It’s eleventy-billion degrees in Austin right now. In less than a hundred days, come November 14 and 15, the weather will perfect for the 2015 Texas Firearms Festival at Best of the West Shooting Sports in Liberty Hill. It was last year. The temp hovered around 70 degrees and humidity was non-existent, with only a slight wind kicking up at the end of the day. As you prepare to “come and shoot it” at this year’s Festival, there are few things you need to keep in mind. For one thing, it could be a bit nippy in the AM. You know; relatively speaking. So bring . . .
a waterproof windbreaker. By 9am, when the VIPs hit the range for their exclusive hour, you’ll have a good idea of what clothing you’ll need. You’ll be festooned with a wrist band as you enter; returning to your car to shed or acquire clothing and re-enter the range (past the security guards) will be no problem.
Unless you don’t like walking. The range is about a mile end-to-end, covered with loose gravel. Comfortable walking shoes are a must. Rubber-soled or “tactical” shoes are best; you want good underfoot grip when you’re firing the large selection of totally awesome handguns, rifles and shotguns.
We provide eyes and ears (foam plugs) for those who want them, but you’ll probably be more comfortable with your own eye and ear pro. Sunglasses and eyeglasses are acceptable, although we strongly recommend eyewear specifically designed for ballistic protection. If you have active ear-pro – headphones that allow you to hear conversations while blocking out gunfire – that’s a definite plus.
Sunscreen, a hat and chapstick are also good ideas. We recommend your stash your bits and pieces in a backpack. This year, over 50 exhibitors in the now-centrally-located Retail Village will be selling gear: knives, holsters, T-shirts, gun storage devices and much more. There will also be brochures, stickers, business cards, free water and other stuff to schlep. Do you want to be carrying around a bunch of bags? You do not. Not when there are guns to shoot.
And buy. This year, you can purchase firearms at the now-centrally-located Sportsman’s Finest gun store tent and directly from manufacturers at their demonstration bays. To pick up your new ballistic BFF, you’ll need money (a credit card), an ID (a Texas driver’s license or CHL) and a pen (to fill out the form 4473). If you live out-of-state, the seller will ship your new gun to your local gun dealer, who’ll probably charge you a transfer fee. If that’s the way you roll, best check the fee now and bring a copy of your local gun’s store’s FFL certificate to the Festival.
You’re welcome to bring your own gun to the 2015 Texas Firearms Festival. Yup, we’re open carry. However you carry your firearm, you must keep your handgun safely stored/holstered and/or your rifle safely slung (no “low ready”). I repeat: do not take your gun out of the holster or your rifle off your shoulder to show it to your new friends. You are not allowed to shoot your firearm in any of the bays at the Texas Firearms Festival.
Don’t forget your smart phone! We not only allow photography, we encourage it. The more you post, Tweet, Instagram, Pin and otherwise share your “come and shoot it” Texas Firearms Festival experiences, the more you help guarantee our growth and success. (Thanks!) Meanwhile, don’t worry. The 2015 Texas Firearms Festival is bigger and better than before. There will be plenty of friendly Texans (in yellow event shirts) to help you with any questions on the day. Or put them below. See you there!