October 12, 2021
Citing a “significant health risk to employees” due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, SIG SAUER announced this week that it will not be attending the 2022 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show set for Jan. 18-21 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
SIG typically has one of the largest booths at the SHOT show, displaying their wares over a vast space that is usually crowded with attendees checking out the company’s latest rifles, pistols and gear.
“For over 30 years SIG SAUER has attended SHOT Show, and we did not come to this decision without much thoughtful deliberation,” the company said in a press release. “Our number one priority throughout the pandemic has been, and will remain, our employees. SIG SAUER has an extremely large presence at SHOT Show, sending over 140 employees to the show and our pre-show Range Day event. Maintaining this presence, or even a scaled back minimum presence for 2022, represents a significant health risk to all 2,600 of our employees across our 13 U.S. locations, as individuals attending the show return to our facilities and risk continued exposure to our entire employee base.”
Chris Dolnack, NSSF senior vice president and chief customer officer, said those at the association were disappointed with the decision.
“While we’re obviously disappointed, we respect their decision and are moving forward to host the largest SHOT Show ever,” Dolnack said.
In fact, according to the organization’s website, the 2022 show is set to be the biggest show in SHOT history. As of this writing, the show stands at over 800,000 net square feet. The largest SHOT Show ever was 714,000 net square feet in 2008.
The SIG release also explained that despite dropping from SHOT Show, the company continues to support the important efforts of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which puts on the show every year. In fact, SIG announced it would make a substantial donation to NSSF since it’s not attending in 2022.
“As a strong supporter of NSSF, and an industry-leading manufacturer, SIG has maintained a very large presence at SHOT Show and we continually grow our support for the organization, and our show presence, year after year,” the release stated. “However, after thoughtful consideration, deliberation and a review of current circumstances, SIG SAUER has made the decision to not exhibit at the upcoming 2022 SHOT Show and will alternatively be making a $500,000 donation to NSSF to support both its mission and ongoing critical support of our industry.”
Mark Oliva, NSSF director of public affairs, said SIG’s support and the sizable donation are greatly appreciated during this critical time for the Second Amendment.
“NSSF is deeply appreciative of SIG SAUER’s commitment to the work NSSF is doing ensure the firearm industry is able to conduct business,” Oliva said in an exclusive interview with Firearms News. “SIG SAUER, along with other major firearm manufacturers, made a similar donation to NSSF last year after SHOT Show was forced to be cancelled.
“As a reminder, NSSF was responsible for working with the Trump Administration to name the firearm industry as an ‘essential service’ during Coronavirus closure orders, which allowed SIG SAUER and the rest of the industry to operate, produce firearms and ammunition, and meet the record demand of customers witnessed during the last 18 months. This year, NSSF led the effort to oppose the most significant threat to the firearm industry in recent memory—the nomination of David Chipman to become the ATF Director. NSSF worked closely with the U.S. Senate to expose the fact that Chipman is a gun control lobbyist who would have weaponized the ATF against the firearm industry and threatened the Second Amendment rights of today’s gun owners.”
While no other companies have announced plans to drop out of the show next January, it will be interesting to see if any others follow SIG’s lead and stay home from SHOT in 2022.
As far as the growing anti-gun ownership of many of the Las Vegas-strip casinos and hotels, which bar guests from not only carrying concealed but also from bringing a firearm into their hotel rooms, it remains to be seen how many SHOT Show attendees and exhibitors are willing to put up with their rights being ignored.
Mark Chesnut asked Mark Oliva, NSSF director of public affairs, about this issue:
What is NSSF's stance on the ban on CCW in most Vegas hotels?
“Those are individual policy decisions by those hotels. Customers can make their own decisions to patronize those businesses or not.”
Is there any talk of looking for another venue because of the relative gun unfriendliness of city leaders?
“NSSF has plans to hold SHOT Show in Las Vegas for the foreseeable future.”
Disarmed at SHOT Show? Nevada Moves to Ban CCW in Las Vegas Strip Casinos
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for more than 20 years.