When NSSF decided to cancel their annual tradeshow this year, in lieu of a virtual show, there was a collective sigh of disappointment inside the gun industry. Not only is it an opportunity to check out all the new products in the industry, it’s also the chance to get hands-on experience. Industry Day at the range offers media a chance to shoot the latest and greatest guns before anyone else gets a chance. While that is great for the media, it’s not so great for the general public. The Firearms Industry Range Expo (FIRE) aims to solve this problem.
Shane Netherton is the organizer of the event, which takes place from Jan. 22 - 24, 2021, in Immokalee, Florida. He said it’s been a sprint to put together this event and make it open to the public since he heard about SHOT being canceled.
“As soon as we heard SHOT was canceled, we started to put together a plan to hold a replacement … We wanted to create a new experience where both the industry leaders and the general public were accepted and able to shoot all the guns which are typically reserved for the media at Range Day,” said Netherton.
SHOT Show draws upwards of 100,000 industry professionals, but only 10 percent of those who attend might make it to Industry Day at the range. However, at FIRE Expo, everyone in the industry and the public can see and shoot the latest and greatest from top gun companies, while also getting to view some really cool demonstrations and shooting events. Another part of FIRE Expo is that you are able to buy products right from vendors at the booth. This is something you’re not able to do at SHOT. That is, if you can even get into the event.
What’s even better is that this isn’t taking place at some run-of-the-mill range. It’s happening at a state-of-the-art training center called Force Center. The sprawling complex is situated on the grounds of a former maximum-security prison. Sitting on 1,200 acres, the center offers dozens of different training buildings, classrooms, and a sniper tower that allows shooters to shoot out to one mile.
FIRE Expo has almost 50 top companies attending and will also feature a 2-gun championship that is a truly one-of-a-kind event. It will even have a night shoot with NVG optics supplied to the shooters. Netherton promised that this is a first for the industry. You won’t see a shooting competition like this anywhere else. Competitors are still being accepted for this unique opportunity, and Netherton says the spots are filling quickly!
You’ll get access to all of the above for just $20 – Plus, laser tag, helicopter rides, a 2A rally, and Spec Ops demonstrations. With that $20 purchase, a portion will also go to Destiny Rescue, which aims to free children from sex trafficking all over the world.
“We wanted to create an event where everyone was welcome and had a good cause to support. This is something that’s never been done before, and we hope to continue to do it for a long time,” Netherton said. For more information, check out the FIRE Expo website and event page to buy your tickets.
Stay tuned to Guns.com as we cover the expo and the competition in the days ahead.