In an abundance of caution for their staffs, Ruger, Davidson’s and 5.11 are the latest to reduce SHOT Show 2022 exposure by not participating fully in the event. It’s unclear what presence the firms will have, if any. The pair join SIG Sauer, Benelli, Beretta, Steiner and Burris in either not having a booth at all, or leaving physical displays unmanned to minimize employee and contractor exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
E-mails received from Glock, Taurus and Daniel Defense on Jan. 7, 9 a.m., indicate that as then their plans include manning booths during SHOT Show 2022. At 2 p.m. the same day, Otis, DRD Tactical, Shooter’s Choice and Aimpoint all e-mailed to confirm they will be fully staffed on the event’s floor.
Each of the companies confirmed they will be filling orders, answering media questions, conducting press conferences and keeping appointments. MGM targets will also have a booth, but it will not be fully staffed throughout show hours. The company will, however, be making and keeping all scheduled meetings.
The situation continues to evolve, and CES—the world’s largest computer and electronics trade show already underway in Las Vegas—has made the unprecedented decision to close one day early. Attendance is down by roughly 50 percent, despite the fact proof of vaccination was required to enter the show floor. CNET.com’s correspondent at the event said crowds were “…estimated to be less than half of the 150,000 who attended CES two years ago…” Both CES and SHOT Show were held virtually last year.
The reduced, missing or unmanned booth trend at CES has already spilled onto the SHOT Show 2022 floor before it opens in Vegas on Jan. 18. On Jan. 5 The Washington Post noted that at the electronics show there, “…were multiple bare patches of floor where companies had presumably planned to—but never did—present their work.” This list above, however, makes it obvious there is no avalanche of gun-related firms planning on missing what is traditionally the largest gathering of the firearm industry.
Travel woes are another variable as the Omicron variant continues its unchecked spread. Aside from winter weather, “…a high number of call-outs by employees who were either sick with COVID-19 or were isolating after close contact with someone with the virus” are the culprit for many Southwest Airlines cancelations, according to a company statement reported by NBC-TV affiliate NBCDFW. The inability for passengers to get tested, according to the Wall Street Journal, is a big contributor to increased flight crew exposure.
Final figures are in from CES, which just closed in Vegas. Attendance was down 75 percent compared to 2020 and there was a dramatic drop in media attendance.
The Safariland group also withdrew from SHOT Show 2022 on Jan. 6.