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NRA Show Preview: Assault Weapons, Silencers, and More

Gun makers will showcase their deadliest products at the 2024 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Dallas

The National Rifle Association’s 2024 Annual Meetings & Exhibits are scheduled to take place at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, this weekend. The convention comes after the NRA’s longtime leader, Wayne LaPierre, resigned; a New York jury found the organization and LaPierre liable for financial misconduct and corruption; and the group settled with the Washington, D.C., attorney general to avoid a trial regarding similar corruption allegations. The NRA has also lost over a million members and at least 40 percent of its revenue in recent years.

Despite this, the gun industry as a whole continues to support and prop up the NRA through donations, fundraising events, membership drives, advertising in NRA magazines, and exhibiting at the NRA convention. Over 650 exhibitors — including manufacturers and importers of firearms, ammunition, and related accessories — are slated to attend the NRA convention to showcase their products to NRA members.


A closer look at the convention’s exhibitor list indicates that many of these companies produce increasingly deadly weapons or modifications at the expense of public safety. For example:

  • Over 60 exhibitors — including Century Arms, Daniel Defense, Palmetto State Armory, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, and Ruger — produce and import military-style assault weapons, such as AR-15s and AK-47s, that  have been used in the country’s deadliest mass shootings — including the May 2022 shooting in Allen, Texas, a suburb outside of Dallas, involving an AR-15.
    • AR-15s were also used in the Sutherland Springs, Uvalde, and Midland-Odessa shootings in Texas, while the El Paso shooting was carried out with an AK-47.
  • Over 25 exhibitors manufacture silencers, or sound suppressors, which dampen the sound of gunfire and eliminate muzzle flash, making it harder for bystanders to figure out where a shot originated.
    • At the convention, the NRA will present its 2024 Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award to Brandon Maddox, the founder and CEO of Silencer Central, a silencer retailer who has streamlined the silencer-buying process and ships silencers directly to customers’ doors so they never have to set foot in a gun shop.
  • A few exhibitors, including Maxim Defense and Gear Head Works, manufacture and sell arm braces, which are used on AR- and AK-style “pistols” that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recently determined were short-barreled rifles subject to National Firearms Act (NFA) regulations. Such weapons are easy to conceal while being much more powerful than handguns.
    • Notably, SB Tactical, the originator of the arm brace and one of the largest manufacturers in this space, is not attending the NRA show.
  • Two exhibitors, Franklin Armory and FosTech Outdoors, produce binary triggers that, when installed in a semi-automatic firearm, allow shooters to fire one shot when they pull the trigger and another when they release the trigger, effectively doubling the gun’s rate of fire.
  • Several exhibitors, including Dead Foot Arms, FoldAR, Kel-Tec, and Trailblazer Firearms, market and sell guns that fold — or parts that allow AR-15s to fold — for easy concealment on one’s person.
    • The NRA will present Golden Bullseye awards for two folding guns at the convention: the Smith & Wesson Folding Pistol Carbine (FPC), which the NRA’s Shooting Illustrated magazine called the “Rifle of the Year,” and the Trailblazer Pivot, the “Tactical Product of the Year.”
  • One exhibitor, the National Firearms Act Trade & Collectors Association, seeks to remove silencers and short-barreled rifles from the registration requirements of the NFA that Congress passed in 1934 to regulate these deadly items.
  • Glock, which is facing increased pressure for manufacturing pistols that are uniquely easy to convert into illegal machine guns with “Glock switches,” is also slated to attend.
  • At least five exhibitors, including the U.S. Concealed Carry Association and the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Fund, offer self-defense liability insurance, which has been called “murder insurance,” or memberships for that purpose.
  • Another exhibitor, the Leviathan Group, represents dozens of toxic gun influencers who have millions of followers on YouTube and Instagram, including Brandon Herrera, Garand Thumb, and Liberty Doll, among others. The marketing and talent management firm promises gun makers that its “network of legendary influencers & experienced creatives…will get you in front of more eyes, guaranteed.”
  • Two exhibitors, the Headrest Safe Company and Secret Compartment Furniture, produce car headrests and home furniture designed to hide firearms while still providing quick access, respectively. Another exhibitor, Liberty Mfg, produces a single-shot, .22-caliber pistol disguised to look like a pen. As the company states, the Liberty Pen Gun offers “excellent writing performance and a special kick whenever you need it.”

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