LAS VEGAS – Today, the gun industry arrived in Las Vegas for the start of the SHOT Show, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)’s annual trade show. In response, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund’s grassroots network, and the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund held a press conference to demand the gun industry be held accountable for our nation’s gun violence epidemic. The SHOT Show is held during National Gun Violence Survivors Week just two miles from the site of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history
This year’s trade show is also happening in the midst of the Attorney General of The State of New York v. NRA trial, which centers on allegations by New York Attorney General Letitia James that NRA leaders, including former CEO Wayne LaPierre, improperly diverted millions of dollars from the non-profit to benefit NRA executives. The NRA has long been a crucial shield for the gun industry – including players like the NSSF – protecting it from accountability.
“The contrast here could not be more clear: While many of us are honoring the resilience of survivors, the other side is celebrating getting rich at the expense of survivors’ pain,” said Marisa Marano, a survivor of the mass shooting at Route 91 Harvest and Moms Demand Action volunteer. “Las Vegas is not a party destination for the gun industry. It should be a safe haven for a community of survivors that they’ve helped create. The gun industry is not welcome here, and they must be held accountable to us and to the rest of the nation.”
“If you take away one thing from today, let it be this: Like the NRA, the gun industry is not untouchable,” said Sari Kaufman, a survivor of the school mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and Students Demand Action volunteer. “We know the tide is shifting. And we’ll be here, every step of the way, to watch the dominoes fall. Because it’s only a matter of time.
“Like so many other veterans, I find it ironic that gun companies have made billions of dollars marketing the lie that simply owning a firearm can turn you into a soldier or a hero,” said Maili Neverosky, a former U.S. Navy officer and member of Everytown’s Veterans Advisory Council. “Exploiting this idea to sell more products is not only disrespectful to all veterans, but also puts more deadly weapons that were designed for combat into the hands of civilians that don’t have proper training or respect for the power these guns yield.”
To speak with a Students Demand Action volunteer, a gun violence survivor, or an Everytown expert on the firearms industry, please do not hesitate to reach out to [email protected].