EXCLUSIVE: 51 Upcoming Gun Shows Ban Loaded Weapons To Promote ‘A Safe Environment’

If “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” as the NRA proclaimed in its post-Newtown press conference, why do so many gun shows prohibit attendees from carrying loaded firearms?

According to a ThinkProgress analysis, 51 gun shows in January ban attendees from bringing loaded guns onto the premises. In addition, ThinkProgress was unable to identify a single gun show this month that explicitly allowed people, even those with concealed-carry permits, to bring a loaded weapon with them.

For every event, their stated rationale for not permitting loaded weapons in the gun show was simple: safety. Crossroads Gun Show, a touring event across the western United States, explained on their website:

Q: Can I carry a loaded gun in the gun show? I have a Concealed Carry Permit.

A: We respectfully request that you do not bring any loaded firearm into the gun show. Safety is our Number One Priority, and a safe environment in the show can only be maintained if there are no loaded guns in the show.

At most shows, if an attendee brings a personal firearm, he or she must check it at the door and use a tie “so that they cannot be operated, be breached or loaded.”


Some events, like Bill Goodman’s Gun & Knife Shows across Ohio and Tennessee, even threaten prosecution for those who try to enter with a loaded weapon. “Patrons who bring loaded magazines or weapons into the show will be refused entry and may be subject to prosecution,” their website reads.

The widespread prohibition undermines the backbone of the NRA’s case against stronger gun safety laws. The powerful gun lobby argues that the best way to prevent more gun violence is for more people to have guns, supposedly deterring would-be criminals. The organization has succeeded in convincing every state but Illinois to enact laws allowing people to carry concealed weapons and conservative lawmakers are passing legislation to eliminate gun-free zones around schools and hospitals.

A full list of the 51 gun shows that explicitly ban people from carrying loaded firearms is below:

1. Oklahoma City Gun Show (January 11–12)2. ABBA Shriners Gun & Knife Show (January 12–13)3. Gibraltar Taylor Gun & Knife Show (January 11–13)4. Akron Gun Show (January 12–13)5. Binghamton Gun & Knife Show (January 12–13)6. Dalton Gun Show (January 12–13)7. Dayton (Vandalia) Airport Expo (January 12–13)8. Farmington Gun Show* (January 12–13)9. Ft. Lauderdale Gun Show (January 12–13)10. Germantown Gun & Knife Show* (January 12–13)11. Kansas City Gun Show* (January 12–13)12. Maitland Gun Show (January 12–13)13. Mesa Gun Show (January 12–13)14. Morehead Gun Show* (January 12–13)15. Nashville Gun Show (January 12–13)16. San Angelo Gun & Blade Show (January 12–13)17. San Francisco Gun Show (January 12–13)18. Wichita Cessna Gun Show* (January 12–13)19. Las Vegas Shot Show (January 15–18)20. Ft. Pierce Gun Show (January 19–20)21. Gonzales Gun Show (January 19–20)22. Hendersonville Gun Show* (January 19–20)23. Jackson Gun & Knife Show* (January 19–20)24. Jacksonville Florida Gun Show (January 19–20)25. Jefferson Gun Show (January 19–20)26. Marietta Jim Miller Park Gun Show* (January 19–20)27. Miami Florida Gun Show (January 19–20)28. Paducah Gun Show* (January 19–20)29. Phoenix Gun Show (January 19–20)30. Springfield Gun Show* (January 19–20)31. Topeka Gun Show* (January 19–20)32. Venice Gun and Knife Show (January 19–20)33. Des Moines Gun Show (January 25–27)34. Canandaigua Gun Show (January 26–27)35. Carlsbad Gun & Blade Show (January 26–27)36. Costa Mesa Gun Show (January 26–27)37. Fort Myers Gun, Knife, Civil War & Militaria Show (January 26–27)38. Goodman Dayton Gun & Knife Show (January 26–27)39. Gun Show in the Smokies* (January 26–27)40. Kingman Gun, Knife, Coin & Collectibles Show & Sale (January 26–27)41. Lawrenceville Gun Show* (January 26–27)42. Macon Gun Show (January 26–27)43. New Orleans Area Gun & Knife Show (January 26–27)44. Oklahoma City Gun and Knife Show* (January 26–27)45. Palmetto Gun Show (January 26–27)46. Pensacola Florida Gun Show (January 26–27)47. Sedalia Gun Show* (January 26–27)48. Tulsa Gun Show* (January 26–27)49. Watkins Glen Gun & Knife Show (January 26–27)50. Wichita Coliseum Gun Show* (January 26–27)51. Wichita Falls Gun & Knife Show (January 26–27)

*- Events sponsored by R.K. Shows Inc confirmed to ThinkProgress by phone that loaded weapons, even for those with concealed carry permits, are prohibited.