Gun shows are a fantastic part of American culture. During the summer especially, there are many large scale shows across the country that you can attend. If you have never been to one of these shows before, we have some handy advice that will let you enjoy it more.
Even as a new gun collector, it’s fun to attend some of these shows to see exactly what kind of historical and collectible firearms that are available to purchase from some of these private dealers. Even if you aren’t in the market to purchase, the time you spend learning and chatting with other people who love firearms will be well worth it.
Here are some other tips and tricks, rules on etiquette, and whether you should bargain at a local gun show when you visit one.
There is probably an entry fee to get in the door, and sometimes they won’t take a credit or debit card. It’s just better to bring cash to get in. That will also get you through the line faster. Plus, when you have cash with you, sometimes the vendors will give you a better deal on the purchase that you want to make.
Check Your Firearm at the Door
Find out before the gun or trade show whether concealed carry is allowed. If it isn’t, you can usually check your firearm with security at the front of the show before you go in. You also have to declare any firearms that you have brought with you unloaded, of course, that you may want to trade with other people.
Always Ask Before Handling a Vendor’s Firearms
Usually a vendor will have a sign about touching their merchandise. Always ask before you go to handle anything they have on an open table. It’s polite and proper before you touch anything. You never want to dry fire any weapon as it could damage the firing pin. And it goes without saying that you should always watch where you point it. Safety first, even if all of the guns on display are unloaded.
Feel Free to Negotiate a Bargain
This is a great time to test out your bargaining skills. If you want to get a better deal, ask for one. It’s acceptable to offer 15-20 percent less than the ticketed price. Many times, dealers are willing to go lower to move more of their merchandise, especially towards the end of the day. That’s less they have to pack up and take home with more money in their pockets.
Have Your Identification With You
Make sure you have your CCL (concealed carry license) or permit with you, as well as your driver’s license or state ID. If you purchase something at the show, more than likely you’ll be able to take it home with you the same day.
Above all, enjoy the time you spend at the gun show seeing everything each vendor has on display. Not only will there be plenty of new firearms, historical weaponry, and just about everything you can imagine accessory wise for tactical gear, you’ll be able to chat with people just like you that love to support our Second Amendment rights.