-defense training can be found at www.shooting-performance.com.
Our staff articles are supplemented with reporting by SHOT Business Daily, reprinted with permission. SHOT Daily, produced by The Bonnier Corporation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, covers all facets of the yearly firearms-industry show. To view a 2014 digital version of SHOT Daily, click here.