(LAS VEGAS, KXNT)–The SHOT Show, the big gun trade show in Las Vegas this week, has found itself the target of groups seeking firearms restrictions to reduce the estimated 31,000 gun deaths in the U.S. each year.
SHOT (Shootng, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show) is considered the biggest such show of its kind in the world–an estimated 60,000 will attend– but critics like the Violence Policy Center and an accompanying Nevada group, ProgressNow Nevada, have put a spotlight on one of the show’s major vendors, Freedom Group.
Now known as Remington Outdoor, the firm is the largest maker of assault rifles, including the model used in the Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut. The groups say Freedom Group’s owners–Cerberus Capital Management–promised to sell its investments in the company but has not done so more than a year after the pledge.
“This is not your grandfather’s gun industry that catered to hunters and sportsmen,” said VPC Executive Director Josh Sugarmann in a statement. “Behind closed doors in Las Vegas, gun companies are celebrating the profits they enjoy from the marketing of military-grade weapons that are routinely used in mass shootings.”
In an interview with KXNT, Jocelyn Torres of ProgressNow Nevada said her organization is seeking common ground with gun makers, especially on issues of safety.
“Getting more safety programs out there, and instead of blocking every piece of legislation, not just background checks, and to come together and talk about legislation that we can both agree on. Thats going to make our communities safer.”
Legislation requiring a background check for firearms purchases in Nevada passed the state legislature in 2013, but was vetoed by Governor Brian Sandoval.