FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2020   |   SUBSCRIBE

Archery
Easton introduces the BowTruk Roller Bow Case. The BowTruk was designed from the ground up with innovative functionality to conveniently secure bows, arrows, and archery gear.
Awards & Honors
Riton Optics has been nominated as a finalist for the 2020 Optics Manufacturer of the Year by the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW). As one of five companies nominated, Riton shares the category with Holosun, Leupold, Sig Sauer and Trijicon.
The National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers presented the National Shooting Sports Foundation® with its highest award, the Chairwoman’s Award, in recognition of the extraordinary contributions NSSF® has made to all who work in the shooting sports industry.

Hornady Manufacturing has once again been recognized as the Ammunition Manufacturer of the Year by the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW). This marks the 10th consecutive year that Hornady has taken the Ammunition Manufacturer of the Year title.
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. is proud to announce that the Ruger-57™ pistol has been awarded the Caliber Award in the Best Overall New Product category by the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW) in partnership with the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA).
Springfield Armory® is proud to announce that the Hellcat® OSP™ 9mm has won a NASGW-POMA Caliber Award for 2020 Best New Handgun, as selected by an independent panel of 18 judges from a pool of approximately 150 new products.

Awards &
O.F. Mossberg & Sons was honored with the 2020 Caliber Award in the “Best New Shotgun” category for the company’s 940 JM Pro competition shotgun. Presented virtually on October 20, 2020, by NASGW (National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers) and POMA (Professional Outdoor Media Association), these annual awards recognize the best new products in six categories along with top honors for the overall best new product.
Industry Update
The Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association are cheering the unanimous ruling by a Washington State Court of Appeals panel that reversed and remanded back to a lower court their legal challenge of a City of Seattle “safe storage” gun control mandate that violates Washington’s long-standing preemption law.
NSSF® released a new guide, developed in consultation with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), that helps parents recognize signs their children may be struggling with mental health issues and offers advice on how to talk to kids about suicide, make homes safer for those who may be at-risk and help reduce the risk of suicide among America’s teens.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
Swanson Russell is looking for an Art Director with strong strategic and conceptual skills, the ability to work as part of a team, and the energy and attitude to make things happen.
Swanson Russell is seeking a talented Copywriter/Producer to work on some of our biggest (and best) clients including national accounts with national exposure.
Newsstand, Radio & TV
“It’s difficult to imagine the name of a gun being more appropriate,” reflects Roy Huntington of the Dan Wesson Vigil CCO featured in the December issue of GUNS Magazine. “While ‘Devastator’ or ‘Annihilator’ may exude a certain flamboyance, if not style,” he continues, “the quiet authority of the Vigil’s platform speaks louder than any click-bait moniker might.”

The NSSF reports a surge in gun purchases and new gun ownership since the pandemic and civil unrest in the United States converged to create a perfect storm. And the data being collected shows the new buyers are more diverse and representative of the country’s population. Joining the “It’s Federal Season” podcast to discuss the current events and the importance of protecting the rights of gun owners is 2nd Amendment advocate, influencer, and lawyer Colion Noir.
Now Shipping
Federal Ammunition is proud to introduce the industry’s only ammunition truly designed for optimal cycling and overall performance from the time-tested, lever-action rifle platform. Shipments of this product have begun to arrive at dealers.
Product News
Bangers Wholesale is pleased to announce the expansion of its’ “Less than Lethal” product category with the recent addition of the SABRE Security Equipment product line.

Meprolight solves the red dot magnification issue with the MEPRO MX3-F and MEPRO MX3-T. The MEPRO MX3-T and MEPRO MX3-F are 3X power magnifiers that attach to the Picatinny rail immediately behind the red-dot optic.
Davidson’s is the exclusive distributor for Century Arms’ Thunder Ranch AK-47 developed in conjunction with Clint Smith. The Thunder Ranch AK features an enhanced safety lever, US Palm Marine Corps red grip, US Palm AK 30 round magazine, walnut furniture, barrel mounted pic rail, engraved Thunder Ranch logo on right of receiver, and a Thunder Ranch two point sling.
Beretta is excited to announce the launch of a brand-new line of Beretta hunting knives. Characterized by handles made from a combination of walnut wood bonded with orange G10 fiberglass for enhanced durability, these high-quality knives are made in Italy with French 440C Inox Steel.
Ranges
NSSF® is pleased to announce the launch of the new #RangeChallengeSM “Aiming in Autumn” target game for use by indoor and outdoor ranges across the country. Supported by weekly prize giveaways, host ranges participating in the #RangeChallenge Summer Series said their customers enjoyed the target games and can’t wait to do it again.
Shows
To the great disappointment of tens of thousands of sportsmen and women, COVID-related governmental restrictions in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will prevent the 2021 Great American Outdoor Show from being held as scheduled on February 6-14, 2021.
After much contemplation and exhaustive effort, Safari Club International (SCI) has made the difficult decision to cancel its 2021 Hunters' Convention. COVID-19-related restrictions imposed by the state of Nevada and city of Las Vegas to ensure a safe event environment during the ongoing pandemic has made it impossible to conduct a successful event for our members and exhibitors, or serve the greater good of wildlife conservation.
 

“At this point, unfortunately, and despite our best efforts, we will not have our convention in 2021.”

With that single sentence, Safari Club President Scott Chapman put an end to months of speculation and illustrated yet again the continuing negative impact COVID-19 has had on our world.

Last night, Safari Club International’s Executive Committee voted to cancel the 2021 SCI Convention scheduled for February 3-6, 2021 in Las Vegas, adding yet another casualty to the growing list of events cancelled because of the global pandemic.

They reached their decision knowing in advance that not everyone would agree.

But hours of internal discussions and meetings with Nevada, Clark County and Las Vegas officials convinced SCI officials no other decision was appropriate.

As SCI and SCI-Foundation’s CEO Laird Hamberlin told me, “we couldn’t make it work with the box we’d been put into by Las Vegas, Clark County and Nevada officials.”

The box in Las Vegas is, indeed, a small one. Using its latest guidance, Las Vegas’ rules limit events to 250 people. In some instances, that rule can be maximized to 1,000 people.

SCI’s exhibition space alone covers 625,000 square feet. Each evening during the Convention, SCI holds banquets and social events routinely attended by as many as 2,000 people.

Considered by many to be essential elements of every SCI convention, they were non-starters under the Las Vegas restrictions.

Under Las Vegas’ restrictions, crowds on the SCI show floor (top) would have been severely restricted. SCI’s popular formal dinners and entertainment events (below) were non-starters. SCI photos with permission

Changing the dates, I’m told, wasn’t an option. Restrictions on crowds and uncertainties about international travel were also concerns.

Collectively, all the challenges and unknowns just made the kind of extravaganzas the SCI Convention has become, impossible.

SCI is one of those organizations that has positioned itself to handle uncertain times, including these in which we all find ourselves.

Crucial to that positioning is the fact that, unlike other organizations, the annual convention doesn’t supply the majority of annual funding for the organization and its myriad activities.

If you’re a hunter, angler or outdoors-person, you can take comfort in that. And both Hamberlin and Chapman assured me that, while the cancellation is unfortunate, it isn’t a catastrophe.

“We’ll still to be fighting for hunters’ rights,” says Chapman, “our lawyers, lobbyists, and biologists are still on the job at our Washington offices.”

“COVID,” he said, “is only interfering with our convention- not our work.”

As he pointed out, SCI’s collaborative work with African wildlife officials stopped import restriction legislation in California, prevented passage of “the CECIL Act” internationally, and was instrumental in helping push the Great American Outdoors Act through Congress. Another accomplishment is a Memorandum of Understanding between the USFWS and the Cattleman’s Association for sustainable use conservation.

As we close in on election day, the SCI PAC has endorsed thirty-three candidates for federal offices.

And SCI continues to support the fight against a Colorado ballot initiative to reintroduce wolves there.

“In many court cases,” Chapman told me, “we’re the only people there representing hunters when we show up in court.”

“PETA and other animal rights groups are there,” he said, “and judges notice that when they look into the courtroom. Not having representation can indirectly influence judges to believe the matter before them isn’t really important to hunters. We’re there to counter that argument.”

Yet, while the work outside the Convention will continue, SCI officials don’t underestimating the impact this will have on some exhibitors. That impact has been a major factor in the decision making process.

“For some of our nearly two thousand exhibitors,” Hamberlin told me, “the Convention represents as much as eighty percent of their annual bookings and business. We understand this decision has a profound impact on them.”

“But, he explained, “we were determined not to put on an event that wouldn’t have permitted enough people to attend to make the numbers work for exhibitors, members- and wildlife.”

That’s a key point.

Often, when writing about large events, we forget that while many of the same faces are at many of them, all “shows” aren’t the same.

SHOT Show, for example, is a “trade only” event- no retailing is allowed. Attendance is tightly controlled.

SCI, like the NRA’s Annual Meetings, is heavily geared toward selling to attendees. For their exhibitors, it’s crucial that as many members as possible can attend.

If crowds are limited, severely as in the case of Las Vegas’ current guidelines, sufficient numbers of members (prospective customers) can’t attend.

Without big attendance numbers, the participation investment doesn’t work. Chances of covering the cost of attendance is doubtful and the hopes of “making” a sales year impossible.

SCI is already working to expand their “Share the Impact” campaign to help exhibitors. The campaign has already raised more than a half-million dollars in much-needed assistance for guides and outfitters impacted by the global coronavirus’ impact on trade and travel.

And, even as Chapman and Hamberlin were speaking with me as representatives of the organization, they couldn’t disguise their personal disappointment. Everyone wanted the show to go on.

“We’re no different from our other members,” Hamberlin said, “we look forward to the Convention, to socializing, and seeing old friends. My kids used to refer to the Convention as ‘dad’s spring break’. We feel it, too.”

Ultimately, however, the facts overruled the emotional attraction of the annual event.

“We have a fantastic executive committee,” Chapman says, “they run on facts, not passion. They made the decision knowing that fifty percent of the people wouldn’t like it. But believing it was the right decision.”

What does he say to the fifty percent who aren’t pleased?

“SCI isn’t going away,” he told me, “and on January 19-22, 2022 we are going to have a fantastic show at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.”

We’ll keep you posted.

—JIm Shepherd

 
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