The National Rifle Association’s conference in Indianapolis featured "15 acres of guns and gear.' While firearms couldn’t be purchased and carried out at the expo, gun manufacturers say it’s an important tool for their business.
Small and large businesses filled the Indianapolis Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium with a wide variety of rifles and other products for attendees to pick up and look at.
Cooper Firearms of Montana is a custom rifle manufacturer. Sales associate Brandon Bo says meeting with potential customers at the convention is an important part of the company’s business.
“This industry and buying a firearm, you have a personal attachment to that product you’re purchasing,” says Bo. “And here we can build personal relationships with customers and people can put a face to the name.”
Gun manufacturer Remington has been selling guns for more than two hundred years. Last year though the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy citing a decline in sales. Remington is also facing a wrongful death lawsuit filed by some of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims’ families.
Company spokesman Eric Suarez says being at the convention and engaging customers is vital to Remington’s success.
“At the end of the day, without our customers and them purchasing our products, there is no Remington,” says Suarez.
This year at the expo, he says the company is trying to get more feedback on potential products.
“We have concepts that we put out with iPads,” says Suarez. “They can go through and vote yes I like it, no I don’t, how many stars, what I like, what don’t like about a concept. ‘Cause at the end of the day we need to give the customer what they want and there’s no better way to do it here since it’s a consumer show and then let them, let them tell us what they want.”
About 75,000 people were expected to be at the convention over its three days.