Pandemic Resurgence May be the Final Nail in the SHOT Show Coffin

Fifty thousand professionals across the globe are finalizing plans to attend the firearm industry’s largest annual event. The January gathering takes place in Las Vegas, but the latest COVID-19 pandemic resurgence may be the final nail in the SHOT Show coffin.

Update: SHOT Show has been cancelled

There are a variety of business reasons the National Shooting Sports Foundation likely hasn’t cancelled SHOT Show yet. I’ve covered some of them earlier this month in another article. Things have changed, though, and not for the better. The Nevada Governor’s Office will announce modified guidelines sometime in November and the odds are it will be bad news.

The Sept. 29 guidelines mandate a crowd-size limit of 1,000 people. They must attend in separate groups or rooms of 250. There are too many other requirements to mention here, but they are restrictive.

Changing Pandemic Landscape

The total number of documented COVID-19 cases in the state of Nevada on Sept. 25 was 602. On Oct. 26 that figure was up to 762. The jump’s significant, yet nothing compared to elsewhere.

Hospitals nationwide are once again filling to capacity with pandemic patients. Last week set an all-time high for new cases across the nation.

The SHOT Show attracts manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and media from across the globe. And, according to the New York Times, “…the number of new cases is growing faster than ever worldwide, with more than 200,000 reported each day on average.”

That means the odds are better than ever that each attendee is a carrier. If you were governor would you be comfortable welcoming a convention this size? The Consumer Electronics Show scheduled scarcely a week before SHOT already cancelled. So did Safari Club International. The NRA has cancelled its Great American Outdoor Show.

National and international travel restrictions may come into play. The odds of nearly empty international aisles at the SHOT Show are increasing daily.

Final Nail in the SHOT Show Coffin?

It’s the odds working against the 2021 SHOT Show. And Vegas knows a lot about working statistics in its favor.

Chances are good things won’t improve dramatically by the time the Governor issues new guidelines in November. In fact, it’s looking like the timing of this latest pandemic resurgence may be the final nail in the SHOT Show coffin.

Those, like myself, who’ve already received confirmation of their credentials for the SHOT Show, may’ve overlooked this notice. I know I did.