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Gun industry gathers amid slumping sales, rising tensions

SeattlePI.com Sunday, 19 January 2020
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Gun companies are gathering for their annual conference and trade show this week in Las Vegas at a pivotal moment for the industry amid slumping sales, a public increasingly agitating for restrictions on access to firearms and escalating tensions over gun control efforts.

The event, held by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry's lobbying group, will take place in Las Vegas — about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) from the deadliest mass shooting modern U.S. history. An estimated 60,000 people are expected to attend, navigating a vast expanse of aisles filled with not just firearms but all sorts of accessories and industry-related apparel.

Gun sales normally taper off during Republican administrations because gun owners are not as compelled to stockpile weapons out of fear that lawmakers will impose restrictions on firearms. But the past three years under President Donald Trump have been particularly volatile, fueled in part by the Las Vegas shooting and other high-profile mass killings that have driven efforts to either restrict access to guns or to ban certain firearms and products.

With Congress stymied by gridlock, the most notable action on guns has occurred at the state level in places such as Virginia, where Democrats took control of the statehouse in last year's elections. They are vowing to pass a slate of gun control measures, prompting thousands of pro-Second Amendment activists to plan a rally Monday at the Capitol.

Virginia is being closely watched by the industry, looking to see how it will play out and what it might portend for the future of gun politics in the year ahead.

Sagging gun sales have afflicted almost every corner of the industry, most notably iconic gun manufacturers such as Ruger, Remington and Colt.

Colt, one of the most storied firearms companies in the...
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Credit: KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas - Published < > Embed
News video: Gun industry gathers in Las Vegas for SHOT Show

Gun industry gathers in Las Vegas for SHOT Show 00:16

The gun industry is gathering in Las Vegas for its annual trade show. SHOT Show takes place at Sands Expo Convention Center through Jan. 24. The event kicks off on Tuesday, one day after pro-gun activists held a major rally in Virginia to protest gun control measures. Over the weekend, a local...

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