Monday, April 04, 2005

Lessons from the World's Largest Gunshow

I spent the weekend living on Tulsa time — sorry, had to be done! — at the World's Largest Gunshow, which was BIG. BIGGER than BIG. The size of a planet, which filled to bursting the Tulsa Expo Center originally built to accomodate giant oil derricks. We were there filming AMERICAN RIFLEMAN "How Much is This Old Gun Worth" segments, with National Firearms Museum Curator Phil Schreier — who has forgotten more about guns in the last 30 minutes than I know — heading up the experts who evaluated attendees' firearms.

My job was to WALK THE FLOOR of this giant expo center and round up the firearms I thought were interesting..."Buying or selling today? Could I see that pistol in your pocket? That's not a pistol? Oh, excuse me! The Clinton Library is one state to your left!"

Anyway, in a room with maybe 25,000 or so guns in it, it wasn't hard to find some interesting hardware, which you'll have to watch AR to see! Couple of interesting points, however. The first is that LETTERS OF AUTHENTICITY are not necessarily a guarantee of authenticity. We talked to a couple of people who had purchased "collector grade" firearms, complete with gin-you-wine letters of authenticity from the makers on Internet auctions. It took the experts maybe two seconds to rip through the fraud. LESSON LEARNED: The only way to be sure of what you have is to have the appropriate expert vet it. Letters help, but they are not the end-all.

Another point...PAY ATTENTION TO ALL THE LAWS. Despite what you might have heard from antigun propagandists, there are thousands and thousands of firearms laws, and it is ON YOU to know what laws are applicable to guns you might be buying or selling. The G has very little sense of humor, for example, about violations to the 1934 National Firearms Act. A few smoothbore revolvers, for example, were made in the early 1900s, and they technically fall under under the NFA's prohibition of "short-barreled shotguns." BATF automatically grants collector exemptions for specific guns [my understanding!], but if you're buying or selling such a thing, it pays to make sure you've got the letter from your big Uncle! If you have a question about whether such a collector firearm requires a letter from the BATF, my hearty suggestion would be to ask the Fed!

Finally, as much as I like local gunshops, they are possibly not the best source of information about collector firearms. Sorry. Neither is your Uncle Bob. If you're trying to sell a gun for $10,000, you might want to spend a little time on the Internet and find out who can give you the real info.


1 comment:

muebles en torrejon de ardoz said...

Thanks so much for the post, pretty helpful information.