How to Get into Shot Show 2019 – 100% Working

Shooting Mystery is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

2019 SHOT Show Hours*

Tuesday, January 22 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Wednesday, January 23 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Thursday, January 24 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Friday, January 25 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Can’t stand watching the performers on TV or the Internet? Not in the firearms industry but yearning for opportunities as a services provider to introduce yourself to the potential clients? This article shows you how to get into a shot show.

As you all may know, the shot show is not open to general public. And that’s why you are reading this article. In fact, the attendance to the shot show is exclusive for hunting, shooting, trade experts, commercial buyers, and sellers of military, law enforcement and tactical products. Thus, in this article, I am going to show to how to get in the shot show 2017, given that you are not on the list.

How to Get into Shot Show 2019

First thing first

As clearly stated, the shot show, in fact, is more like a trade show. It is business marketing to business, not business marketing to customers. It is for manufacturers, wholesalers, and dealers. The shot show is where they buy for the year, see the new products and make new connects. You can find some great stuffs here such as: scope, bipod or even flashlight to support you while shooting. The pricing is dealer/wholesale. Its primary purpose is to provide a venue for the professionals in the industry to network, build contact and grow mutually beneficial relationships.

Getting to know the attendance policy

You need to know exactly what are required to attend the shot show. You can visit the policy page of the shot show here. My article will just summarize the major points that need your careful attention.

Government-issued photo identification and documentation proving direct and professional affiliation to the trade are required. For exhibitors and media people, credentials are also required. Be careful with your camera and flashlight while attending this kind of show.

The show badge contains limited, revocable license to attend the current show. One badge per person and cannot be transferred, resold or reproduced. It is the property of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). The fee for replacement is $100.

Show management is not in charge of any loss, injuries, property damage. Attendees and their belongings may be searched at any time during the show.


  • Animals
  • Photography (except those with media badge or authorized people)
  • Solicitation, suitcasing or outboarding
  • Personal firearms
  • Loud, abusive or defamatory language

Some suggested solutions

Get in as media

You can join the trade show as a professional journalist with press credentials. However, PR, marketing, and advertising representatives do not qualify for these credentials. Instead, they must register as attendees and pay the required registration fee. For the journalists, they receive different levels of permission depending on their badges. Despite their badge type, they have to ask for permission before taking any close-up photography.

If you want to get in the show as a professional journalist, you must have one(s) of the following:

  • Editorial badge – ability to get into the show for and use photo and video equipment
  • Broadcast badge – ability to get into the show floor and use video and sound recording equipment for TV, radio, and web-based shows
  • Media badge – this badge is restricted to companies exhibiting at the show who require media privileges

Each badge has its own requirements, and for the in-depth information on them, again please visit the shot show website. The requirements, while still strict, are easier to meet that those of other parties.

Be a reputable firearm YouTuber/Blogger

Another way for any of us to get to the shot show is to start posting videos related to guns on YouTube. Nutnfancy, Sootch00, Hickok45 and other Internet firearm celebrities can get access to the shot show. And we can do the exact same thing. However, we all know that developing a YouTube channel has never been an easy task. It demands a lot of hard works, patience, and even financial supports. A perfunctory YouTube channel cannot make anyone bat an eye. You should start with building the concept of the channel then develop the video content and design it to make it able to attract more traffic. It’s a long way to go, and it’s much more related to video marketing, something that this article cannot have enough space to talk about.

Otherwise, you can be a firearms blogger. Start with designing your website and building te content base for your page. The posts would appear on a regular basis to attract and maintain the number of reaches. This work required a lot of brainstorming and knowledge in the field. But once you can build a strong foundation of fans and subscribers, you can have more reputation. Consequently, getting approval to get access to the shot show is totally possible.

Be a National Rifle Association (NRA) certified instructor or get a Curio & Relics (C&R) license

I think either being an NRA certified instructor or getting a C&R license will get you in the shot show. Some people even say that the shot show management is not very picky, and your connection with the industry can be a bit tenuous. Thus, attending an NRA Instructor Training Course is a must. It helps you to gain knowledge, skills, and techniques needed to organize and teach courses in the training programs.

Getting a C&R license is a bit more complicated. You need to fill in the application and get it approved. Usually, it may take you more than 1 month before you can get the license. There are many detailed instructions on how to complete and submit the form that you can find on the Internet. Google them and find the way to get you a C&R license.

Get a ticket with a military or law enforcement ID

Once you have a ticket with a military or law enforcement ID, you shot show badge will have your military affiliation on it. Having this badge, a lot of vendors may even think you are a purchasing officer, and they’d love to approach you. You are also allowed to purchase the guest tickets. However, some people say that it is easier to register online and have the badge mailed to you. I myself find that there is quite a lack of information on this method.


Above are 4 different ways that you can consult to get your way into the shot show. Whatever the way, it is undeniable that it’s a tough to get the permission into the shot show. Conduct as much research and consult as many reliable sources as possible before trying to register to be an attendant. Thank you for reading my article, strongly hope that you find it helpful for you to know how to Get into Shot Show 2019.

Homepage of Shot Show

About the author

Christopher Wade

Christopher Wade

Christopher Wade is a true outdoorsman. After spending most of his career as a firearms expert and instructor in Nebraska, he retreated to the great outdoors to enjoy retirement.

Christopher’s expertise in handling firearms and hunting gear are what propelled him to create the Shooting Mystery blog. He hopes for all readers to gain useful and practical knowledge for enjoying their time outdoors.