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Thread: Gun Show OC Etiquette

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    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    The only gun show I've been to (and I figure most are this way) prohibits loaded firearms in the show. So I left mine in the car. When I got inside I noticed people were still carrying, just with a white zip tie through the slide, chamber, and mag well.

    My question is, do I walk in with a loaded gun, and then unload it at the check in desk for the security people to zip tie? Or is it standard to walk in already unloaded?
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    Regular Member CRF250rider1000's Avatar
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    I usually pull the magazine out and lock the slide back in the car, then walk in (holstered with the slide locked back) and hand the person my pistol with the muzzle pointing towards the floor.

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    What about CC?

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    The last show I attended (Showplace in Richmond), I noticed a sign that requested you do not load / unload your firearm in the lobby.

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    gador wrote:
    What about CC?


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    CRF250rider1000 wrote:
    I usually pull the magazine out and lock the slide back in the car, then walk in (holstered with the slide locked back) and hand the person my pistol with the muzzle pointing towards the floor.
    I do the same. There isn't space to unload at the entrance of the shows I go to, and I'm sure the show people don't want people unholstering, unloading, or otherwise handling loaded firearms in a crowd of people. Do it at home or in your car, before entering the show. Also, keep your spare mags hidden, some shows don't want you to have any ammo for your carry gun if you're obvious about it.

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    The first time I OC-ed at the Hampton gun show I unloaded and reloaded in front of the Hampton police officer zip-tying my gun. It felt very odd putting one in the chamber, dropping the magazine and adding the loose bullet into it. He didn't complain though.

    So the next time I simply unloaded in the parking lot which I think is preferable.

    Of course the pocket knife comes in handy if you have to remove the zip-tie in an emergency (or you can just use one of the ones inside for sale). :-) I figure it is better to walk around with your empty gun with you rather than leaving it in the car especially if you have an empty holster. I have heard of people breaking into cars in the parking lot during shows (guns and others).

    The more anyone handles a weapon the more chance for an accidental discharge so we would all probably be safer if they just let us alone.

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    Absolutely. No one's going to steal your gun from your vehicle if you have your sidearm with you in the show

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    Regular Member simmonsjoe's Avatar
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    An officer working the gate at the Richmond gun show up in Doswell told me "You don't bring loaded guns to a gun show, ever." I laughed at him, not in a rude way, but in a child-who-says-something-silly way.

    Anyone who tells me I have to give up my rights in order to do something is silly. If you won't let me unload at the door, then you won't see my gun. If you let me unload at the door, I'll unload my OC'd firearm for you, but I'm not unloading my BUG, cause it is CC and I'm not going to tell you about it - ever. If I'm only carrying one weapon for some reason, I will keep one loaded magazine hidden on my body.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    The OP asked about ettiquette. Consensus about frequent attendeesseems to beto either unload in the car and reload there as well, or to unload just outside the doors and reload as you are leaving the ziptie desk.

    The only thing I want to ask for on a personal note is that you do whatever manipulations in a safe manner. Discretion is nice, but safety is mandatory.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    simmonsjoe wrote:
    I'll unload my OC'd firearm for you, but I'm not unloading my BUG, cause it is CC and I'm not going to tell you about it


    and as for the wishes/rules of the gun show promoter?
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    simmonsjoe wrote:
    If you let me unload at the door, I'll unload my OC'd firearm for you, but I'm not unloading my BUG, cause it is CC and I'm not going to tell you about it - ever.
    Then you are a trespasser and aren't welcome inside, since you cannot be trusted to abide by the rules you agreed to when you entered the show.

    I usually unload in the parking lot discreetly and put my ammo in my pocket. At the door I clear it and let them zip it.

    I don't want to leave it in the car because it's easier to get stolen there, and because I might spot an accessory or a holster for it and I want it with me so I check for fit. And beacuse I'm just not happy if it isn't with me where I want it to be.



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    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    skidmark wrote:
    The OP asked about ettiquette. Consensus about frequent attendeesseems to beto either unload in the car and reload there as well, or to unload just outside the doors and reload as you are leaving the ziptie desk.

    The only thing I want to ask for on a personal note is that you do whatever manipulations in a safe manner. Discretion is nice, but safety is mandatory.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
    +1, Mr. Skid...
    Safety should always be foremost in our minds, butwhen we're around others we don't know, especially when firearms and ammo are present,our radar should be fine-tuned to ALERT MODE.


    Dunno about you folks, when I'm at the range withpeople I don't know WELL ("manners" and habits), I'm keenly aware of everything going on around me. Same with gun shows. Even with their rules, I keep my eyes peeled for azzclowns muzzle-sweeping crowds and anyone handing firearms unsafely. Paranoid? maybe. Safety-conscious? You betcha!

    In a perfect world, there would be no UD's at gunshows (NOT AD's... True AD's are filed under the category of Feces Occurs). Hence the requirement for unloading and carrying of "unloaded" weapons. They still happen, even with these "safety rules" in place. They should allow CC in gunshows and have similar rules tosome gun shops. Theoretically, it is impossible for an AD to happen at a gunshow.

    I saw a sign that said "Ring bell for entry and notify salesperson if you are armed." The guy always answers with the same thing after I show him (without touching) what I'm carrying: "Thank you, don't touch it or play with it..."

    If more people followed those simple rules, there would certainly be fewer UD's at gunshows. Gun Show "Etiquette" is common sense (to most of us). Sadly, it isn't so common anymore... :?

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    simmonsjoe wrote:
    but I'm not unloading my BUG, cause it is CC and I'm not going to tell you about it - ever.
    You just did.

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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    Here's something to ponder:

    Let's say you go inside the front door, un-holster your loaded firearm there, and point it in a "safe" direction, presumably the floor, to unload it. Somehow the chambered round discharges. What do you think happens after the bullet strikes the floor?

    In my opinion, there is absolutely no safe direction to point *any* gun while at a show.


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    virginiatuck wrote:
    Here's something to ponder:

    Let's say you go inside the front door, un-holster your loaded firearm there, and point it in a "safe" direction, presumably the floor, to unload it. Somehow the chambered round discharges. What do you think happens after the bullet strikes the floor?

    In my opinion, there is absolutely no safe direction to point *any* gun while at a show.
    Not unless they have a steel 55-gal drum full of sand on a stand at a 45-degree angle with proper loading/unloading proceedures posted beside it.

    OR

    One of those cool smaller "snail" design clearing stations I've seen at a few PD's would also suffice. I wonder why they never have one of those available at gun shows? SOMEONE in that crowd has to own one (or more) of them...
    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
    (unknown 'gun~writer')

    Remington 1911 R1 (Back to Basics)
    SERPA retention or concealed...

    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
    (Borrowed from "The Perfect Day" by LTC Dave Grossman)

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    virginiatuck wrote:
    Here's something to ponder:

    Let's say you go inside the front door, un-holster your loaded firearm there, and point it in a "safe" direction, presumably the floor, to unload it. Somehow the chambered round discharges. What do you think happens after the bullet strikes the floor?
    I think you're about to experience a highly emotional event, and you get to share it with all sorts of people wearing uniforms and badges and such.



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    Tomahawk wrote:
    simmonsjoe wrote:
    If you let me unload at the door, I'll unload my OC'd firearm for you, but I'm not unloading my BUG, cause it is CC and I'm not going to tell you about it - ever.
    Then you are a trespasser and aren't welcome inside, since you cannot be trusted to abide by the rules you agreed to when you entered the show.


    +1

    James Reynolds

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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    Tomahawk wrote:
    virginiatuck wrote:
    Here's something to ponder:

    Let's say you go inside the front door, un-holster your loaded firearm there, and point it in a "safe" direction, presumably the floor, to unload it. Somehow the chambered round discharges. What do you think happens after the bullet strikes the floor?
    I think you're about to experience a highly emotional event, and you get to share it with all sorts of people wearing uniforms and badges and such.

    Ha. Yeah, that goes without saying.

    I was getting at the ballistics, or physics, if you will...

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    I'm not bashing anybody about the availability or unavailability of unloading barrels at gunshows, because there are any number of reasons why they are not commonly available.

    We are all responsible for our own behavior and the consequences of our behavior. There are any number of ways to bring a firearm to a gunshow - even when that firearm is our every-day carry self defence weapon.

    Even when the gods are against you and the pooch ends up getting screwed in spite of everything you did exactly perfectly to prevent that from happening, you are responsible for the consequences of the pooch getting screwed.

    Do your best to be safe. Stay away from people who behave in an unsafe manner. It is your choice whether or not to, and how to if you take option A, speak to/with/at them about their unsafe behavior.

    The OP wanted to know "the ettiquette" of dealing with a loaded handgun as he enters a gun show. A few of us have kicked that around for him. A few others have indicated that they are more than likely to disobey rules for their own convenience.

    To me the bottom line is that as patrons of gun shows we should behave in such a manner as will encourage the promoters to continue holding gun shows without needing to resort to draconian measures such as pat-down searches before being allowed to buy your ticket. But if you want to push them in that direction, just remember that you are responsible for the consequences of your behavior.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    Went to the Va Beach show today,

    The Trooper at the safety table was asking people if they had ammunition on their persons. If the response was positive they were given a plastic baggie and asked to "check their ammo".

    I know why this kind of "safety theater" is performed but I just have to shake my head at the silliness of it. Less than 30 feet away, inside the doors are thousands of rounds of ammo in every concievable caliber (Except for 148 gr .38 Special WC! I couldn't find any!)



    DocV

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    Not to mention the availability of common magazines inside the show as well. I have pointed out in the past to show promoters the complete lack of measures that would stop a sociopath or terrorist from buying mags and ammo and loading back up inside the show; they acknowledged the truth, but insist that their policy is not designed to stop the BAD guy, just the STUPID guy....

    DocV wrote:
    Went to the Va Beach show today,

    The Trooper at the safety table was asking people if they had ammunition on their persons. If the response was positive they were given a plastic baggie and asked to "check their ammo".

    I know why this kind of "safety theater" is performed but I just have to shake my head at the silliness of it. Less than 30 feet away, inside the doors are thousands of rounds of ammo in every concievable caliber (Except for 148 gr .38 Special WC! I couldn't find any!)



    DocV

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    DocV wrote:
    Went to the Va Beach show today,...

    ...inside the doors are thousands of rounds of ammo in every concievable caliber (Except for 148 gr .38 Special WC! I couldn't find any!)

    DocV
    Try Mac's Reloading. He runs his own home reloading business and may have it if you're not dead-set on factory ammo. I've bought from him both at the show (including factory ammo when no one else had it) and at his home. Prices are fair in comparison to any other local source. If not, then he may be able to point you toward someone else in town who does. 757-479-0849

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    DocV wrote:
    Went to the Va Beach show today,

    The Trooper at the safety table was asking people if they had ammunition on their persons. If the response was positive they were given a plastic baggie and asked to "check their ammo".

    I know why this kind of "safety theater" is performed but I just have to shake my head at the silliness of it. Less than 30 feet away, inside the doors are thousands of rounds of ammo in every concievable caliber (Except for 148 gr .38 Special WC! I couldn't find any!)



    DocV
    Bridget (First-born daughter) and I also went to the show today. When we approached the "cop table" where a VB cop and VSP trooper were, I pulled my jacket to the side, removed my magazine and handed it to him. I told him I didn't have a round in the chamber. I slowly drew my pistol from my Serpa and kept it pointed downward and was about to lock the slide to the rearbut he asked me to just hand it to him in battery and he locked the slide to the rear. I guess if it gives him a warm-fuzzy to do it, no problem. When Bridget went to the cop at the table (right after I did mine) I instructed her to remove her mag and hand it to him. He asked her if she had a round chambered and she also said no. She did the same and handed her Glock 21SF to the cop.

    No one asked if we had extra rounds. Don't ask, don't tell. I had fingernail clippers handy in another pocket. Never found a smallbore match rifle I was looking for, but got my son an old messkit I've been looking for (at the right price). Also got # 2 daughter beef jerkey that she requested.

    Decent show, a lot of interesting rifles, but not what I was looking for.
    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
    (unknown 'gun~writer')

    Remington 1911 R1 (Back to Basics)
    SERPA retention or concealed...

    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
    (Borrowed from "The Perfect Day" by LTC Dave Grossman)

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    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Loaded and unchambered it is then.

    Thanks for the responses.

    PS 45ACP I also live in Yorktown
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

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