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What I learned at the NRA Annual Meetings 2017

This year’s NRA Annual Meetings were held in Atlanta Georgia and if you were there you know what a grand event this was. For those who haven’t attended an NRA Annual Meeting event (or one lately), I first have to say this is a BIG deal. Big from the stand point of size, roughly 10 acres of things to see but, also coordination, preparation and people.

The NRA Annual event hasn’t been held in Atlanta since the late 70’s and has changed significantly since then. The doors opened to 13,000 visitors that year and this year’s expected attendance was 80,000 people. It actually ended up being 81,846, all vetted and processed with name tags and entry credentials verified. (Attendance is FREE for NRA members)

In addition, many if not most of those attendees were also carrying a firearm. Some were open carrying a firearm while others were concealed carrying. You might ask, how do I know if they were concealed carrying, isn’t that the point of concealed as in, it’s concealed? The truth is, I spoke with many of the attendees and they shared they were carrying. You see, as a vendor in the show with a unique line of holsters, I get asked about firearms for sizing and through the process of getting the right fit I learn about their concealed carry needs. Therefore I can tell you from the people I spoke with, a majority of visitors conceal-carry during this event.

That means in one place there where thousands upon thousands of firearms both being carried with live ammo, plus all the firearms (thousands) displayed by manufacturers. A staggering amount of firepower and not one firearm incident. Not one firearm ‘went off’, not one inappropriate incident involving a firearm and an NRA member occurred. In truth, the crime rate in the city mostly likely decreased.

Prior to last year’s NRA event held in Louisville, some predicted the crime rate for the extended weekend and the influx of gun owners would rise to unprecedented numbers. The truth was the crime rate fell by roughly ½ of what is was the weekend before.

I can attest, NRA members are some of the most friendly and polite people you’d ever meet. Kind' of backs up the theory, an armed society is a polite society.

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