NRA Convention, St. Louis, MO--The projection for attendance at this year's NRA Annual Meeting in St. Louis was approximately 70,000 (they won't have final numbers until after the conference is completed), and browsing the convention's exhibit halls Saturday left plenty of time to chat with attendees but little elbow room.
There were huge exhibits like the one for Bushnell, which also sponsored the Trace Adkins NRA Country concert Friday at the convention to benefit the Folds of Honor Foundation, which gives back to military families.
But the convenion can also provide exposure for small businesses like N82 Tactical, which specializes in inside-the waistband-concealed carry holsters.
Katie Johnson, whose husband co-founded the company, said this is the company's second year at the convention. They currently have about 5 employees and are based out of Lexington, N.C.
"We just felt like it was a really good opportunity. We support the NRA and thought it was a good opportunity to get out here and actually get to see all of the people that participate but to also to be able to really meet a lot of people, because we're a very small company," she said of the company's decision to begin participating at the convention.
Concealed carry has become a hot trend in the United States; however, because N82 was founded in late 2009, Johnson said they didn't realize at first how much of a boom there was in the concealed carry market, but discovered there was as soon as they began speaking with people. She says they've definitely noticed it since.
Johnson said they hadn't intentionally set out to start a business--they were just interested in concealed carry holsters and yet couldn't seem to find a comfortable solution. Johnson's husband and a friend were trying to create a comfortable concealed carry option for themselves, and discovered on talking to other friends that several were having similar difficulties.