For three days last week Charlotte, North Carolina rolled out the red carpet to NRA members from across the United States as they attended the 139th NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits. Don’t be fooled by the name however, as this “meeting” drew more than seventy-thousand participants to the Charlotte Convention Center for a weekend of sights and sounds that made up the premier consumer hunting and shooting sports event of the year.
Once inside the convention hall, attendees were greeted to acres of firearms, hunting and shooting gear, accessories and all of the newest products for hunting and shooting sports enthusiasts. Over four hundred manufacturers from all over the world displayed aisle after aisle of products and services geared to every shooting sport interest and budget. Not only did the attendees have the opportunity to meet the manufacturers face to face, but they also received hunting and shooting tips from some of the most well known experts in the world. Where else could a deer hunter from Iowa talk with a former rocket scientist from NASA about trajectory data for his favorite rifle bullet; only at the Sierra Bullets booth, and only at the NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits.
Every year, the NRA event draws popular speakers from diverse backgrounds including politics, sports and entertainment, and the 2010 event was no exception. Speakers at this year’s NRA event included former Governor Sarah Palin; former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Ambassador John Bolton; talk show hosts Oliver North, Glen Beck and Sean Hannity; and entertainers Chuck Norris, Ted Nugent and Charlie Daniels. Tickets for these speakers were sold out, so it was obvious that attendees didn’t just come to look at guns. Topics surrounding the Second Amendment freedom to bear arms were not only delivered by the celebrity speakers, but were discussed around show spaces and dining tables throughout the convention center.
For 139 years, the NRA has assembled their membership to see and hear all that is new and exciting about the hunting and shooting sports industry they love. Charlotte was a great host this year. Pittsburg has big shoes to fill in 2011.