First NRA Carry Guard expo draws 14,000 attendees

The ginormous “NRA Carry Guard” sign draped down the front entrance of the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. (Photo: Daniel Terrill/Guns.com)

The ginormous “NRA Carry Guard” sign draped down the front entrance of the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. (Photo: Daniel Terrill/Guns.com)

The first event centered around the National Rifle Company’s concealed carry insurance program saw brisk attendance in downtown Milwaukee last week.

The NRA Carry Guard Expo, held at the Wisconsin Center across a three-day weekend, saw 14,127 visitors according to a statement from the group. Though the NRA’s Annual Meetings draw much larger crowds–  topping 80,000 — the Carry Guard event was tightly focused on personal protection and concealed carry products, education, and vendors.

Compared to the more than 800 exhibitors and vendors at their annual meetings, the 100,000 sq. ft. floor at the Wisconsin Center boasted a more conservative 160. An important facet of the event was a mix of 124 seminars featuring speakers ranging from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Royce Gracie to Wisconsin and Utah CCW courses.

The most talked about segment of the expo was the Concealed Carry Fashion Show which gave a stage to a number of products from attending vendors. The NRA said that more than “15 global media members, including fashion blogs and international news outlets,” attended the event. However, images of the show, circulated through wire services, were used in some unflattering coverage.