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Las Vegas Hosts Largest Gun Convention

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- While the debate over gun safety rages in the wake of the Tucson shooting, Las Vegas is hosting the largest gun convention of the year, but the rhetoric of that debate might not reflect the reality of the industry.

Shot Show is the convention for those who make rifles, handguns, scopes, bullets and everything in between, to show off their latest and greatest to the retailers who sell them nationwide.  "You can't be in this business and not go to Shot Show," retail store owner Miles Hall says.  And after talking to the president and CEO of Taurus Firearms, Bob Morrison, it sounds tough to be in this business and not make money.  "We are having terrific growth right in the middle of the recession and I'm delighted to be in this business," Morrison says.  Retailers like Miles Hall agree.  "We've had months where we had 300 percent growth over the month in the year before ," Hall says. 

While there's been growth in gun sales for hunting and sporting, arguably the largest growth has been with guns used for self-protection, particularly  with women.  "Concealed carry is the fastest growing with all markets," Morrison says.  "Forty-seven percent of the business now is female, which is pretty amazing, " Hall says.  According to retailers most of the women are mothers with college degrees and middle to upper income. Yet every time a gun is used in a tragedy, the debate of access pops back up .  "I get so tired of everybody trying to blame everything else than the individual. Just remember it was the individual who caused the problem, let' s just stay focused on that," Miles says.  

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