What Does This Mean For The 2021 SHOT Show? (Updated)

There was word this week that two major expositions had been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

First, there was the National Association of Sporting Good Wholesalers (NASGW) Expo that was scheduled for October in Grapevine, Texas. This is an annual gathering of wholesalers, manufacturers, media, and sales reps in the hunting, fishing, and firearms industries where new products are brought out and displayed. What the SHOT Show is for dealers, the NASGW Expo is for the wholesale industry.

Laurie Aronson, chairwoman of NASGW and CEO of Lipsey’s, had this to say about the cancellation:

As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to impact every aspect of our lives, we have all been forced to make difficult decisions. On Monday, the NASGW Board of Directors voted unanimously to cancel this year’s Expo. This was a decision that none of us wanted to make, but it was the right decision. With mounting cases in the state of Texas and increased travel restrictions in numerous states, particularly in the northeast, we could not leave things to chance in hopes that cases would subside or that states would ease restrictions. We’re not blaming Texas. The biggest reason this decision had to be made was for the health and safety of our members, our colleagues, our employees, and the entire shooting sports industry.

They are working out the logistics on how to present the new products and awards virtually.

The other big show announcing its cancellation was the Consumer Electronics Show or CES. That show was to take place the week before the SHOT Show in Las Vegas. They have said they plan to offer the show “all digitally”. CES is the largest show and convention to take place in Las Vegas with upwards of 180,000 attendees.

With the growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19, it is not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person.

An all-digital CES 2021 will allow the entire tech community to safely share ideas and introduce the products that will shape our future. You’ll be able to participate in all the awe-inspiring moments of CES wherever you are in the world. We are designing a unique experience for the tech industry.

Given that the 2021 SHOT Show is scheduled for January 19th through 22nd, one has to wonder what will happen with it. This is to be an expanded show with the new Caesars Forum opening additional exposition space. It is connected to the Sands Expo Center by a skybridge.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is still saying it is a go but they do have this posted on the SHOT Show website. They have also adopted a set of social distancing and safety guidelines.

The NSSF looks forward to hosting the 2021 SHOT Show in Las Vegas this coming January at both the Sands Expo Center and Caesars Forum, and we plan to proceed as scheduled. We are actively monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, as the health, safety and well-being of our industry and the local community is a priority for us. We will continue to monitor the situation and share show updates in a timely manner. 

Jim Shepherd in The Outdoor Wire this morning said what he is hearing is that it will go on. Nonetheless, companies are coming up on cancellation dates and will need to decide on their participation regardless on NSSF’s ultimate decision.

I had planned to go and I even have a voucher that would probably cover my airfare. That said, despite the expansion, how much new stuff will firearms manufacturers release given they are selling everything as quickly as they can make it? And do I really want to be in a crowd of people anymore?

Decisions, decisions. For me and for the NSSF.

UPDATE: I have updated this post with a comment on Twitter from Chris Dolnack. He is the Senior VP of NSSF who is in charge of organizing and running the SHOT Show.

Chris also posted a comment on the SHOT Show Insider page regarding the cancellation of CES and what they means for SHOT.

SHOT Show All Systems Go; Silver Lining in CES Cancellation

CES, the nation’s largest trade show, announced this week that it is canceling its in-person show in Las Vegas this January. With many of its major exhibitors—and its attendees—based in Asia and other parts of the world, the show was confronting increasing uncertainty involving global travel to and from the United States. If there’s a silver lining to the CES announcement, it’s that CES was to be held the week before the SHOT Show—and while we are disappointed that CES won’t be taking place, its cancellation will allow more local resources than ever before to be devoted to the SHOT Show. And both the Sands Expo Center and Caesars Forum will be primed and ready to welcome us to Las Vegas. We’ve received a number of inquiries this week about the status of the SHOT Show due to CES’s announcement, and also regarding the cancellation of the NASGW Expo in October. Rest assured, we are all systems go and we are working around the clock (our sleep patterns these days) in planning to ensure our customers’ and employees’ health and safety are at the forefront throughout our time in Las Vegas. With six months until the show, we are fortunate that we will be able to learn a lot from other shows taking place in other countries before ours. And, with six months to go, both the Sands Expo and Caesars Forum are nearly sold out for SHOT, making it our largest floorplan ever. We are well-positioned to make this the best SHOT Show we’ve ever held, and we are very much looking forward to reuniting as an industry in Las Vegas in January. — Chris Dolnack, NSSF

Quote Of The Day

The quote of the day comes from a new book by Robert Pobi entitled, “Under Pressure”. It is about as accurate description of the mainstream media in these days and times as I have seen.

As the bird shuddered down, the wall of faces lining the perimeter were hidden behind SLRs, lighting, and shoulder-mounted video cameras – journalists here to generate the sugar high of fear that was now as much a part of the American diet as hot dogs, apple pie, and gluten-free muffins.

To generate the sugar high of fear. Isn’t that what we see in the media regardless of whether they are talking about the pandemic or about guns?

As to the book, I have an advanced reader’s copy and I’m liking what I’m reading so far. Some books start slow and gradually hook you. This one has hooked me from the start.

Jeff Quinn – Obituaries

As most people know by now, Jeff Quinn of GunBlast.com passed away on Monday. His down-home – and honest – reviews of firearms were in distinct contrast to the type of reviews you often got in the gun mags.

Here is a round-up of obituaries.

From the funeral home:

Mr. Jeffrey Wayne Quinn, age 61 of Dover, TN passed away, Monday, July 27, 2020 at St. Thomas Hospital West. He was born January 16, 1959 in Erin, TN, son of James P. and Lorene Kent Quinn. Jeff was the editor of Gun Blast website.

Jeff is preceded in death by his father James P. Quinn. He is survived by his beloved wife, Souette Lee Jerles Quinn, his daughter, Rebecca Quinn-Giles, Clarksville, TN, mother, Lorene Quinn, Dover, TN, grandchildren, Abby and Ethan Giles, son-in-law, Sebastian Giles, brothers, James Lee Quinn, Erin, TN, Anthony Quinn, Four Oaks, NC, and Greg Quinn, Nashville, TN.

A graveside service will be held at 8:30 am on Saturday, August 1, 2020 at Stewart County Memorial Gardens and a celebration of life will follow at the Carlisle Missionary Baptist Church.

Arrangements are entrusted to Anglin Funeral Home, Dover, TN.

From Kat Ainsworth at TTAG which includes a number of comments from people who knew and worked with Jeff:

He was one of those rare men everyone liked. Whether it was his somewhat twisted sense of humor or his country-boy-turned-biker-turned-gun-reviewer charm, you liked him. He was readily identifiable by the twin braids in his beard; if you ever saw him attempting to cross the floor at NRAAM you know he was constantly swarmed by fans of his work in the gun world.

And when I say we are diminished by his passing, I am not spouting platitudes. We are diminished. The gun industry is lessened by his death. The day of this writing – July 27, 2020 at approximately noon central – we lost Jeff Quinn of GunBlast.com.

Jeff’s passing does not come as a surprise. He’d been fighting kidney failure for years, searched for a donor, gone through dialysis, and suffered complications to his heart and other organs. But somehow, every time we heard he was in the hospital and we expected the worst, he prevailed.

From Jim Shepherd of the Outdoor Wires:

Jeff Quinn passed today.”

Those three words on Monday rattled me more than any news I’ve gotten in quite a while. Jeff and I had been to a number of gun writer-type events together over the past few years, but it was the time with him away from the “events” that endeared him to me.

He was self-deprecating, unapologetic about his faith, fiercely loyal to his friends, and dedicated to his family.

He also managed to be one of the funniest, and most authoritative voices in the firearms news business. His Gunblast features combined genuine information with authentic entertainment.. sometimes intentional.

And, finally, from his brother and collaborator in GunBlast.com, Boge Quinn, the most heartfelt obituary.

Remington Declares Bankruptcy…Again

Remington and its subsidiary companies declared bankruptcy for the second time in little more than two years. The Chapter 11 filing was made in US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama. There were separate filings for Remington Arms Company LLC, Remington Outdoor Company Inc., and Remington Arms Distribution Company LLC.

In reports prior to its actual filing for bankruptcy, it had been speculated that the Navajo Nation would be the buyer to take it out of Chapter 11. According to the investing site Seeking Alpha those talks broke down.

Remington had been searching for potential buyers and was in talks to sell itself out of bankruptcy to the Navajo Nation before negotiations collapsed in recent weeks, leaving the company without a lead bidder, or stalking horse.

I had speculated along with others that having the Navajo as the owners would put a crimp in the pending lawsuit in Connecticut over liability for the Newtown murders. This would have been due to the sovereign immunity of the Navajo Nation.

The bankruptcy filings indicate assets of between $100 million and $500 million with liabilities in the same range.

The five largest creditors are all governmental entities. They include (in order) the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the State of Arkansas, the City of Huntsville, the State of Alabama, and the State of Missouri.

This is followed by companies that make smokeless powder like St. Marks and Alliant, that provide forgings and barrels like Dasan USA, and those that supply basic materials (lead, copper, brass) like Doe Run and Eco-Bat Indiana. The only tax creditor listed was the Village of Ilion, NY which came in as the 38th largest creditor. This last bit leads me to speculate that Remington had been keeping up with its payroll, income, and excise tax payments.

Now that talks with the Navajo Nation have broken down and there is no lead bidder or stalking horse, it will be interesting to see how Remington comes out of this Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In its prior bankruptcy, I think it was a forgone conclusion that the hedge fund Cerberus would transfer ownership to investors Franklin Templeton and JP Morgan.

Here, we just don’t know. I would love to see the Navajo – or any tribe – emerge as the buyers if only so as to screw the Brady Campaign and the ambulance chasing lawyers in Connecticut. Time will tell and I’ll keep reporting on it.

SCI Benefit To Support Outfitters and Guides

Guiding is hard work. While I have never gone out with a hunting guide, I have gone out with a fishing guide during the summer. One of my most memorable trips started at 8am and didn’t end until we got off the river at 11pm. I know it was hard for me but it was harder for the guide.

The pandemic has impacted and will continue to impact hunting guides and outfitters worldwide. I know people who have had to cancel trips to Africa and undoubtedly the pandemic will impact guided hunting here in the Northern Hemisphere.

To help mitigate the impact, Safari Club International is holding an online benefit that starts on Saturday, August 1st, and runs until August 22nd.

More about these event in their release below:

Washington, DC (July 27, 2020) – To support professional hunters and outfitters negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, Safari Club International (SCI) is launching the Share the Impact Outfitter Benefit, a multi-day online charity event that runs from August 1-22.   

SCI is painfully aware of the terrible toll the current pandemic, and related restrictions continue to have on the professional hunting industry. These unprecedented challenges facing outfitters affect the entire hunting world and wildlife conservation worldwide, which is why it’s vital that we “share the impact.” 

In response to this need, SCI will host the Share the Impact Outfitter Benefit, representing one of the largest-if not the largest-fundraising effort from the organization in recent memory. The online charity event is dedicated to assisting the industry and will begin on Aug. 1 and runs to SCI’s Summer Board Meeting on August 22nd. 

“The challenges being faced by outfitters affect us all, and without our support, there will be devastating effects for the wildlife conservation movement worldwide,” SCI CEO W. Laird Hamberlin said. “It’s vital that we come together now to share the impact of the pandemic and support our guides and outfitters.” 

The program will include an online auction of donated items and unique experiences, with 100% of the net proceeds going directly to industry relief through outfitter associations. These associations can provide direct assistance to guides and outfitters, making the most of fundraising contributions for those negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. 

Bidding opens on August 1st. For more more information about the Share the Impact Outfitter Benefit, visit safariclub.org/sharetheimpact.

Outfitter associations include those in Canada, the US, South Africa, New Zealand, Spain, and more.

Gangster Capitalism Podcast On NRA Election Rigging

I thought it might be easier for people to listen to the podcast episode in question if I just embedded it here.

As I said in my post yesterday, listening to both Dezarae Payne and Michael Schwartz describe how Paul Payne worked to rig elections at the direction of Wayne LaPierre is much more forceful than anything I could write about it.

The key thing to remember about both of these people – they are not anti-gunners but rather advocates for the Second Amendment who are still active in the fight for gun rights in California. Schwartz is the executive director of San Diego County Gun Owners and Ms. Payne is with Riverside County Gun Owners.

Personal Insecurity And NRA Election Rigging

I have always felt that Wayne LaPierre seemed like an insecure person from the first time I saw him in person. That was at the NRA Annual Meeting in Charlotte in 2010 where he was walking the floor with a team of personal bodyguards. If there was anywhere he should be feel safe, you would think it was there.

While I didn’t realize it then, his personal insecurity goes far deeper in my opinion.

We have watched him force out Ollie North as NRA President and continue to harass him in court. Ollie, a long time board member, didn’t want to be a mere figurehead and that was a threat to Wayne.

We watched him accuse Chris Cox of treason based upon innocuous phone texts. Chris had long been seen as the heir apparent when Wayne retired. It led to Chris resigning instead.

We have watched him use subpoenas as a threat against both board members and outsiders.

We have watched him take private planes and try to have the NRA buy him a mansion in Dallas because he was afraid for his personal safety despite his bodyguards.

We have watched him surround himself with staff whose backgrounds made them utterly dependent upon him for their jobs. I’m talking about his personal assistant who is a prohibited person, his former chief of staff whom most found to be an incompetent, and even a CFO who had embezzled in his prior position.

Despite all of this, I never thought Wayne would have to resort to rigging elections to the Board of Directors to preserve his position.

I was wrong.

The podcast Gangster Capitalism has been running a series about the NRA this year. They thought they had finished Season Two when they got a tip from Dezarae Payne and Michael Schwartz. Both had been active in the NRA Members’ Councils of California. It turns out the Members Councils were not really the grass roots activists fighting for the preservation of gun rights in California. Rather they became a tool to be used by Wayne to assure the election to the board of people supportive of him and keep him in power.

The key to the scheme was Paul Payne who is employed by the NRA as the Liaison to the Executive Vice President. Payne, who is separated from Ms. Payne, was paid by the NRA $80,000 annually, had a $3,000 monthly expense account, had a leased car of his choice, and had a personal assistant who was paid $60,000 a year. Of course, he had benefits on top of this.

From The Trace which picked up the story:

Dezarae Payne told the podcast that every year LaPierre’s office gives Paul Payne the names of NRA board candidates considered allies of the longtime boss of the gun group. Payne then works through the council to lobby NRA members in California to vote for those candidates. Because such a small percentage of members take part in the annual mail ballot election for board seats, Dezarea Payne said, her husband’s electioneering has routinely been critical to victory.

But that wasn’t the whole of it.

Every year, Dezarea Payne said, her husband solicits volunteers who are flown to the convention to encourage members to back LaPierre’s favored candidate for the one-year term. These volunteers are given free concert and event tickets at the convention, and treated to a lavish dinner with LaPierre and his key aides. Payne said the trip costs the NRA $35,000 to $45,000 and has been a clandestine affair. “You have to be completely loyal to Wayne,” she said of the volunteers, who typically number up to a dozen. “You can’t question what they are doing, you have to be secretive, you can’t tell people what you are doing, who you work for.”

I saw this in action at the 2018 Annual Meeting in Dallas. Liston Matthews of the Good Hill Press Blog and I stayed at the Fairfield Inn in the Cockrell Hill section of town. There were a number of people there from the Members’ Council of California and they were talking up Herb Lankford for 76th Director. However, we were supporting Adam Kraut in his second attempt at the board. If you walked on the floor of the expo center, you saw support for Adam everywhere. Nonetheless, Mr. Lankford was elected. Not to dismiss Mr. Lankford but I wondered why a bunch of guys from California were so up on someone from Columbia, South Carolina. It didn’t make sense then but it does now.

You really need to listen to the podcast. You have to hear it in the words of Ms. Payne and Mr. Schwartz. Merely reading it does not have the same impact.

Wayne’s personal insecurity reminds me a lot of Richard Nixon in 1972. They both directly or indirectly resorted to stuff to assure their position when it wasn’t needed. There was no way that Richard Nixon was going to lose to George McGovern but Watergate still happened. As to the NRA, the bylaws make it virtually impossible to oust Wayne.

What happens now is anybody’s guess. The Board could demand Wayne’s retirement or resignation but I somehow doubt that will happen. The Attorney General of New York will probably add this to her list of things to investigate. The one thing that is sure is that just when we face a critical election for gun rights, Wayne’s attention – and the NRA’s by extension – will be elsewhere.

No In-Person GRPC But You Can Still Suport The Second Amendment Foundation

As I posted last week, the Gun Rights Policy Conference is going virtual. With the restrictions due to the pandemic, it is was just impossible to hold the conference like normal. Alan Gottlieb said on the Polite Society Podcast that the hotel would have had to limit attendance in the ballroom to 125. Given that last year in Phoenix on Saturday they had more than 1,000 attendees, this just was not workable. When you add in congregating in the hallways during breaks in the session, it would have been a nightmare.

If you are on any of the email lists for the gun prohibitionist organizations like Brady United or the Cult of Personality Known as Giffords, you know that you get requests for donations on an almost daily basis. They are almost as bad as the politicians and that is saying something. People will often complain about the NRA but their pleas for money are not nearly as frequent as any of the anti-gun folks.

So why am I bringing this up?

A friend who I have met at multiple Gun Rights Policy Conferences sent me a suggestion on Sunday. Brent said that wouldn’t it be cool if people donated some of the money saved not traveling to Orlando to the Second Amendment Foundation.

What a great idea!

Say you were driving from Atlanta to Orlando. That is about 450 miles one-way or at least two tanks of gasoline. Let’s say you have a 15 gallon tank and gas is $2 a gallon. That’s $30 each way plus two nights in a hotel. I would conservatively estimate you would have had to spend $300 not including food. While donating $300 to SAF would be fantastic as would even half of that, I think a donation of the equivalent of a tankful of gas at $30 would certainly be helpful in their fight to win back gun rights one lawsuit at a time.

The Gun Rights Policy Conference is a money-spender and not a money-maker for SAF. It costs them a bunch to put the event on. Attendance is free, the box lunches are free, the coffee and treats during the breaks are free, the receptions are free, and the pile of books you get are free. Even with sponsors it still costs a lot of their own money to put on. And it will still cost money to do it virtually.

So if you were planning to attend GRPC – or even if you were not – think about making a donation to help the fight go on. Your future gun rights may depend on it.

SAF’s donation page is here. Please donate generously!

NRA Annual Meeting Postponed…Again

According to an article in the Springfield, MO News-Leader, the NRA Annual Meeting of Members and Board Meeting scheduled for Labor Day weekend is being rescheduled.

The head of Springfield’s convention and visitors bureau confirmed Monday that the National Rifle Association annual meeting slated to be held in Springfield on Sept. 5 is expected to be rescheduled.

“Apparently, they are going to reschedule for November here in Springfield,” said Tracy Kimberlin, president and CEO of the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, in an email to the News-Leader.

Dana Maugans, another CVB official, said NRA leadership “have not settled on dates yet” but intend to move the meeting to November.

This goes to confirm a Tweet posted yesterday by Asher Stockler who formerly was with Newsweek.

Rumors of the rescheduling surfaced on the Facebook group Save the Second this morning as well.

As I understand it, the City of Springfield and Greene County had significant limits on the number of people that could attend in their Phase 3 Road to Recovery plan. By my estimation, the Springfield Exp Center would have been limited to 375 attendees provided they used the entire meeting space of 45,000 square feet. Public assemblies are limited to 25% of the capacity until October 15th.

Of course, I have my plane ticket and room reservations. The reservations for the room are no problem but now I have see whether I can roll the previous ticket over to the next meeting.

As soon as I have a confirmed date, I will post it.