SHOT Show Coincides With NSSF's 50th Anniversary
The shooting industry’s annual trade show begins next Tuesday in Las Vegas. The Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show is always a spectacular event, but this year is special because it marks the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the SHOT Show’s owner and sponsor, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).
The mission of the NSSF, ostensibly a trade association for firearms, ammunition and hunting merchandise of all descriptions, is: “To promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.” There are about 6,000 members of the NSSF. The organization’s president is Steve Sanetti, formerly the corporate counsel of Sturm, Ruger & Co.
The original mission of the NSSF, as stated in its bylaws written in 1961 at the organization’s forming during the Second National Conference on the Shooting Sports was: “To create a better public understanding of and a more active participation in the shooting sports.”
The first SHOT Show was held in 1979 in St. Louis with 290 exhibitors. The idea of a “guns only” trade show was a risky one, as for many years the firearms industry had been a part of the broader National Sporting Goods Association’s annual trade exposition. The name “SHOT” is credited to Ted Rowe, then president of Harrington & Richardson, who came up with the acronym. “The show committee was fiddling with other combinations of the letters and then ‘SHOT’ just seemed to be a natural,” Rowe recalls in a history of the NSSF written by its former director, Doug Painter.
The SHOT Show is the NSSF’s highest profile event, however, the organization is involved with so many initiatives, from hunter safety to shooting range development to youth programs, it’s impossible to summarize the totality of the Foundation.
I’m a member of NSSF as a Media Member. I pick my organizations carefully, and the fact that I’m an NSSF supporter is not casual. I don’t agree with everything the NSSF does, just as there are a few issues with which I differ from NRA (yes, I’m an Patron Member). But on the vast majority of topics, I’m 100 percent behind NSSF.
There are various levels of membership in NSSF, but you can join as an Individual Member. It’s a worthy cause so please consider supporting the shooting sports through NSSF.