Word From NASGW Expo:
Industry In “Discovery” Mode


The question “What's next?” dominated discussions at the 2022 NASGW Expo. (Photo: NASGW)

So, What’s Next For The Industry?

Due to its timing in the calendar year, the NASGW Expo & Annual Meeting provides a glimpse of what’s to come in the year ahead. Manufacturers formally launch new products, while wholesalers come together to champion two-step distribution. The 2022 NASGW Expo, held Oct. 26–28 in Kansas City, was no different — it showcased both opportunity and challenges ahead for the industry, as we emerge further from the
pandemic in 2023.

NASGW President Kenyon Gleason shared his perspective from what he heard from attendees at the Expo and provided an update on some new initiatives from his organization.

In an encouraging sign of “normalcy,” attendance levels at the Expo increased markedly over 2021 — with Gleason reporting the 2022 Expo was sold out among exhibitors, and there were more than 300 additional attendees compared to 2021.

“We had a lot of great feedback from attendees — people are excited to get back in and attend these types of events and have an opportunity to be with each other,” he said. “It’s definitely a changing market right now, and there were a lot of conversations centered on what’s next and how things will be impacted moving forward.”

Gleason predicts 2023 will be a season of “discovery.”

“No one really knows what’s next because we’ve had such incredible success, so where do we fall out from all of this? Have we raised the bar? Are we a bigger pie now because we have more people interested in our industry, or are we going to flatten? We’re entering a period of discovery; people are still trying to figure out or discover where we’re going from here as there aren’t a lot of strong indicators yet.”


To help navigate this period of “discovery” in the marketplace, NASGW has developed a reliable tool to empower decision-making: The SCOPE data initiative.

The NASGW SCOPE data initiative, which tracks sales and inventory data across the firearms industry, recently launched SCOPE CLX. SCOPE CLX utilizes data from point-of-sale providers (currently Celerant, Coreware, Orchid Advisors and AIM) to aggregate sales from 500+ retail locations throughout the U.S.

“SCOPE CLX is only going to grow; we’re going to continue getting a bigger and bigger sample size — making it more valuable for all of our customers,” Gleason said.

During the Expo, NASGW hosted its annual SCOPE update, which was well received by attendees.

“We have a lot of new interest in the program, especially with the expanded capabilities of reporting data from retail,” Gleason said. “The mission of NASGW is to help the buy/sell process, and what better way to do that than to understand what’s actually being bought and sold down to the retail level. The more information we have, the better it will be for everyone — we won’t be satisfied until there are well over 1,000 stores reporting data.”

Currently, SCOPE tracks the sales of firearms, ammunition and optics. Gleason shared additional categories will be tracked in the near future, including holsters, magazines and suppressors.

New Insurance Initiative

Another way the NASGW is evolving to serve its members better is through the new Fortify Insurance program. Developed in a partnership with The Hummel Group, Fortify Insurance is a suite of insurance solutions geared toward protecting businesses in the shooting sports industry.

Though it was initially pitched to members of NASGW, Gleason shared it’s open to any business in the industry.

“We’re very excited about this new program; it’s really for anyone who is interested and having trouble getting access to insurance,” he said. “The team at Fortify/The Hummel Group will help them try to find solutions.”

Fortify provides various insurance solutions, including commercial property, liability, employee benefits, and risk management strategies.

“Fortify Insurance was created to advocate for the shooting sports industry in the risk management space, and we are grateful to partner with the NASGW in this effort,” said Tom Brenner, business risk advisor at the Hummel Group. “We’re proactively educating insurance companies to view this industry differently. We’re positioning the members of this industry to take back control and receive the financial benefits of their good loss history. We have a plan, and we’re excited to execute it.”

Gleason continued, “In a world where many major companies are walking away from us — insurance providers aren’t exactly standing with their hand out saying, ‘Hey, bring your business to us’ — the folks at Fortify Insurance have been able to work with providers and have great relationships with a lot of insurance companies to find solutions.”

In addition, Gleason shared NASGW is on the cusp of finalizing an insurance captive to help wholesalers insure themselves. The next step will be forming additional captives to benefit manufacturers, rep groups and other businesses in the firearms industry.

“For us, as an organization that talks about being able to provide solutions to businesses and work with our industry to find answers, it’s an opportunity to put our money where our mouth is with initiatives like these,” Gleason added.

Save The Date

choosefortify.comPlans for the 2023 NASGW Expo and Annual Meeting are well under way. NASGW announced the 2023 Expo and Annual Meeting will be held Oct. 25–27 in Columbus, Ohio. By then, the “discovery” phase should solidify — especially with the 2024 presidential election likely casting a considerable shadow by then.

For more info: nasgwexpo.org, nasgwscope.org, choosefortify.com.