Man Holding a Pistol at a Gun Show

Common Myths About Gun Shows Debunked

Knowing the real facts about gun shows will help you have a great time when Pennsylvania’s Largest Gun Show visits a community near you. Gun shows are the perfect place to find a money-saving deal on a new or used firearm, but too many people let fear-mongering gun show myths hold them back. We’ve talked before about what to expect at your local PA gun show, but now it’s time to debunk some myths by talking about what you won’t see.

Fact Over Fiction

It seems like every day, there’s a new news story, social media post, or political soundbite vilifying guns, gun owners, and gun shows. These are filled with lots of scary words, startling images, unsubstantiated claims, and anecdotal stories. What they usually don’t have, however, are the real gun, gun ownership, or gun show facts. We’ve picked some of the most common gun show myths we could find, took aim, and now we’re ready to open fire with the truth you need to know to change the conversation.

Myth #1 – Gun Shows are Dangerous Events Held in Shady, Secluded Locations

Aerial View of Vendor Booths at an Eagle Shows Event

We work with local convention centers, exhibition halls, and fairgrounds to put on professionally managed events with paid security on-site to keep everyone safe. These spaces are popular destinations for conferences, trade shows, meetings, and parties–which means they’re well-lit, climate-controlled, and located close to lodging, dining, and entertainment venues. Our shows are safe, family-friendly shopping experiences that offer something for the whole family.

Myth #2 – Anyone Can Buy Guns and Ammunition–No Questions Asked

Often combined with the popular gun show background check myth, these just don’t hold water when confronted with gun show facts. Our Pennsylvania gun shows are held in the United States of America, which means all vendor sales are governed by the applicable state and federal laws, which they agree to abide by before we rent them a table. That means buying from an FFL holder still requires the same paperwork and background check required at your local gun store, and private sales still have to comply with the law, including background checks for pistol sales and a requirement not to sell to someone prohibited from buying a gun. Loose ammunition is not allowed at all, and packaged ammunition still has to be sold in compliance with ATF guidelines by licensees.

Myth #3 – But the Gun Show Loophole!!!

If by gun show loophole you mean the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, the Tenth Amendment reservation of powers to the states, and Pennsylvania state law, then you have a different definition of loophole than we do. The only sales of firearms not requiring a background check are private transactions between two Pennsylvania citizens who transfer ownership of a long gun. This right has been explicitly maintained by successive legislative sessions despite very strong efforts to limit your rights to keep and bear arms. 

Myth #4 – Gun Shows are Preferred by Criminals and Drive Up Gun Crime

This pervasive gun show myth sounds alarming, but the truth is gun crime rates continue to fall. Criminals don’t like professional paid security, record keeping, and witnesses, so this falls apart once you know the facts about gun shows. Criminals would rather steal unsecured firearms or buy stolen firearms than visit your local gun show. That’s why we encourage every gun owner to learn the basics of gun safety, including how to store your gun collection properly.

Myth #5 – Gun Shows are All About Guns–Expensive Ones

It’s a known fact gun shows will have plenty of guns, and some of them do carry a hefty price tag due to modifications, added features, or rarity, but one of the biggest gun show myths is that that’s all our events are good for. Vendors of almost every kind are welcome at our shows, and there’s something for the whole family and everyone on your shopping or gifting list. You’ll find guns, knives, camping gear, survival accessories, toys, crafts, coins, and collectibles of all kinds. There’s not another retail experience like it under a single roof anywhere.

Myth #6 – But You Can’t Give a Gun as a Gift

While state laws can vary, under certain circumstances, you can give a firearm as a gift if you use your own money to purchase it. If you’re buying the “gift” with money given to you by the recipient, that’s called a strawman purchase, and it’s illegal. Likewise, you can’t transfer ownership of a gun to a minor or someone who isn’t legally allowed to own one. Handguns will still need to be processed through an FFL dealer or the local sheriff’s department to process the paperwork and background check, however, gifting a long gun to another allowable adult requires no paperwork or background check.

Myth #7 – If You Don’t Get There Early, There’s No Reason to Go

Aerial View of Vendors at a Gun Show

We always recommend purchasing your tickets early and getting there early on the day of the show because it will give you the earliest possible look at the vendors and the great deals they have on the guns you’re looking for. That doesn’t mean showing up late is a wasted trip. You’ll find great deals throughout the gun show. In fact, as the show winds down, some vendors may be more motivated to negotiate a better price to reduce the inventory they have to load up and take home. Just don’t wait too long! Since the gun show background check myth isn’t real, you still need to plan for paperwork time.

Make Your Gun Show Plans Today

Now is the time to find out the gun show facts for yourself and help others learn that the myths about scary gun shows aren’t true. Circle the date of your next local show on the calendar, do your research, and get ready to find a new or new-to-you firearm you’ll love. Get your tickets online to your next Eagle Shows Gun Show today.
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