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What happen to gun shows? Well I have been going to and setting up at gun shows in Richmond, Virginia since the early 1980's. For more than a decade some of the shows were at 1,000 tables. Just a few years ago there were two shows. Dealers complained there were too many shows. Be careful what you wish for. Down to one show every few months and then, no more. This November will be the last show for the foreseeable future. Why? Simply a lack of a venue for a large gun show.
 
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It's not just the internet, although that most certainly contributed to the decline.
It's a fear by the owners of the venue about potential liability (lawsuits) and also
adverse publicity about firearms.

Back about 20 years ago we had several large (1,000 table) gun shows in the
Pittsburgh area. It was back in the early 90's that one dealer handed an attendee
a pistol with a round in the chamber. The fellow was looking it over and pulled the
trigger. A bystander was accidently shot -- he was injured but survived. Lots of
adverse publicity in the local press and TV about this.

That was at a major convention center just outside of the city. They refused to host
any more gun shows. The group putting on the show had great difficulty finding a
new venue of the size and convenient locale as this one. That was the end of the best
show held 4 times per year. It attracted high quality dealers from many states outside
of PA.

The group that hosts that show still has one several times per year, but it's about 1/4
the size and 25 miles outside the city and not convenient to drive to.

Most of our shows nowadays are small ones, at fire halls and such, and the "flea market"
mentality that JohnnyP mentioned is alive and well. They are really not worth going to
unless you just want to kill a few hours and get out of the house.
 

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I / we use to go to the gun shows just to go, and I would go as a means of 2A support, but I don't go any more.
Nothing against black rifles or Tupperware pistols, but I don't need to see tables and tables full of them, and I can pass on the beef jerky too.
 

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After the Columbine shooting, the venue that held the area gun show stopped hosting the show. It took several years for them to come back. Politics and the Internet are killing shows.
 

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There are no deals at shows any more. The guns are over priced and no one wants to haggle. They have to pay for the table and their time at the shows. The only thing that is great about a show is you meet some nice people and actually what I like the most is examine the gun your interested in physically. It's a shame.
 

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Stopped attending a few years ago. I grew tired of seeing the same vendors and same merchandice year after year. Personally, my interests are usually older pistols made of steel and wood. Also, most of the pistols I’m looking for for are usually harder to find. I tend to lean towards either low production models of Colt or S&W and rare or scarce Imports from Europe. These of course are a lot easier to find online through Auctions and Forums. Jim
 

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I dunno, I was a gunshow junkie that just couldn't miss a show, now I hit two a year. Burnout? Maybe just getting too old and nothing really drives me now..

Jim
 

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There is a small show out side of the metro that I like to attend. You know the kind about 50 tables, The local church ladies make biscuits and gravy and grill hamburgers outside. Usually a guy with a small Winchester Collection, A little mil surp stuff and a lot of boxes to sort through. Last year the ATF had a three table presence with literature and warnings of offenses. That wasn't quite as bad as one of the agents, a young gal about 25 in swat pants and raid shirt walking the isles. I'm sure they were invited and I didn't see any incidents. But the atmosphere was gone. Everybody was on edge. The innocence of the small town show was gone. Truman
 

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I guess we're lucky here. There's a lot of flea market stuff at our local shows, but overall they're pretty exciting to go to. Our shows are kind of social gatherings, and there's usually a lot of stuff walking in. The finds are not so much on the tables, they come walking in and many times you get some good leads as well. Really, you rarely find the nuggets on the tables, it takes some sleuthing to get it. If you start a conversation with a guy carrying around a lowly H&R .22, you may find out that he has several collectible guns that he didn't bring. I have found a lot of nice guns locally by doing just that, and the best buys have actually happened a day or two after the show. Browsing the tables may yield something, but if you work it a bit you'll find much more.
 

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Believe it or not there are still fairly large gun shows here in SouCal that occur several times a year. Sure, there is plenty of flea market junk, parking, admission and gun prices are high (although I occasionally find a deal) and all firearms sales need to go through a dealer but many of the guns that I have shown on this forum are gun show finds.
The old Great Western Show which was equivalent to the Tulsa show ceased to exist in 2000 because the liberals on the L.A. County board wanted to make a political statement but I make the best of what is left and it does no good to lament the good old days.
 

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I go with "Like Minded" people...my shootin' buddies...to make a day of it.

Afterward to the range...then to grab sumptin' to eat...then shoot some pool and have a beer.

Ammo in bulk...because I know the guy for years...and he gives me a break on the price.

And...I like Jerky !! :rolleyes:
 

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I till try to go to the OGCA show a couple of times a year its about the only real gun show around here any more. Really nice folks and some real gun guys who lie to talk guns as well as sell you one. The small shows Round here Bout 50% guns the rest jewelry, hats and a bunch of idiots in camouflage running around telling war stories after 28 years in the Army it takes about 30 seconds to spot the bulls_____s. I would rather be here on the forum you can buy, sell read good stories and trust who your dealing with and have some real experts on here to
 

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In the DFW area there are several every month. They do not open until 10am! They sell jewelry, bedding, pies, cakes, candy, Girl Scout cookies, youth raffle tickets, seldom have hot dogs and if they do, the lines are longer than acceptable. At least one in FTW charges more to park than admission. They have become flea markets, garage and junk sales. Wolf has been hollered so long and often people just ain't buying it any longer. Many bought guns and gadgets thinking they were going to profit and now want out. Used gun prices are down and the bulk of buyers are overstocked with guns they don't shoot now. Gun shows are not a priority for most. If they go, it's just a walk through, with few spending money. This results in vendors appearing less than excited to be there (read attitude) which created a reason for some if not many of us to not go. That is what I think has happened.
 

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Gun shows aren't as common now in the People's Republic as they once were. In some areas local ordinances either restricted them or vendors got tired of fighting the local restrictions and stopped attending...the show promoters would win in the courts but lost the war otherwise. At most shows many out of state vendors stopped attending due to state laws banning 10+ magazines and many, if not most, "assault rifles". They simply didn't want to accidentally run afoul of the laws or don't want to segregate non-allowable inventory just for one state.

We're otherwise fortunate that Maryland isn't such a big state that there are usually very good gun shows just over the state line in PA and VA and are usually quite friendly to MD residents outside of firearms that don't pass MD muster.
 
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