In addition to being home to one of the largest outdoor trade shows in the world, not to mention instantly recognizable brands like Franklin Armory and Rifle Dynamics, Nevada is a big deal when it comes to guns.

The state has long been the home of the largest firearms industry trade show in the country – the National Shooting Sports Foundation's Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade show. The first time SHOT Show was held in Las Vegas was in 1988, at a time when the event traveled to different cities across the country. It was held several more times in Las Vegas in the ensuing years and has been home to SHOT Show each year since 2010. This year's 45th annual event boasted 13.9 miles of aisles – a distance of more than half a marathon – in two venues, with a total floor space of over 800,000 net square feet. 

Former Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, now the state's first Republican governor since popular term-limited Gov. Brian Sandoval left office in 2019, attended SHOT Show this year and spoke at the event's Governor's Forum. 

Gov. Lombardo speaking at SHOT Show 2023
“I obviously support the industry and the fact that I’m even sitting here today is a testament to that. I want the industry … to know that I have no intentions of being oppressive or onerous … I will support you [SHOT Show] 100 percent,” said Gov. Lombardo. (Photo: Chris Eger/

Nevada is also home to some of the best-equipped shooting ranges in the nation, including the Boulder Rifle & Pistol Club – home to SHOT Show's annual range day, the Clark County Shooting Complex, and the Pro Gun Club. Meanwhile, outfits like Battlefield Vegas and Gunship Helicopters provide a bit more octane-infused offerings.  

gunship helicopters chopper on the ground
Want to fire a machine gun out of a helicopter or drive a tank? Las Vegas has you covered. (Photo: Chris Eger/


$517 Million Annual Impact 

All told, as of 2021 Nevada was home to no less than 55 Type 7 FFLs – firearms manufacturers – as well as two Type 10 Destructive Device makers. Beside the AK gurus at Rifle Dynamics and the black rifle guys at Franklin Armory and Bushmaster Firearms subsidiary, the state is also home to the importers at the FIME Group and Arsenal. You could say that the "Battle Born" state is a key crossroads for black rifles.

There is also Polymer 80, which is headquartered in Las Vegas. Speaking of headquarters, Armscor has its U.S. operations in Pahrump, while Legacy Sports, the country's second-largest producer of shotguns, is in Reno. Jim West's Wild West Guns, while best known for its Alaska shop, has a site in Las Vegas as well. 

Jim Fuller Jim West at SHOT Show 2017
When you can potentially bump into the likes of Jim Fuller and Jim West in the same city, you know Las Vegas has a lot to offer. 

These companies across the state, counted along with hundreds of retail locations that sell firearms, ammunition, and hunting equipment, employed as many as 1,565 people in Nevada in 2021, as estimated by the NSSF. Further, those endeavors generate an additional 1,636 jobs for their suppliers and related industries. This translates to a steady $517-million-per-year economic impact on the state.

nevada gun industry Chart: NSSF, 2021 figures.
Chart: NSSF, 2021 figures.

"Nevada is a growing hub for the firearm industry," Mark Oliva, NSSF's public affairs director, told "Clark County officials have always welcomed the firearm industry and the positive impacts this industry brings to the local economy. Now with Governor Joe Lombardo in office, there is a new respect for Second Amendment rights coming from Carson City and greater certainty for firearm and ammunition manufacturers that have planted roots in Nevada to grow."

Banner image: Franklin Armory's binary Glock trigger doing its thing on the range at SHOT Show.

revolver barrel loading graphic