Posted on 08/12/2022 at 10:36 AM by The Biker Lawyers

Image to promote a blog by The Ambassador of Ammo about Gun Shows

Gun shows get a lot of grief- is it actually justified?

Gun shows get a lot of grief, especially from the political class, whose use of the phrase "Gun show loophole"  (which isn't really a thing, but that's another topic for another time) goes to show how ignorant they can be.

My thought for this week's blog and video was to go to a gun show happening in Waverly, shoot some video, and talk to some exhibitors and patrons to demystify the whole gun show experience.

"My working assumption has always been that they're really no different from any hobby show; they just happen to deal with guns."

Off I went to Waverly. It is a great little Eastern Iowa town with one of the finest diners I've ever visited in this part of the country (the East Bremer diner- you really should check it out if in the area... but that's a different story for another time). So up the 380 to the 218 I went. 

When I arrived the parking lot was a busy spot, obviously, this was a fairly well attended event.  Out front, the great people from Honor Flight were holding a gun raffle of vintage weapons to support the Honor Flight program in Iowa. A $20 ticket got me a chance to potentially win one of about $10,000 worth of guns (and it was for a great cause) so of course, I ponied up for this great fundraiser. Payment was easy- I give 'em my card, they swipe, and my name was in the drawing.

Glock-Blocked: Entry into the Gun Show wasn't so easy.

Doesn't sound sketchy at all and so far it hasn't been -- then I tried to get inside, this is when things went south.  I introduced myself and told the gentleman selling tickets who I was. I told him that I do a pro-gun blog for the Biker Lawyers and Midwest Shooting and asked if I could shoot some video for my vlog at their event today. 

Image to illustrate that video and photos are not allowed at most gun shows

"No video" he chuffed. 

"Ok, can I shoot some stills for background images?"

"No photography of any kind," he said.

Well ok, I thought, he can't stop me from wandering around and chatting up vendors and customers... right?  WRONG.  He said, "That'll be 8 bucks!" I whipped out a good ole trusty Red Sox Branded debit card- the same that had just been accepted minutes ago less than 500 feet from where I was currently standing- and that's when he said "machines down; cash only".  GARRRR the big block is down! It's now 4:30 and since they close at 5:00 that leaves no time to go to an ATM. 

I am done for the day... or am I? I thanked the gentleman (like the professional that I am) and left.

Not all was lost...

My friend Troy from Long Impressions who prints all the Rock 108 Merch has his shop just a few blocks away -- I'll drop in on Troy.

Ned and I were given vests that make us Honorary Biker Ambassadors for The Biker Lawyers. Aside from their patch, I've been wanting to customize mine a bit.  So with Troy's acuity, we were able to create an awesome back-print graphic (pictured below).  So the day wasn't a complete loss.

Image of Russ, The Ambassador of Ammo, holding up his customized vest

Conclusion: Are gun shows sketchy?

Now, to answer the question -- are gun shows sketch? 

Honestly, I'm not sure as I only have a database of one visit. 

My sense is that anyone who wants to live in the shadows projects a sketchy vibe. but I also know, there are those out there who are not friends to this type of business. 

So the jury, for me, remains in deliberation... but I'm concerned. 


About Russ: The biker community's Ambassador of Ammo

Known as a professional Radio Gypsy, Russ is the voice of “crazy stories and bad behavior” on Rock 108 every weekday from 10 AM – 2 PM (CST). After a shooting expedition with friends, Russ found a new passion for firearms and is now searching to find the perfect fit to match his needs. Join him as he tests and reviews various guns and targets, learns gun safety, and occasionally blows stuff up every week right here!

Make sure to subscribe to this blog for email updates when Russ posts a new experience!


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