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Old September 11th, 2018, 03:04 AM #1
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Observations and thoughts on gun shows

While there are certainly members on this forum that are older than me, Iím old enough to remember when gun shows were an event. The dates for the shows at Pikeville and Greenbelt were placed on the calendar and eagerly awaited.

There also were a lot more gun shops back then. They werenít just for buying guns either. They were a place to socialize and get caught up on what was happening with firearms, hunting and what not.

For a whole host of reasons that time has passed.

It could be said the Clinton administrations activities to reduce the number of Type 01 FFL holders would be a good start. Let us not forget that prior to that the ATF use to set up at gun shows to help people get an FFL so as not to run afoul of the selling of guns without a license law.

For some time, the gun show has supplanted the gun shop as a place to buy things locally.

Prior to and during the Obama administration the number of attendees at gun shows went up exponentially. One of the results has been a dramatic increase in the number of shows. The Chantilly show as an example went from a couple of shows to seven a year. The Oaks show in Pa has four shows a year.

Between the massive spending that was done during the prior administration, less fear of adverse regulation, more shows to go to, among other things, attendance is down at all the shows.

The question is what can or should be done about it.

This past weekend at the Howard County Show I spoke with both vendors and attendees. Both groups commented about the fewer vendors and attendees. Many vendors questioned how long it can go on without business picking up. Remember the vendors arenít there for the goodness of their heart. While there are some that do it as a hobby, more do it as a business. And if they start losing money they stop setting up at the show. A few of the attendees commented about how it was cheaper to get things online. That may apply to accessories, but one still must do firearms transactions in person.

While I donít suggest one has to go to every show no matter how far I would suggest supporting the local ones. Bring a friend, even better one that may be sitting on the fence about firearms. If you have children, it is vitally important for them to attend. For donít forget they are the future.
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Old September 11th, 2018, 08:56 AM #2
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Internet sales and anti-gun sentiment in the Maryland ruling class killed them here.
Can't get good venues, can't fight low internet pricing and instant availability of what you are looking for.
I hit the ones in York and Harrisburg occasionally and once in a great while the big one in VA.
Deals on firearms at shows are few anymore, everything basically priced the same as on Gun Broker.
Used to love going to a gun show, now I have to work at it.
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Old September 11th, 2018, 09:21 AM #3
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It's been five years since I've attended a Maryland gun show. Simply not worth the time, effort, and money involved.

It's not the number of vendors that show up. But the quality of the vendors that show. In my opinion, older shows were about the firearm culture in America. Vendors had lots of old stuff. Lots of C&R. Lots of antiques. And lots and lots and lots of parts bins for every firearm under the sun. Vendors used to be dyed in the wool gun folk. Now it's a lot of rude counter help folk.

It's tacti-cool retail. With an extra dose of tacti-cool retail. Followed by more tacti-cool retail sprinkled on for good measure. And when folks have seen all the tacti-cool they can stand. They can move on to the tube sock, t-shirt, bumper sticker, dried meat, and NcStar/Chinese knife vendors.

You wanna get the quality of guns shows back up in America.....Build the gun culture back up in America. Shooting! Hunting! Collecting! Etc. That will require help from the overwhelmingly vast majority of Republicans that currently control all of the US government and most of the state governments. But they're not helping. In some cases, they're a hindrance. Cuzz politicians, R, D, and I, no longer give a rats rear end about proactively supporting the Second Amendment.

No easy answers to your question, OP.
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Old September 11th, 2018, 09:25 AM #4
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Maryland is different from surrounding states in Free America. Vendors who used to frequent Maryland gun shows no longer do...they don't want to run afoul of Maryland laws regarding the evil "assault rifle" ban or 10+ magazine ban. They also don't want to separate out of their inventory those same items just for a weekend here. To them the orange isn't worth the squeeze.

Gun shows in adjacent states seem to be doing well.
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Old September 11th, 2018, 10:05 AM #5
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I can't add to it you guys have hit the nail on the head.
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Old September 11th, 2018, 10:44 AM #6
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Back in the day when I was a regular attendee at the shows there was a guy they called Top Hat that was loaded with gun supplies of all types. Does he still show up at any of the shows?
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Old September 11th, 2018, 10:51 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atrox88 View Post
Back in the day when I was a regular attendee at the shows there was a guy they called Top Hat that was loaded with gun supplies of all types. Does he still show up at any of the shows?
I remember him at the Upper Marlboro and MoCo Fair sites with fond memories. I also remember a guy who would sharpen knives for you for 3 or 4 bucks a pop. I understand that the knife guy passed away. Fond memories indeed...
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Old September 11th, 2018, 10:55 AM #8
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Can't remember the last time I was at one.
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Old September 11th, 2018, 11:04 AM #9
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Top Hat died. I thought someone took it over, but I don't see them.
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Old September 11th, 2018, 11:06 AM #10
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Top Hat died. I thought someone took it over, but I don't see them.
Rest in peace Top Hat, the knife guy, and the Bill of Rights in Maryland.
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