private transactions at gun shows


Always Careful
March 1, 2009, 10:31 AM
My feeble memory suggests to me that one of the big gun show promoters has a "no private transactions" policy. Was it Eastman? Or a different one? Can anyone confirm/deny?

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March 1, 2009, 11:05 AM
I've never heard of any trying to do that around here. I think they'd be out of business very soon if they did. A gun show is supposed to be like a flea market. If people want to deal strictly with FFL's they can go to a gun store without paying for a show entry fee or parking.

March 1, 2009, 11:25 AM
A property owner/lessor can do anything he wants on his property.

However, I can't imagine a show promoter banning private sales.

How would he know? Is he going to ban collectors from laying four or five private collections on a table? I don't think so. Half the licensed dealers scarf up "bargans" for their private collections or other personal use.

Promoters are in the business to make money, not promote sales prevention tactics. However, I am sure that some do.

However it may be a placebo effect to post that notice on the entrance "no private sales". It can't and won't be enforced but makes the soccer moms and other kool aid drinkers feel better.

Some gun owners get upset with businesses with posting the red circle with diagonal slash over a handgun. These do not meet statutary requirements to ban guns in most states but make the control idiots feel good when they see them. Business owners can deflect the heat from both sides when they post such signs that have no legal standing.

You may notice these symbols at entrances to malls and theaters. However, this pathetic symbol does not prevent a licenses CCW from entereing and makes the bliss ninnies feel secure and warm and fuzzy.

If you see such a symbol on a business, keep your mouth shut, keep your gun concealed and smile to yourself. If you make too big a rucus, a shop owner might put up a legally binding sign.

March 1, 2009, 03:20 PM
i think it would be rather hard to enforce. you walk into a gun show, they put a zip strip on it to make it "safe". and they let you in the door. how are they supposed to monitor every single person there who sticks a small "for sale" sign on his rifle or pistol?

March 1, 2009, 04:05 PM
Because they can skim money from dealers. It has nothing to do with the law, and all about making money: no private sales means more guns sold from dealers that the show operator can charge the dealer a percentage of. Private sellers typically undercut the dealers, so the dealers' overpriced Mosin Nagants and such don't sell, and the show doesn't get a cut of the private sales. Greed ruins everything.

March 1, 2009, 04:38 PM
I can't answer your specific question. I can say that my local "regular" show prohibits private sales. Enforcement may be a different issue but here is their rule.


March 1, 2009, 10:15 PM
Colorado passed a law a few years ago making private transactions illegal at or around gun shows. Colorado gun shows now seriously suck.

John Wayne
March 1, 2009, 10:29 PM
SC Arms Collectors' Association has a large sign with the handgun in circle with a slash through it, followed by a poster with a notice to CWP holders stating that if they are caught with a loaded firearm and/or magazines, they will not be admitted to future shows.

I'm really not sure how to take this; I would really like to boycott all SCACA shows on this premise. But considering they don't ID people walking through the door, and one 'dealer' I talked to was carrying a TT-33, NAA Pug, J-frame airweight, and 1911 (all loaded, but somewhat concealed) it makes me wonder if it's just for show.

I do understand that show promoters have the right to ask anyone "hawking" (not buying a ticket but just waiting by the door for private sales) to leave.

March 1, 2009, 10:42 PM
Gun shows seem to me to be losing the only things they ever had going in their favor. The prices are no longer better than at gun shops, rather they seem to increase, selection is down, and there are way too many tables that are nothing but A) AR doodads(nothing against that per se, just gets old), B) table after table of brand-new in box guns laid out over the entire table, and all at or over MSRP, and C) misc junk that have nothing to do with firearms or any aspect of the outdoors sporting industry(c'mon folks, indian dream-catchers, religious iconography, and coins? ***)
Add to that that nobody is willing to haggle anymore, and none of the dealers will even look at you unless you hold up one of their products and say, "I want to buy this from you", and it's not worth it for me most of the time.
If they cut out private sales, I think I would simply quit going altogether.

March 1, 2009, 11:15 PM
Yes, Eastman Gun Shows in Georgia places signs at the entrance which says that members of the public are there to buy and trade with dealers, not with other members of the public. They attempt to enforce this policy inside the building. I know this first hand, as I bought a revolver from another guy and was told we had to leave, or rent a table to conduct business.

March 1, 2009, 11:33 PM
Lone_Gunman I don't doubt your experience, but is it possible this is an old rule? Because I go to Eastman's every time they're in town, and I've seen private sales going on. I checked their website ( and the rules say nothing about no private sales.

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