Friday, October 30, 2015

Gun Shows

Tam has a link to a breathless CNN article about WHAT REALLY GOES ON AT A GUN SHOW!

Heh. I don't know about the gun shows in your area, but ours are pretty disappointing. Here's the inside story. I usually end up going, although I wonder why:

First, before you get to the door you have to disarm. Either leave your piece in the truck or unload it so it can be zip-tied at the door. So you and everyone else following the rules is unarmed, always a good start.

Once inside, there are a dozens of tables displaying firearms, new, old, long guns, handguns, shotguns, military, and so on. Most of these are either under glass or cabled together so that they can't really be handled. A few of the smaller tables have them out so you can talk to the vendor and at least shoulder or sight the merchandise.

Prices are tending toward the high end. Local gun shops usually end up looking competitive. Gone are the days of finding a deal on an old military rifle or a gently used handgun. I walk by some tables wondering if the guns are for sale or just displayed in an odd museum with price tags.

Some ammo sales, a little bit of reloading supplies. Powder has been scarce and very spendy. I did buy a bulk pack of factory 9mm last time. It was new manufactured mil-spec, and with things winding down overseas, the manufacturer was at the show looking to test the civilian market. It wasn't really a great deal, but it was fair, and it was good ammo at the range.

Then there's everything else.

Flashlights, tables and tables of flashlights, most of them designed to light up the field for night baseball.

Electric stun guns. These are easy to find. The continuous test firing makes a angry crackle from the far corner of the room. The same guy is selling pepper spray, batons, and cheap copies of Japanese katanas.

Knives. Some quality, lots of cheap. The nice ones cost more than the guns.

Survival food. Jerky. Nitrogen packed meals in buckets. Old MREs. Camo clothes, old military stuff, the kind of things I used to see in the Army-Navy store for $2.99 now priced to sell for $27.50!
T-shirts and patches. Military, patriotic, pro-2A, and vendor advertising. Sometimes all on the same shirt. The last several times there's been a booth manned by a couple of pretty young women selling stickers and t-shirts with a slogan that most us would support but wouldn't wear.

You walk around, see some friends, look at the stuff, and head out in a couple of hours. 
If anything about this seems exciting, I apologize for not being more descriptive. No one is breaking any laws. Crates of automatic weapons are not changing hands. There is no "gun show loophole", every vendor has to fill out the same forms as the guy at the gun shop, calls have to made, there is nothing shady happening.

Yes, if you have the money and you are willing to part with it and can pass a background check, you can buy a gun at a gun show. I'm unsure how this qualifies as news.


Steve Kupillas said...

yup. Pretty much like that last two I went to. Ho Hum.

Tam said...

Funnily, I find good deals at every show I go to. One does need to be an informed consumer, however. :)

ASM826 said...

I suspect you are going to much larger shows as well. The big semiannual show in Raleigh is a good one.

Jonathan H said...

Funny, It doesn't sound like any gun show I've ever been to - as Tam said, you can look around and find deals, the shows near me vary substantially; 1 is very back woods, small, and full of hunting rifles, shotguns, old knives and ammo - another is full of survival gear and tactical weapons (and 10 times bigger). The third is an eclectic mixture of both of those with quite a few oddities added.
I have no problem doing a private transaction and taking business away from the (usually) overpriced dealers at a gun show; some of them raise their prices to account for the 'extra costs' of the show. Every gun show I have been to has had a number of tables from private individuals; maybe the show mentioned in the article has expensive tables or other requirements that stop it.