SHOT Trade Show Sets Attendance Records Amid Worry About Greater Gun Regulation

The Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show, commonly referred to as the SHOT show, wrapped up this past Friday and featured record attendance for the show. More than 60,000 industry insiders and law enforcement attended the show which is not open to the public. Though all of this new energy was tempered somewhat by worries that the government is preparing to crack down on some types of firearms and make it more difficult to purchase and own a gun.

Trade show displays las vegas showed off new gun models for manufacturers, including assault rifles complete with high-capacity magazines which are coming under particular scrutiny by many in the wake of the recent Newtown and Aurora shootings. Some in the gun industry see significant losses if the government cracks down on assault rifle ownership and the aforementioned high-capacity ammo magazines.

But, supporters of gun control laws say that it is about time that we cracked down on some of these guns which are obviously not necessary for protection or hunting. Whichever way you may lean in the debate, the atmosphere of greater scrutiny was undeniably present in Las Vegas. Despite this, trade show displays still featured all manner of firearms including some of the guns that were used by the Newtown shooter, who killed 20 school children and 6 adults last month.

National Shooting Sports Foundation chief Steve Sanetti sought to soothe the worries of some in the industry who are aware of the shadow that has been cast on them. “We are not the evildoers,” said Sanetti. “You didn’t cause the monstrous crime in Newtown and neither did we.”

But, gun control advocates are pointing to the fact that one of the fastest growing segments within the gun industry is the manufacture and sale of military-style assault weapons, not bolt-action hunting rifles. More than 1,600 vendors were present at the trade show showcasing a large and diverse set of wares from hunting gear to camping supplies to assault rifles and bullet-proof vests.

Regardless of the enhanced scrutiny, the trade show was an undeniable success with record numbers attending and membership of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) which sponsors the show expanding significantly during the show.

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