Gun Show


March 7, 2006, 09:40 AM
How does one go about taking a gun to a show to sell? I have been to many gun shows, but I have never taken one there to sell or trade.

I have a revolver that I am looking to sell or trade for a new CZ. Can someone tell me the proper steps to take and give me some tips or hints on how to get a good deal? Thanks!


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March 7, 2006, 09:51 AM
More than likely you will have to deal with a FFL dealer for a trade or purchase. I hav seen people at gun shows carrying a rifle or shotgun with a little flag in the barrel marked "For Sale", but think you are taking a chance selling a handgun that way. Selling that way is especially dangerous depending on the state you are in.

March 7, 2006, 10:10 AM
What about checking it at the door? Do I just carry in the box or would it be better to have the box in a bag?


March 7, 2006, 10:16 AM
Guns shows I've been to they run a plastic tie thru the gun so you can't operate the action when you pay you're money at the door. Most likely they have something along that order. Take the case with you, tape a for sale sign to your back or on top of a hat, you get better visiblity with that than just carrying around a handgun in or out of the case in a crowded show. Most dealers will ask you what you have if they see the case. Good luck

March 7, 2006, 10:18 AM
Down here in Florida, you can take your pistol to the show, have it checked and tie-wrapped at the door and walk it around to sell. Just have to make sure the potential buyer is a resident of your State.

March 7, 2006, 10:22 AM
Bama, depends on which state you are in. If you are in Al (going by your name), check state law and then local. Here in Fl we don't have restrictions, however Orange Co (Orlando) has a local ordinance so all handguns go through a dealer (at the show). Not so in Lakeland. Ask to see an in state Driver license and get # for records if possible. Don't try to make a living at either, ATF don't like that. Joe

March 7, 2006, 10:34 AM
Call the show promoters, they will tell you exactly what you can and cannot do. poppy

March 7, 2006, 10:36 AM
Sell it in the parking lot.
It's where I buy a lot on mine.


March 7, 2006, 10:49 AM
I am in Alabama. The show is in Montgomery at the Shriner's Temple on the Eastern Blvd. It is this weekend. Anyone else going?


March 7, 2006, 12:12 PM
AFS Sell it in the parking lot.
I would recommend that you respect the rules of the show. Most don't permit parking lot transactions.

Here is the Email for the promoters:
I'm sure they would be happy to send you the rules and what to do to comply with local and state laws. poppy

Sharps Shooter
March 7, 2006, 12:15 PM
Iíve posted this story on this board before. Itís the reason I will never again sell a gun except to a licensed dealer and I donít care how legal private sales are.
A few years ago my wife and I were at a gun show when she spotted a Sig 9mm sheíd been looking for on one of the dealers tables. Iíd brought a Taurus 44 Special to the gun show with the expressed purpose of trading it off if I saw something I wanted more. My wife asked me if she could trade my 44 Special in on the 9mm she was looking at and I told her sure. The dealer looked the 44 Special over and made her an offer when some short, fat guy standing behind her spoke up and said heíd like to look at it. He glanced it over and promptly offered my wife a little more for it than what the dealer was offering. My wife handed the short, fat guy the gun, he handed her the cash, and she turned around and handed the cash, plus a check to the dealer. After the paperwork, my wife happily walked away with her brand new Sig 9mm.
Well, a few months later I received a phone call early one morning from the FBI. They assured me I was not in trouble but somehow a 44 Special that was registered to me had ended up in the hands of the ďCripsĒ or ďCribsĒ, or whatever that gang in Los Angeles calls itself, and they had used it in an armed robbery. Again, the FBI assured me that I wasnít in trouble and they didnít even suspect that Iíd broken any laws. But they came out to the house and interviewed me asking the about circumstances of the sale of that 44 Special and asked me to describe the guy that bought it. My wife was at work and the FBI didnít even bother to call her.
We havenít heard another word about the matter. Obviously, it was legal for me to sell a handgun at a gun show to a person I didnít know from Adam. But like I said Ė I donít care. And Iím not saying Iíd feel at all responsible if one of those slime balls in L.A. had used my gun to kill someone. They can get guns, knives or even baseball bats anyway. Itís just that I donít need the hassle.

March 7, 2006, 12:27 PM
I thought it was a felony in most states to sell a handgun to an individual without utilizing the purchase permit issued by the purchaser's county/state of residence? Here in MO we have to apply for a permit with the local sheriff, wait 7-10 days, then seller and purchaser fill out their portions of the permit, and copies are mailed off to their appropriate locations. Not sure what the consequences are if not followed in my state. Don't wanna find out either.

Sharps Shooter
March 7, 2006, 01:30 PM
Nope. Well, I'll qualify that by stating I don't know about the laws in "most" states about the private sales of handguns. But it's not even a misdemeanor, much less a "felony" in Idaho for me to sell a handgun to an idividual without a permit. I just don't do it anymore. I sell through dealers with FFLs so the guns are no longer registered to me.

March 7, 2006, 01:53 PM
depends on the state. here in virginia, i think you can sell to any virginia resident, provided you don't have reason to believe/know that the individual would otherwise be precluded from lawfully purchasing a weapon. i've done a few ftf transactions with a buddy and though we swap paperwork in the form of a receipt acknowledging the sale of the weapons and the make/model/serial number of the weapon, even that level of detail is required under law here. the only permit requirement for purchasing a weapon in my neck of the woods is a one-gun per month limit, unless the buyer has a ccw permit, which then waives that limit. anyone thinking of selling a gun ftf has to do some due diligence. you should of course familiarize yourself with the laws of your state/city, verify that the person is a resident of your state, and if at all in doubt, conduct the transaction through a FFL.

March 7, 2006, 03:16 PM
Bama, the advice you've received is good. Basically, you will have it checked and tie-wrapped when you enter the show. As you are walking around, some number of folks and some dealers, will ask you "Whatcha got there?" or some such. Some will be interested, some will not.

BTW, there's a much bigger gun show, the 3x yearly Alabama Gun Collectors Assoc. (AGCA) show at the civic center in Birmingham on 03/18-19. Also, you might put up a thread on the For Sale boards here. You might find a buyer (like ME!) I have a like-new CZ75b in 9, and I LOOOOVE S&W revolvers.

March 7, 2006, 04:06 PM
I called and found out who to contact to get info I needed. He told me, like most of you, that it would be checked at the door and a tie put through the action to make it inoperable.

He informed me that I could indeed sell it to an individual, but only if he/she is an Alabama resident. He also suggested that I get the buyers name, DL #, and address so that I can have that in my records in case someone asks later on. He advised that if anyone refused this info to not sell them the gun. I agree because even though I may not be legally accountable, I do have a conscience that would eat me up if a gun I sold in this manner was used to commit a crime.

Thanks for all the input!


March 7, 2006, 04:08 PM
I'm going on Saturday. What are you intending to sell?

Ala Dan
March 7, 2006, 05:04 PM
Naw, Bama I will be work'in within our sporting goods/gun shop this weekend.

Simmons Sporting Goods
2001-2nd Ave North
Bessemer, AL 35020
PX: (205) 425-4720 or 426-0490

March 7, 2006, 07:14 PM
I'm going on Saturday. What are you intending to sell?

I have a 4" SS Ruger GP 100. It has the red ramp front sight, two sets of Lett Grip inserts, the original grip inserts and original front sight, and is all in the original box with paperwork. It hasn't had all that many rounds through it and most were .38 special.


March 7, 2006, 09:05 PM
Also depends on whether the show is 'open' or 'closed'. The 'closed' shows only allow members (as in a club, like the Washington Arms Collectors) to buy, sell or trade firearms. Everybody else may purchase ammunition, holsters, magazines, and other equipment. I have been to several of the 'open' shows in Western Washington, and find just about the same selection of arms as in the 'closed' shows. However, I have found some really good private-purchase buys at the 'open' shows that probably would not have made it to the 'closed' shows.

At any rate, have the firearm unloaded and preferably in a hard case of some type when you get to the front door. Most shows will tie the action for you so that a round cannot be inserted into the chamber. If you have extra mags or speed-loaders you want to sell at the same time, put them in a backpack or shoulder bag (you may have to give the security people at the door a quick look inside first), once you are inside you are good to go, given the information above. Enjoy the show, and good swapping/trading/selling.

March 7, 2006, 09:16 PM
Alabama is wide open. I've bought/sold dozens over the years by hanging a tag on a gun I was walking around with. Just for safety I would definitely check DL for residency and get a bill of sale. I bring a few blank ones along and get a witness. Just don't do anything stupid and don't deal with anyone you don't like.


March 8, 2006, 04:41 AM
Law permitting - sell it to the first person you feel comfortable selling it to. In other words, weigh the person up.

I have decided against selling firearms to particular people at shows, and know others who have as well. There are various ways to express this without saying "You look like a punk [or other] and I am not going to sell it to you". But as a last resort you certainly can - and turn right around and sell it to someone else right in front of them. No one is compelled to sell anyone they do not want to. A dealer can refuse anyone they want to even if the person passes a "background check".

The "fear" factor is being used as a political tool to kill all private gun transactions, as a prelude to outlawing them without "background checks".

If you are that worried about selling to a later problem, take a pocket tape recorder ready to go; if an interested prospect approaches, and once a sale is agreed, you discreetly hit the record button. "By the way, I must ask you; are you a convicted felon, ever been declared mentally incompetent, [etc] ..... OK mister [or missus] .... for [$XXX] this [make and model and chambering] ... is yours. Thank you [sir/mam] ...". Don't turn it off, as they are walking away (or you are) pull the recorder out and speak the time, date and location [name of gunshow].

You now have an audio recording of the transaction. Make copies of the recording and file a couple in different places to safeguard them. Destroy them at a later date if desired.

BTW; I wouldn't lug a gun box or hardcase into a show with you. Unless you have a cart or other wheeled device to ease the burden - you are going to get tired very quickly. If you want to sell a rifle, sling it, and carry it around on your shoulder with the A4 size "For Sale" taped on the barrel. Also a shoulder slung rifle is readily identifiable to prospective purchasers without having to guess what might be in a box or case.

March 8, 2006, 08:58 AM
Audio recording are illegal in a LOT of states. In PA BOTH parties must agree to the recording.. even in public, with no expectation of privicy. Other states have vastly different laws.

I doubt that you would get in 'trouble' unless the buyer found out and was the tin foil hat wearing type.

March 9, 2006, 03:13 AM
An audio recording might be "illegal" in one or another context, but it is better than nothing. I'd rather have a ticket for making an "illegal tape recording" as opposed to fighting a firearms related felony indictment. In the case of "both parties must be aware", this sometimes means merely any third party. Like your wife, girlfriend or buddy etc.


March 9, 2006, 10:17 AM
I'll be at the gunshow in Montgomery this weekend. I'm planning to sell a S&W 4003 with 5 mags & holster. I also have about 750 rds of mostly Wolf .40, but also includes most of a box of Win. white box.

The cop at the entrance always straps the action with a plastic strap when you take one in for sale. Last time I was in there, a dealer talked to me over the cop's shoulder asking me what I had in the bag, and asking if I was wanting to sell them. I told him I was trading so he went on about his business.

The B'ham gunshow at the BJCC back in January was a huge disappointment. I'd been told about how huge it was, but it turned out to be no bigger than Montgomery's. Was that one put on by a different outfit?

M2 Carbine
March 9, 2006, 10:39 AM
How you sell a firearm at a gun show depends on whether you still live in a free state or not.:(

In Texas you have the gun's action tie wrapped at the door, if you haven't already sold it before you get to the door.
I bought a very nice M1 Carbine outside on the sidewalk.:)

Inside, carry the gun around and people will ask to see it and what's the asking price.
If the deal is OK, the gun and money changes hands.

I seldom sell guns but when I have, the gun was sold within the first few rows of the gun show.:)

Personally I don't want to know who buys it and he isn't going to know who sold it.
If I don't like the buyer's looks, I don't sell the gun to them.

March 9, 2006, 11:05 AM
This topic gets discussed a lot and I feel that you have to be comfortable with the person you are making a private sale to. Different states vary in their requirements. I'm in TN and the requirements are essentially the same as for you in Alabama. I personally feel some responsibility about a private sale and I usually ask for ID if it is not a dealer. Nothing needs to be recorded, but on the off chance a BATF agent is at a show and observes the sale, you better be comfortable at least with the state residency and age requirement (if they appear young) and get the verbal on the other points-the most important being felon. Sometimes you just have a sense about a person and I go with my instincts.

I have a bad habit of not advertising a gun that is for sale such as putting a handgun in my belt (mexican carry). As a result, you only get folks who just happen to see the gun as prospective buyers. I would suggest that you make a sign and put it on the hard case that the gun is stored in and one for on your back as you walk around. Do have a price in mind and also a minimum price that you will accept. Sometimes, you can sit in the concession area with the gun displayed as people walk by. I have a brief case sized hard case that will fit about 4 handguns normally and it works pretty well for posting the sign. It also works for storing new purchases as well if you buy a handgun. It seems that many want to buy the hard case. It really depends on just how much you want to sell the gun. You make your decisions. Good luck.

March 9, 2006, 03:08 PM
The show in January at the BJCC was by a private promoter. The AGCA puts on the biggest shows, and they are done 3x/year, usually July, October, Feb or March. No comparison.

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