The 2021 NRA Annual Meeting scheduled for Labor Day Weekend in Houston has been canceled. The official reason given was due to COVID-19.
The email sent out to the Board of Directors from NRA President Carolyn Meadows included this announcement:
Due to concern over the safety of our NRA family and community, we regret to inform you that we have decided to cancel the 2021 Annual Meeting & Exhibits. This cancellation applies to all events and meetings that were scheduled in Houston. We will provide future notification regarding a rescheduled date for the annual Meeting of Members.
We make this difficult decision after analyzing relevant data regarding COVID-19 in Harris County, Texas. We also consulted with medical professionals, local officials, major sponsors & exhibitors, and many NRA members before arriving at this decision. The NRA Annual Meeting welcomes tens of thousands of people, and involves many events, meetings, and social gatherings. Among the highlights of our annual meeting are acres of exhibit space featuring the latest and greatest firearms, the display of countless accessories, and the offering of adventures and group gatherings that many travel hundreds, and some even thousands, of miles to experience. We realize that it would prove difficult, if not impossible, to offer the full guest experience that our NRA members deserve. The NRA’s top priority is ensuring the health and well-being of our members, staff, sponsors, and supporters. We are mindful that NRA Annual Meeting patrons will return home to family, friends and co-workers from all over the country, so any impacts from the virus could have broader implications. Those are among the reasons why we decided to cancel our 2021 event.
We would like to thank our members, attendees, exhibitors, and staff for their understanding and support. We are grateful for the many contributions of the George R. Brown Convention Center, state and local officials, community organizers, area hotels, and countless event venues across Houston. We receive enormous support from Houston and the State of Texas – and we hope to return to the Bayou City for a full annual meeting experience.
The NRA looks forward to a Celebration of Freedom in Louisville in May 2022. In the meantime, we will support many other NRA local events and smaller gatherings – in a manner that is protective of our members and celebrates our Second Amendment freedom.
We wish continued health and safety to our entire NRA family.
I hate to say it but I’m kind of relieved. I just wasn’t feeling the excitement about it that I normally do. I’ll miss seeing some friends but more were probably staying away.
Jason Vanderbrink is the president of the division that makes Federal, CCI, and Remington ammunition. He releases a video on Friday regarding the ammunition shortage. He tries to dispel some of the misinformation, rumors, and out-right lies.
I think he has got it right – the increase in new shooters has increased the demand for ammunition. When you add that, COVID-19, and the need to train new employees, it does account for a good deal of the shortage.
Other large shows that have been previously canceled include SEMA and the Consumer Electronics Show. The SHOT Show says they still plan to go on but realistically I don’t see how. The Complementary Spouse and I are registered to attend as media but will likely cancel due to all the restrictions. Friends in Las Vegas also have told me that the hotel discounts along the Strip have attracted the wrong crowd and crime is up significantly.
For 49 consecutive years SCI has conducted its annual convention, bringing together from around the world, hunters, exhibitors, conservation stakeholders, and generations of SCI members. This annual event celebrates hunter advocacy, raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for wildlife conservation, and enables the planning of hunts that further support conservation on every continent. It is one of the most anticipated gatherings of the year not only for the reasons above but also because it is the one week that our community can rely upon to renew friendships and reignite the fire that drives us all to carry on the traditions of hunting. We did not reach this decision lightly…
Despite our disappointment with this development, SCI will be there for our members and exhibitors in 2022 to reflect on all these accomplishments and celebrate them together. The 2022 Convention will take place in Las Vegas and will be a celebration of our hunting heritage and the perseverance we all needed to get through this, together.
As SCI and SCI-Foundation’s CEO Laird Hamberlin told me, “we couldn’t make it work with the box we’d been put into by Las Vegas, Clark County and Nevada officials.”
The box in Las Vegas is, indeed, a small one. Using its latest guidance, Las Vegas’ rules limit events to 250 people. In some instances, that rule can be maximized to 1,000 people.
SCI’s exhibition space alone covers 625,000 square feet. Each evening during the Convention, SCI holds banquets and social events routinely attended by as many as 2,000 people.
Considered by many to be essential elements of every SCI convention, they were non-starters under the Las Vegas restrictions.
Changing the dates, I’m told, wasn’t an option. Restrictions on crowds and uncertainties about international travel were also concerns.
Collectively, all the challenges and unknowns just made the kind of extravaganzas the SCI Convention has become, impossible.
Heavily impacted by this decision will be the guides and outfitters who would have exhibited. For many, bookings done at the SCI Convention account for 80% of their annual business. SCI, according to Shepherd, intends to expand its “Share the Impact” program to these guides and outfitters.
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.
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 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.
@nssfshotshow is still on. With 6 months to go time is on our side. We added 150,000 square feet of exhibits at Caesars Forum next door and have fewer than 100 booths available for what will be the largest #SHOTShow ever.
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
The following editorial was written by my friend “ScotShot”. He is a resident of New Jersey and a firearms trainer. ScotShot is a NRA Training Counselor, a USCCA instructor, and a CCW instructor. He is also the co-founder with Klint Macro of National Train-A-Teacher Day. He has a greater appreciation for the US Constitution and especially the Second Amendment than many. That is because he grew up in a country which has no written constitutionand no such protections.
More to the point of this editorial, “ScotShot” has a PhD in immunology from the University of Strathclyde and served for a few years as the Director of Research at a university center on biodefense.
It seems like an interminable time since the first recognized case of COVID-19 hit places in Europe (Northern Italy) and the USA. At the time of writing it’s been five months. There are many timelines out there that you can find, and the question of whether it actually came earlier is real. However, there’s a great interactive published by the New York Times that is well worth a look:
In these five months, the United States and other Western countries have been transformed by this event. Your present correspondent, who writes from the aggressively confinement-orientated New Jersey, has been struck by how much and for how long we have allowed this to modify our behavior and change our lives.
I’m not going to discuss the various successes and errors nor whether the Orange Man did well or poorly. I also am not going to discuss whether it was correct or wrong for Western governments to fall over themselves to follow theapocalyptic modeling of a certain Dr F from Imperial College, London after it became clear that it was only older people who were generally at significant risk. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. We always, as they say, fight with the tools of the previous war, and this was fought with the tools built during the emergence of HIV. No foul, Drs F’n’B.
Let’s talk, Gentle Reader, about two Great Experiments.
EXPERIMENT ONE – “OK, we didn’t plan a biowarfare attack, but…”
Take another look at the NYT interactive linked above and remember that while this was taking place, China had essentially shut down, or was in the process of shutting down, internal travel. The Chinese Authorities very likely knew about how contagious this new virus was and the morbidity/mortality it carried. While we can’t know exactly what they were thinking, it’s interesting to speculate that some bright spark may have come up with the idea of letting a bunch of very likely infected people leave the epicenter of the outbreak to a whole bunch of countries just to see what would happen. That is, just to see how Europe, Australia, the USA would react at the levels of their governments and their citizens. I’d say that they are happy beyond their wildest dreams right now.
The whole Western economy disrupted, (multi?)-generational debt accrued, lockdown frustration amplifying civil unrest here in the USA (and whether the murder of Mr F was a deliberate trigger-act is for others to discuss). Oh, they learned a lot about us. Importantly, they learned that certain parts of our manufacturing capabilities were so dependent upon them that countries would order protective materials only to find that they were, for example, defective upon shipping or would buy back their own previously charitably-given supplies . They also learned that the political process here is so fractured that parties would use the pandemic to further their venal political ends. This brings us to…
EXPERIMENT TWO – “Wow, I never thought they’d do this…”
It is perhaps surprising (but only in retrospect) that only one or two countries, e.g., Sweden, didn’t follow the others in the mass-lemmingization of the West into the economic and social chaos of the pandemic lockdown. The UK, well England to be more precise, did make an attempt, but it was half-hearted at best and they basically caved at the first sign of trouble. Scotland, with its more socialist political environment, went for it whole-heartedly and are this week rejoicing that the affectionately-known “wee Nichola” has allowed them to once again go out and socialize but “at a distance.. over your garden fence, and not going into your neighbors’ homes..”. This is remarkably like it is in more blue-hued States here in the United States: NJ, NY, WA, OR, CA…. As we now begin to emerge armed with actual data about the effects of the pandemic and the entrepreneurial economy re-emerges in the red states, we see the true political agendas laid bare on the beach like little blue puddles as the tide of pandemic caution recedes.
Don’t wear a mask… everyone wear a mask… you don’t need a test… everyone needs to be tested… two weeks to flatten the curve… could be six months till we get a vaccine… back to normal…. emerge into the New Normal…
The “New Normal?” What is this New Normal that Democrat Governors are talking about? I’d say that they too have had a very successful experiment going in enhanced social control over their citizens. Well, I guess when you force small business owners to close down while letting corporate giants (naming no names) stay open, you are garroting your opposing political base. Who really cares whether people wear masks properly so long as they cover their faces somehow and you get the bonus of a bunch of Karens hounding those who do not, live-streamed on Facebook. You issued an Executive Order and people rushed to squeeze through the Overton Window just so that they could get out of the house.
What can we conclude…
So, what can we conclude, Gentle Reader, about the outcome of these two experiments? To date, they have been very successful and those who conducted them have learned a lot about their experimental subjects. Personally, I think it’s more important to think about what we, those very subjects, have learned about the experimenters and our fellow subjects.
As the lockdown is eased in red states and not blue, we see a picture emerging that is disturbingly similar to the cover of Kurt Schlichter’s book, “People’s Republic”. Blue State Governors working with the DNC to maintain control and build a New Normal up through the Election, and they do not care that they are now in plain sight. It’s probably wishful thinking to hope that there will be a move away from China as the source of inexpensive essentials and towards more domestic manufacturing, too. Too many of us are like the bunnies in Watership Down… “Look! Free Carrots!” and never mind where Fred went.
So I leave you with a question. Will those of us who believe in self-reliance and paying our own way simply become a thing of the past, turned to dust and blown away on the breeze, or we once again turn and say that we are ‘we’, “WE, the People”?