Shame on NSSF and Glock

I received an email from author Paul Barrett (my review of Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun is here) this afternoon with a link to this article. The most interesting thing I found was the following:

Apparently, the executives at Glock Inc., the Smyrna, Ga., subsidiary of Glock GmbH are worried about the book’s look behind the scenes at the company. So Glock Inc. forced the National Shooting Sports Foundation to rescind my press credentials for the 2012 SHOT Show expo floor. Talk about disrespect for First Amendment free speech rights!


Okay, so the First Amendment doesn’t always apply to non-government actors attempting to silence or restrict your access information. But even if it isn’t actually a First Amendment issue there are some principles involved here.

I can understand Glock being miffed at the revealing of some unsavory insider details in the book. But this is shutting the barn window after the horse has left, found a mare or three, and established a herd on the open plains.

I could see Glock employees refusing to talk to Barrett and maybe even asking him to leave their booth. But putting pressure on NSSF to rescind his press credentials? That’s way out of line. It was also stupid. Can you say, “Streisand Effect“?

And NSSF went along with this?

Shame on both of them.


14 thoughts on “Shame on NSSF and Glock

  1. While not a first amendment violation, I can’t imagine Glock thinking this would turn out well for them.


  2. NSSF is not very frindly towards “free speech”. They sure do not like the home gun smithing community, unless they changed in the last couple of years….

  3. Is there any corroboration of these assertions? Especially of Glock’s direct involvement? –There’s been some fairly high-pressure promotion for this book already.

  4. @Roberta X, I wondered about that too. Had it been someone I had not spent a lot of time with and generally trust I would have looked for confirmation before posting. I trust Barrett more that most people to not exaggerate and want to present the data as accurately as possible.

    That doesn’t mean things his standards necessarily remain high when it is something personal. It just means I have no evidence he has low standards as a general rule.

  5. What penalty applies from having his press credentials canceled – is he banned from the show floor (unlikely) or does he now have to pay his own way to get in? Has he lost access via press credential to press-only events, has he lost access to a press room with plugs for laptops and wifi, is there free press booze, what?

    Did he actually have press credentials in his possession, then have them taken away? Can he verify any of this?

    Just aksing – I really have no dog in this hunt, despite being the happy owner of a fine Glock product.

  6. It’s my understanding that SHOT is an annual industry-only trade show. Ordinary people can’t buy a ticket to get in, so it’s a big deal to get a press credential if you’re not in the employ of some entity that is recognized press.
    He was shut out by NSSF at the behest of Glock, and he mis-explains his outrage as a First Amendment violation. It’s more like NSSF Zumboed here.

  7. A copy of this book is on it’s way to me. Now I’m definitely itching to read it.

    This has pushed me from being ambivalent about the book to ordering it up myself. Striesand Effect indeed.

  8. While I could believe that it might happen, I’ve heard other things that lead me to believe that this story may not be true.

    Tommy Nelson of the GunDudes podcast ( had an interview with Paul Barrett from the SHOT Show. It starts at the 19:00 mark of their Day 4 SHOT Show Micro-Cast. The background noise leads me to believe it was from the floor of the show. If he doesn’t have credentials, then how is he on the floor of the SHOT Show?

  9. Barrett readily admits he made it into the show. He just says his press credentials were withdrawn.

    He is just not revealing how he accomplished that. It could have been it was via “tailgating” a friend or any number of ways.

    It’s also possible he got a pass from some manufacture such as S&W or Para USA, or perhaps an organization like the NRA.

  10. Thanks to Joe Huffman for his original post and subsequent hosting of discussion. Rest assured, skeptics, this really happened. The NSSF has confirmed it in response to an inquiry from Daniel Terrill, an enterprising writer for the website. Check in over there and see for yourself. I don’t think this case deserves citation in law school text books or attention from the U.S. Supreme Court. That’s not the point. The questions are 1.) what is Glock afraid of? and 2.) why can Glock on its own initiative tell the entire gun industry who is allowed into the SHOT Show? Commenters who suggest that the ban didn’t really interfere with my work are entirely correct. I was i Las Vegas for four days. I saw everyone I needed to see. And there were sightings of me on the expo floor. I can neither confirm nor deny those reports. Tell a reporter he can’t come to an event attended by 60,000 people, and the reporter will probably find a way in. Just saying. Happy to answer additional questions, and thanks again for the interest. Info on my book here: –Paul

  11. A year or so back a local gun rights group featured a review in their publication that mentioned Glock pistols unfavorably. I read the article and the review was obviously the author’s opinion (can’t remember exactly, but it was something harmless like “I didn’t care for x feature…”). The next issue featured an apology from the magazine at the behest of Glock’s lawyers and their assertation that they “officially retract” their last article.

    Seems to be a running theme with Glock.

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