SHOT Show 2014 received a "Wow!" rating from many exhibitors and attendees, with the 36th annual NSSF event setting an attendance record at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas Jan. 14-17.
"Wow! There was just so much great, upbeat news and new exciting stuff at SHOT. It was a super show for all of us!" said Frank Brownell, Brownells chairman.
"It's been extremely busy. Sometimes there's barely room to walk around the booth," said Joyce Rubino, Colt's Manufacturing VP of marketing.
"There is definitely a buzz, an excitement. The increase of new shooters to our industry, in some cases new demographics, I think is very exciting. I see a lot of excitement about the industry in general," said Scott Feck, Galco VP of operations.
The NSSF reports the show's attendance exceeded last year's total on the second day of this year's event, and finished at more than 67,000 attendees, an increase of 5,000.
"I think that really speaks to the quality of the event and the enthusiasm and passion of our industry to provide quality products for hunting, target shooting and personal and home defense," said Chris Dolnack, NSSF senior VP and chief marketing officer.
More than 1,600 exhibiting companies filled the convention center and meeting rooms in the adjoining Venetian hotel. The show's total exhibition space covered 635,000 net square feet, or 13 acres of product displays, along a reported 12.5 miles of aisles. The show attracted industry professionals from throughout the United States and more than 100 countries.
Last year at the State of the Industry Dinner, Steve Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO, said the industry was "misunderstood," referring to outlandish accusations and all-out attacks on the industry following the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting.
This year, at the dinner, Sanetti presented an in-depth report on the progress of the industry during 2013, saying, "As we gather tonight, the State of Our Industry is renewed."
"More persons are entering the recreational shooting sports than ever before. More hunters, more target shooters, more women, more diverse groups, more licensed gun owners and, as you all know, more firearms sales," Sanetti said.
Sanetti pointed out even with the significant growth of gun ownership, there are fewer firearm deaths.
"Perhaps the best news of all is that, despite tremendous increases in these numbers, violent crime with firearms has decreased dramatically during the last five years to early...