GOC at the SHOT SHOW: Fighting for California
By Sam Paredes, Executive Director of Gun Owners of California
Walking through the big doors at Las Vegas’ Sands Expo Center in January gives me as much of a buzz (almost) as getting a bull elk in my gun site in October.
From my perspective, if you can’t get excited about the SHOT Show, you may need to reevaluate your priorities.
OK, so I may be overly energized at the mere thought of hanging out at world’s largest trade show for target shooting, hunting, outdoor and law enforcement products, but for an outdoorsman like me, this is the place to be from January 23 – 26. The 2018 show marks their 40th anniversary, which over four days is an absolute magnet for more than 60,000 professionals from the firearms and outdoor industry. Believe you me, I will enjoy every minute viewing brand new, innovative products designed for target shooting, hunting and all manner of outdoor recreational past times…when I’m not working.
I will not whine about my throbbing feet as I walk miles and miles through aisles and aisles of exhibitors (12.5 miles of aisles lead to displays of firearms, ammunition, gun safes, locks and cases, optics, shooting range equipment, targets, training and safety equipment, hunting accessories, law enforcement equipment, hearing and eye protection, tree stands, scents and lures, cutlery, GPS systems, holsters, apparel, leather goods, game calls and decoys.)
I will happily endure my exhaustion (last year I trekked over 28 miles in 3 days) just to rub elbows with 60,000 fellow patriots and gun rights business folk and supporters.
But make no mistake – this week isn’t just about fun. My goal is to spend literally 100% of my time speaking with industry folks and with as many members of the 2500 national and international media who will be there, too. I want to share what Gun Owners of California is doing on behalf of the people in the Golden State, and those beyond our borders. I want to let the industry know that giving up on California is a huge mistake. I want to remind them that California either affects or infects the rest of the country and the best way to impact that is to stay engaged.
I was saddened to hear the news that Weatherby, Inc., maker of fine rifles and shotguns will be leaving California and heading to the friendly environs of Wyoming where they have been welcomed with open arms. Who can blame them?
I have seen hundreds, no thousands of new guns that cannot be sold in California because of our unconstitutional laws. I am spreading the gospel that if we overturn some of the laws in the Golden State it would be a huge boon to the firearms industry as they would have a field day filling the pent-up demand.
On Thursday, I will be slipping back under the razor wire to return to the state and the home that I love, even though I joke that it’s “occupied territory.” But I will be energized and ready to fight along-side my fellow defenders of the Second Amendment. Winning will take a lot of effort but GOC is up for the challenge,
Stay armed and informed!
**The SHOT Show is the largest trade show of its kind in the entire world, and is owned and sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF), the firearms industry trade association. Open only to trade members and not to the public, but consumers will ultimately see unveiled products on retailers’ shelves during the year.