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[SHOT 2018] An Off-The-Record Discussion with NSSF

This article was originally posted on Thefirearmblog.com

There are a lot of cool new toys and gadgets every year at SHOT Show. But let’s not forget who organizes and sponsors this amazing gathering each year – the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

I stopped by the NSSF booth for an unofficial chat with one of their representatives to get the low-down on what to expect from the firearms industry as 2018 picks up steam.

Question 1: For My Homies

As an FFL/SOT with a storefront, I had to know: “Where do you see the future of firearms retail?”

The unofficial reply was, in a word, diversify. The same way a gun store can’t focus on one single type of firearm, they also can’t focus on one marketing plan either.

What marketing works for white males doesn’t necessarily work for females, the growing number of Asian shooters, or for African-American shooters.

A store going into 2018 has to have multiple marketing strategies in order to survive.

Question 2: Girls, Girls, Girls

I’ve made no secret about the fact that I detest ‘pink for the sake of pink’ on firearms and accessories targeted for the “lady shooter”.

But while my anonymous friend at the NSSF booth agreed, she also brought up an interesting point.

She said that “pink” is actually what gets a lot of girls and women into the shooting sport. I hadn’t thought about that, honestly, but it’s true.

It’s the consistent education after they’re introduced to shooting that matters after that.

Question 3: This is a Man’s World

The last question I asked was more curiosity that anything else.

I’ve sold plenty of suppressors in the state of Tennessee. All to men. Not one singe woman has purchased a suppressor for her own use.

I wanted my new friend’s opinion on why that was. After all, suppressors in the hands of a woman makes more sense than anything to me. Reduced noise, especially to a new female shooter, seems like a natural choice to me.

She believes it is again due to marketing. The suppressor market is a very macho market. There’s a stigma associated with purchasing a suppressor. As long as the same marketing material is being used to bring in a male buyer, that’s who is going to keep buying them.

In Conclusion

The bottom line is that, regardless of what color your skin, the cultural background you grew up in, or the gender you identify with, the NSSF welcomes you into the sport of shooting and knows that you have a place here, among friends.

They believe all firearms owners are important to the future of the industry and are obviously excited to see where the future takes us.

And, if you’re attending SHOT Show 2018, be sure to mark your calendars for Wednesday evening’s Women of the Gun at Booth #2426, sponsored by Project Childsafe and Women’s Outdoor News.

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