Hello all, and welcome to the 2018 SHOT Show! I’m Phil Massaro, NSSF’s “Man on the Floor,” and I’m here talking with attendees to get a feel for how the show is treating them. I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with a good cross-section of attendees and get a legitimate feel for how they view the SHOT Show.
This year’s attendance appears to be no lighter than last year’s, at least on opening morning, and everyone seems very excited to be at the show.
I got to meet Fernando Carvalho, a law enforcement officer from Brazil. Fernando has come to the show for the first time with his friends, two of whom are the recipients of Brazil’s “True Heroes” award, and all three were fascinated by the sheer size of the show.
“We don’t have anything like this in Brazil, and it’s wonderful to see the wide selection of pistols and AR-style rifles,” said Fernando. He and his pals were especially fans of the Taurus firearms — no surprise as those hail from Brazil as well. All found that, in spite of SHOT Show’s size, they found the booths they were looking for without issue and told me they were having a fantastic first experience. “We hope we’re able to return,” he said, “This is very special!”
Steven Lieberman, Esq., who heads Artemis Defense Institute, a firearms training facility in southern California, was here for his fifth consecutive SHOT Show. He appreciates the ability to connect one-on-one with companies and products that directly impact his business.
“We do a lot of training with SWAT teams, Force Recon, and other tactical branches, so I’m especially interested in the training simulators,” said Lieberman. “Companies such as Action Target and the like help us to offer the best training we can, and these simulators are an integral part of our company.” I asked him if there were any suggestions he’d make regarding the SHOT Show and the way it’s set up. He gave a very candid response: “I’m amazed, given the sheer number of people that are in attendance, how well the NSSF handles the SHOT Show. All of the staff are courteous, and I can easily find all the products I’m interested in.” Lieberman, who handles court cases for LEOs, concealed carry permit holders and NRA-referred firearms cases, looks forward to attending the show annually.
While catching a breath of fresh air outside the show entrance, toward the end of the first day I had an opportunity to meet Enrico Garbarino of Italy’s Prima Armi and practice my Italian on him. Prima Armi is a major importer of firearms into Italy, one that specializes in Colt’a, Mossberg and Taurus.
“I love to come to the SHOT Show for business meetings,” Garbarino told me. “It’s very important to meet the people face to face, and this is a great place to do just that.” Prima Armi specializes in the importation of tactical-style firearms more than hunting firearms, and Enrico was impressed at the wide and varied selection available. He and his partner Massimo were having a great time visiting Las Vegas as well, an indication that SHOT Show is more than strictly business.
With Day One in the books, I’m personally excited for Day Two, as I’ve got some meetings of my own that I hope will blossom into good business relationships for 2018. Catch you on the floor tomorrow.