2013 NRA Meetings and Exhibits (a/k/a NRA Convention)

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Charles L. Cotton
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2013 NRA Meetings and Exhibits (a/k/a NRA Convention)

#1

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Tue May 07, 2013 12:52 pm

What an incredible week!! I was busy from Tuesday through yesterday (Monday) and now I need to play catch-up. I need to update the Bill Status Report and work on some of my cases with deadlines coming up. Sorry for letting the Bill Status Report get behind, but it couldn't be helped.

The 2013 NRA "convention" was a huge success! We set a new record for every category and by a very wide margin. When the NRA was in Houston in 2005, we set a new attendance and money record. Every year thereafter saw a new record set in one or more categories. Houston 2013 will never be matched, much less exceeded, until we come back to Texas (Dallas) in 2018 or thereabout. We will definitely be back in Houston as soon as we can, but that won't be before 2019 at the earliest.

Attendance was 86,230 people, 14,000 higher than last year. We sold $1.3 in memberships (new and upgrades) and every fundraising event was a new record. If I remember correctly, the Foundation Dinner (FONRA) brought in over $800,000 and the women's event also brought in records numbers (I can't recall how much). The ILA event was huge as well. Every single monetary category was up between 50% and 85%!

Thank you Houston!! Not only was this year a huge success, it sent a strong message to politicians everywhere, including Washington. Ironically, we were in the NRA Members' Meeting and other meetings while "Gun Bill Saturday" was going on. Not being able to follow the floor debates was killing me, but it was appropriate for the Texas House to be passing pro-gun bills while a record crowd was at the NRA Convention.

I also want to thank everyone who has been answering our calls-to-action; you have made a big difference. I've talked to folks in Austin and they are impressed (in some cases dismayed) that we can coordinate calls, faxes and emails so effectively and trigger them at the most effective time. I've tried not to duplicate NRA or TSRA calls too much. I may sound like the 2013 session is over, but it most certainly isn't. When it is, I'll give a report and within 30 days thereafter, I hope to be able to lay out my plan for TFC activities in the off season, next year's elections, and the 2015 Texas Legislative Session. If we can motivate Texans to get involved like never before, we can accomplish the vast majority of our goals. It looks like this session will be better than I expected, but still well short of what we should have accomplished with a huge majority in the House. This presumes we don't have any bad surprises between now and the end of the session.

Chas.

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Re: 2013 NRA Meetings and Exhibits (a/k/a NRA Convention)

#2

Post by jmra » Tue May 07, 2013 1:04 pm

Awesome news. Can't wait for it to be in Dallas!

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Re: 2013 NRA Meetings and Exhibits (a/k/a NRA Convention)

#3

Post by jayinsat » Tue May 07, 2013 1:09 pm

Let's do it again this weekend! This time in San Antonio.
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Re: 2013 NRA Meetings and Exhibits (a/k/a NRA Convention)

#4

Post by RHenriksen » Tue May 07, 2013 2:07 pm

Thanks for the update, looking forward to learning more after the dust settles on the 83rd session.
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Re: 2013 NRA Meetings and Exhibits (a/k/a NRA Convention)

#5

Post by Beiruty » Tue May 07, 2013 2:11 pm

Sorry Chas, I missed meeting you. I guess that was expected, as my 6hrs on the floor were not enough to see the "new goodies" and the things that I like!
As make up event, please consider to arrange a TFC event in Dallas as well as in Houston. How about our TFC's gun show and tell, followed by a range-shoot and finally an optional dinner?
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Re: 2013 NRA Meetings and Exhibits (a/k/a NRA Convention)

#6

Post by Wes » Tue May 07, 2013 2:37 pm

It was a great event, we enjoyed it thoroughly. Glad to hear it went as well it did.
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Re: 2013 NRA Meetings and Exhibits (a/k/a NRA Convention)

#7

Post by Wodathunkit » Tue May 07, 2013 3:36 pm

Thanks for the update Charles, as a "Wall of Guns" winner, I was happier than a tornado in a trailer park!
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Re: 2013 NRA Meetings and Exhibits (a/k/a NRA Convention)

#8

Post by howdy » Tue May 07, 2013 3:52 pm

I worked at the Convention on Wednesday, Thursday, (store) and Friday (registration). Wednesday was spent pricing ALL the goodies you saw in the store. It was a massive undertaking, but we had lots of volunteers. People worked hard and every one had a big smile on their face. Thursday morning was spent setting up the displays and shirt racks in the store. I was one of 9 checkers when the store opened at 2pm. It turned into a zoo very quickly and people were spending LOTS of money. I had one sell of over $1200. On Friday, I worked from 12:30pm to 6pm in registration. I did not have one person complain about having to join the NRA to go in the convention. We actually had a $10 associate membership available but no one asked for it. The easiest sell was when a Grandparent brought their Grandchild in to the convention. EVERYONE that I approached about buying their Grandchild a Life Membership bought one ($550). I had one Grandparent with a 3 year old and he was so excited about providing this for the child.

I asked a store supervisor about people stealing from the store. He said that has never been a problem because "these people are not the type that steal". The vendors said the same thing. I talked to several and they said they had never had anything stolen from their displays. We (NRA and gun "nuts") are not the problem.
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Re: 2013 NRA Meetings and Exhibits (a/k/a NRA Convention)

#9

Post by bizarrenormality » Tue May 07, 2013 7:14 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:Houston 2013 will never be matched, much less exceeded, until we come back to Texas (Dallas) in 2018 or thereabout. We will definitely be back in Houston as soon as we can, but that won't be before 2019 at the earliest.
Great weekend. Sorry if this was asked already, but is the city and dates known for next year yet? In my business, it's never too soon to reserve time for vacation.
"Also if you can not be trusted with a pistol after a few drinks you can't be trusted with a pistol period. Booze is liquid bad judgment no doubt but it shouldn't make you into a damn moron. If you are a moron sober I don't know what to tell you." - BurnedOutLEO

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Re: 2013 NRA Meetings and Exhibits (a/k/a NRA Convention)

#10

Post by Wes » Tue May 07, 2013 7:20 pm

April 25, Indianapolis
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Re: 2013 NRA Meetings and Exhibits (a/k/a NRA Convention)

#11

Post by bizarrenormality » Tue May 07, 2013 7:27 pm

Wes wrote:April 25, Indianapolis
Gracias. :tiphat:
"Also if you can not be trusted with a pistol after a few drinks you can't be trusted with a pistol period. Booze is liquid bad judgment no doubt but it shouldn't make you into a damn moron. If you are a moron sober I don't know what to tell you." - BurnedOutLEO


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Re: 2013 NRA Meetings and Exhibits (a/k/a NRA Convention)

#12

Post by gmckinl » Wed May 08, 2013 7:54 pm

Houston was great. I enjoyed it w/ family and friends. Until next time...
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Re: 2013 NRA Meetings and Exhibits (a/k/a NRA Convention)

#13

Post by kde71450 » Wed May 08, 2013 11:05 pm

I came Sunday. joined the NRA at check in (New Gun & CHL holder) Did a few hours volunteering at NRA Store. Then did the exhibit hall. Thanks for all you do. :patriot:

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Re: 2013 NRA Meetings and Exhibits (a/k/a NRA Convention)

#14

Post by Skiprr » Thu May 09, 2013 1:50 am

Charles L. Cotton wrote:What an incredible week!! I was busy from Tuesday through yesterday (Monday) and now I need to play catch-up.
I was exhausted after the weekend, but elated. I can't even imagine how you felt.
Charles L. Cotton wrote:The 2013 NRA "convention" was a huge success! We set a new record for every category and by a very wide margin. When the NRA was in Houston in 2005, we set a new attendance and money record. Every year thereafter saw a new record set in one or more categories. Houston 2013 will never be matched, much less exceeded, until we come back to Texas (Dallas) in 2018 or thereabout. We will definitely be back in Houston as soon as we can, but that won't be before 2019 at the earliest.
Despite the parking issues and despite having the shuffle-in-place exhibit hall crowds (Saturday in particular), may I say, "Congratulations, Houston! We did it right!"

I know there are many indicators, but my crossed-fingers wish was for a show of significant attendance numbers. I would have been happy with 75,000, which is what, from all reports, about what the NRA expected. St. Lois in 2012 held the previous attendance record: 73,740.

What did Texas do? Only 86,230! :clapping:

I was most interested in attendance numbers because I knew that would be be the most-reported fact from the meeting. In light of the recent all-out assault on our Second Amendment rights, we didn't just break the all-time attendance record in Houston...we shattered it.

(BTW, I DVRed some of the 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. network news broadcasts Friday through Sunday. Every single one of them--I mean every single one--was most interested in presenting the "protestors" in Discovery Green, across the street from the convention center. It is the mainstream media, after all, but it struck me how this showing related to the often-cited "90% of Americans favor stricter gun control laws." I don't believe there were more than 40 protestors at any given time, at least that I saw. And there were well over 86,000 NRA attendees. What's wrong with this picture?

Oh, and BTW: Not one of those network news broadcasts--I'm talking local Houston stations here, which should be interested in the local economy--followed up on Monday, Tuesday, or today in reporting the historic, record-breaking attendance of this NRA meeting. The local stations did no follow-up at all on the NRA meeting.)

Charles L. Cotton wrote:We sold $1.3 in memberships (new and upgrades) and every fundraising event was a new record. If I remember correctly, the Foundation Dinner (FONRA) brought in over $800,000 and the women's event also brought in record numbers (I can't recall how much). The ILA event was huge as well. Every single monetary category was up between 50% and 85%!
Staggering. Especially the new and upgraded memberships. I dragged along (well, not dragged: he was there early and impatiently waiting on me to park) a non-NRA-member friend on Friday, so he added to that new membership count. I view these new memberships--all the new memberships in the past four months--as a new core the NRA can build on.

Howdy's comment about members buying life memberships for their grandchildren had me smiling all day.

Thanks to David Keene for his two-year service as president of the NRA, and congratulations to Jim Porter on his assumption of that role. Interesting fact: Jim's father served as president of the NRA from 1959 to 1961.

What continues to disturb me is that even after this huge boost in membership, the NRA still has only 5 million members.

Five million. Sounds like a lot, but it isn't.

As of October 2011, 47% of American adults reported in a Gallup Poll that they owned a firearm. That would mean about 160 million American households own one or more firearms...and I personally believe the number is higher than that.

Shouldn't at least one-forth of those firearms owners support their Second Amendment Rights by joining the NRA?

Based on that Gallup survey, the NRA doesn't need to reach 10 million members.

We need to exceed 40 million members.
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