TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+
  • FLORIDA | TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis Announces Transition Team Chairs. (Photo by Willie David / Florida National News)
    FLORIDA | TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis Announces Transition Team Chairs. (Photo by Willie David / Florida National News)

Gun industry gathers just a few miles from mass shooting

LAS VEGAS (AP) – The gun industry is holding its biggest annual trade show this week just a few miles from where a gunman slaughtered 58 concertgoers outside his high-rise Las Vegas hotel room in October using a display case worth of weapons, many of them fitted with bump stocks that enabled them to mimic fully automatic fire.

What exactly will be among the thousands of products crammed into the exhibition spaces at the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SHOT Show convention, running from Tuesday through Friday, will be a bit of a mystery, shielded from the public and, this year, members of the general-interest media.

One thing is known: Slide Fire, the leading manufacturer of bump stocks, a once-obscure product that attracted intense attention in the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, won’t be among the exhibitors.

The Texas-based company hasn’t said why it’s not on the roster of more than 1,700 exhibitors, although it was last year. It didn’t return messages seeking comment. The company also isn’t on the list of those attending this year’s National Rifle Association annual meeting or other prominent gun trade shows.

In the aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre Oct. 1, Slide Fire had so much trouble keeping up with demand it temporarily stopped taking orders for the product. It has since resumed.

“From purely from a public relations standpoint, it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if bump stocks just sort of disappeared this year,” said Robert Spitzer, chairman of political science at the State University of New York at Cortland and an expert on firearms and the Second Amendment. “That’s a PR no-brainer.”

Still, the convention floor is likely to have plenty of other devices that gun-control advocates have taken aim at in recent years: accessories that make it easier to carry a firearm, shoot it or reduce the noise it makes.

On the list of products they oppose are “trigger cranks,” which, like bump stocks, make it easier to fire a long gun rapidly, and “assault pistols,” which look remarkably like short-barreled AR- and AK-style firearms but skirt certain federal restrictions because they aren’t designed to be shot from the shoulder.

“For a person from the general public, I think the thing that would startle them the most about the SHOT Show … is just the sheer scope and the vastness of this show,” said David Chipman, a former agent with the federal agency that regulates firearms and now a senior policy adviser with the gun safety organization founded by former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was gravely wounded in a shooting in 2012.

SHOT Show has been held for 40 years, half that time in Las Vegas, and this year’s gathering was scheduled well before the bloodshed last fall. It will have some 13 miles of aisles featuring products from more than 1,700 companies. More than 65,000 visitors are expected at the gathering, a place where connections are made and deals worth millions are struck.

The general public is not allowed to roam the aisles; the only people who can attend are those with direct ties to the industry: manufacturers and dealers of firearms or associated products. Although a few reporters from general-interest news organizations attended in recent years, NSSF this year restricted access to about 2,500 journalists from trade publications and media.

The show’s location and timing 3½ months after Stephen Paddock’s murderous attack have heightened awareness of the event.

Michael Bazinet, NSSF director of public affairs, said that while those attending are well aware of the tragedy that occurred nearby, “they also know that legal gun ownership and the lawful commerce of arms is something quite removed from the act of an individual such as this. And that’s not to diminish the tragedy at all. But people come to the show do make that distinction.”

The show comes as the gun industry’s fortunes have waned after nearly a decade of unprecedented sales. No longer concerned about the federal government restricting gun rights, Americans have scaled back their firearm-buying sprees.

When SHOT Show, which stands for Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade, was launched, its emphasis was on hunting and the outdoors. Over the decades, it has evolved and grown and now has huge sections devoted to the law enforcement and military community. No sales are allowed at the show, firing pins are removed from all guns on display, and there is no live ammunition.

There are so many companies that want to exhibit, there isn’t enough space. The waiting list is several hundred names long.

Kevin Michalowski, executive editor of Concealed Carry Magazine, has been going to SHOT Show for more than a decade and said he doesn’t anticipate this year’s event will have a different feel from other years. He said it’s a close-knit industry accustomed to being put under the microscope by the media and by gun-control advocates.

“This is not just a group of redneck gun owners as are often portrayed by the mainstream media. This is serious business,” he said. “Millions and millions of dollars are exchanged, and it helps the economies of many, many states, it helps the economy of the U.S.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

POLITICS & POWER NEWS

National Politics

U.S. Congressman Darren Soto Statement on Court’s Decision Jeopardizing Hispanic Voters

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Darren Soto, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair of the Civil and Voting…

Anti-Gillum Monkey Robocalls Return, Lump in Jews

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - The racial tenor hit fever pitch Wednesday in the highly…

President Barack Obama to Campaign for Andrew Gillum in Miami Friday

MIAMI, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Former President Barack Obama is coming to Florida to campaign…

US defense chief: killing of writer is threat to stability

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — The killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi “undermines regional stability” and the…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

[OPINION] Orange County Republicans Must Adapt, or They'll Lose Every Time!

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - In the 2018 midterm elections almost none of the Orange…

Gillum for Governor Campaign on Counting Every Vote

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Today, Gillum for Governor communications director Johanna Cervone made the following statement on…

Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis Announces Transition Team Chairs

TALLAHASSEE, FL- Today, Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis announced four Florida leaders to spearhead transition for the new…

Supervisor Daisy Morales Re-Elected with 256,116 Supermajority of Orange County Votes

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - On election night, Orange County voters delivered a landslide victory…

SPORTS NEWS

  • Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) dives for a touchdown over Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Jamie Collins (51) in the second quarter. Photo: Monica Herndon/Tampa Bay Times.
    TAMPA BAY (FNN SPORTS) - Buccaneers Clinch OT Win with Miraculous 59-Yard Field Goal | Photo: Monica Herndon/Tampa Bay Times.

MORE SPORTS NEWS

Nearly 1,200 Athletes Competed in Special Olympics Florida's State Fall Classic

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Special Olympics Florida athletes, coaches, volunteers and fans descended on…

Buccaneers Fall Short Against Redskins 16-3

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are currently fourth in…

UCF Knights Throttle Navy Midshipmen on Homecoming Weekend

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - The Knights showed the Navy Midshipmen why the Knights are…

Orlando Survives Washington's Late Run

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - After the Magic's lead was cut to one, D.J. Augustin…

Drummond Too Much for Magic as Detroit Defeats Orlando 103-96

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Andre' Drummond wasn't about to let his team lose a…

Fournier's Clutch Jump Shot Helps the Magic to Second Straight Win

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Evan Fournier had a chance to redeem himself after missing…

BUSINESS NEWS

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

Trade War Escalates as China Announces Tariffs on US Imports

BEIJING (AP) — The U.S.-China trade war escalated further Tuesday, with China announcing retaliatory tax…

Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh Appeals Decision On Disney Property Valuation

Orlando, FL – Orange County Property Appraiser (OCPA), Rick Singh, today announced that an appeal…

Governor Scott Orders Flags at Half-Staff in Remembrance of 9/11

TALLAHASSEE - In honor and remembrance of those who tragically lost their lives in the…

ESSENCE Debuts Lebron James’ Captivating Social Media Campaign “The Strongest” Celebrating 16 Strong Black Women

NEW YORK, NY (FNN NEWS) — Source: ESSENCE // ESSENCE, the leading media, technology and…

Amway Founder and Orlando Magic Owner Richard DeVos Dies at 92

DETROIT (AP) — Billionaire Richard DeVos, co-founder of direct-selling giant Amway, owner of the Orlando…

Nike Unveils Kaepernick Ad to Air During NFL Season Opener

Nike has unveiled its first “Just Do It” ad narrated by Colin Kaepernick, a spot…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

AG Pam Bondi: Andrew Gillum Must Denounce Rapper T.I.’s Video

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The rapper T.I. recently unveiled an offensive music video which depicted a demeaning and disgusting…

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK (AP) — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer is yes,…

New Kids On The Block Announce The Mixtape Tour With Very Special Guests Salt-N-Pepa, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson And Naughty By Nature

NEW YORK  -- Today New Kids On The Block, the multiplatinum selling pop super-group, unveiled an epic lineup for…

Country Music Icon Martina McBride Entertains From The Kitchen On New Food Network Series Martina's Table

NEW YORK, Food Network -- As a music megastar, Martina McBride has entertained fans with her songs for years,…

Academy Presents Careers In Film Summit In Los Angeles, London, Atlanta and New York 

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Academy will present its 4th annual Careers in Film Summit on Saturday,…

LIFESTYLE NEWS

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

Nearly 1,200 Athletes Competed in Special Olympics Florida's State Fall Classic

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Special Olympics Florida athletes, coaches, volunteers and fans descended on…

Athletes, Coaches, Volunteers Made Celebrities at Special Olympics Florida Champions' Gala

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – The red carpet rolled out for Special Olympics Florida’s Annual Champion’s…

Onward to Greatness: Special Olympics Florida President & CEO Sherry Wheelock Envisions Greater Growth, Awareness for Athletes

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Special Olympics Florida will host its annual Champions' Gala at…

Orange County Nursing Home Faces Legal Action, State Investigations After Elected Official's 911 Call

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Nursing home negligence of residents has become a top priority…

Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin Crowned Miss America 2019

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (FNN NEWS) – Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin was crowned Miss…

Walt Disney World Resort to Host Kickoff of ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Nationwide Bus Tour Auditions

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is set to host…