State Gun Shows

Gun Shows in Alabama

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Alabama does not explicitly regulate gun shows. In addition, Alabama law provides that “[n]o county or municipal corporation, instrumentality, or political subdivision thereof, by ordinance, resolution, or other enactment, shall regulate in any manner gun shows.”1 See the Alabama Private Sales section for additional laws that apply at gun shows.

See our Gun Shows policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Ala. Code § 11-80-11(a). []

Gun Shows in Alaska

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Alaska has no law regulating gun shows. See the Alaska Private Sales section for additional state laws that apply at gun shows.

See our Gun Shows policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Gun Shows in Arizona

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Arizona has no law regulating gun shows.

See our Gun Shows Policy Summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Gun Shows in Arkansas

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Arkansas has no law regulating gun shows.

See the Arkansas Private Sales section for additional state laws that may apply at gun shows.

See our Gun Shows policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Gun Shows in California

Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2012

See our Gun Shows policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

In 1999, California enacted the nation’s broadest legislation to increase oversight at gun shows. In California, all firearms transfers at gun shows must be processed through a licensed firearms dealer.1 Licensed dealers ordinarily are permitted to sell firearms only from their licensed premises; however, California law provides an exception for sales at California gun shows as long as they are not conducted from motorized or towed vehicles.2 A dealer operating at a gun show must still comply with all applicable laws, including California’s waiting period law, other California laws governing the transfer of firearms by dealers, and all local ordinances, regulations, and fees.3

California requires a person who promotes, produces, sponsors, operates, or otherwise organizes a gun show (“producer”) to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”) (requiring a background check),4 and requires the producer to, among other things:

• Certify that he or she is familiar with the California laws governing gun shows;5

• Ensure that liability insurance is in effect for the duration of a gun show or event in a minimum amount of $1,000,000;6

• Provide an annual list of the gun shows or events the applicant plans to produce, including the date, time, and location of the gun shows or events;7

• Prior to the commencement of a gun show or event, and within 48 hours of a written request by a law enforcement agency, make available to local law enforcement a complete and accurate list of all persons, entities, and organizations leasing or renting a table, display space, or area at the gun show or event for the purpose of selling, leasing, or transferring firearms;8

• Working with the facility manager, prepare an annual event and security plan and schedule to be submitted to DOJ and the local law enforcement agency. The event and security plan must include, among other things:

o The type of shows or events including, but not limited to, antique or general firearms;

o The estimated number of vendors offering firearms for sale or display, and the estimated number of attendees;

o The number of entrances and exits at the gun show or event site; and

o The number of sworn peace officers and non-sworn security personnel employed by the producer or the facilities manager who will be present at the show or event;9

• Within seven calendar days of the gun show or event, submit a list of all prospective vendors and designated firearms transfer agents who are licensed firearms dealers to DOJ for the purpose of determining whether these prospective vendors and transfer agents are eligible to process firearms transactions at the show or event;10

• Have written contracts with all gun show vendors selling firearms at the show or event;11

• Post certain signs in a readily visible location at each public entrance to the show;12 and post, in a readily visible location at each entrance to the parking lot at the show, a sign that states, “The transfer of firearms on the parking lot of this facility is a crime”;

• Inform prospective gun show vendors of the requirements of California law that govern gun shows;13 and

• Pay an annual fee of $85.14

Prior to a gun show, each vendor must provide to the gun show producer the names, driver’s license or state-issued identification card numbers, and dates of birth of the vendor, the vendor’s employees, and any other persons providing services to the public at the vendor’s display space. The producer must make the information available to law enforcement upon request.15

California law also provides that gun show vendors may not display, possess, or offer for sale any black powder or prohibited firearms, or engage in any activities that incite or encourage hate crimes.16 Gun show vendors must verify that all firearms in their possession at the show will be unloaded, and that the firearms will be secured in a manner that prevents them from being operated, except for brief periods when the mechanical condition of a firearm is being demonstrated to a prospective buyer.17 Ammunition may be displayed only in closed original factory boxes or other closed containers, except when it is being shown to a prospective buyer.18

No person at a gun show, other than security personnel or sworn peace officers, may possess at the same time both a firearm and ammunition that is designed to be used with the firearm. However, vendors having those items at the show for sale or exhibition are exempt from this prohibition.19 All persons possessing firearms at the gun show must have government-issued photo identification in his or her immediate possession and display it upon request to any security officer or any peace officer.20

Handgun ammunition vendors must record information about purchasers of ammunition at gun shows, as elsewhere.  See the Ammunition Regulation in California section.

Any member of the public who is under the age of 18 may not attend a gun show unless accompanied by his or her parent, grandparent, or legal guardian.21

All firearms carried into a gun show by members of the public must be checked, cleared of any ammunition, secured in a manner that prevents them from being operated, and an identification tag must be attached to the firearm, prior to the person being allowed admittance to the show. The identification tag must state that all firearms transfers between private parties at the show must be conducted through a licensed dealer in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. Before the tag is attached to the firearm, the owner must print and sign his or her name and enter the number from his or her government-issued photo identification on the tag.22

See the Private Sales in California section for additional state laws that apply at gun shows.

  1. Cal. Penal Code § 27305. []
  2. Cal. Penal Code § 26805. []
  3. Cal. Penal Code § 26805. []
  4. Cal. Penal Code § 27200. []
  5. Cal. Penal Code § 27200. []
  6. Cal. Penal Code § 27200. []
  7. Cal. Penal Code § 27200. []
  8. A producer must thereafter, upon written request, for every day the gun show or event operates, within 24 hours or another time specified by the requesting law enforcement agency, make available to the requesting law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the facility, a current list of the persons, entities, and organizations that have leased or rented, or are known to the producer to intend to lease or rent, any table, display space, or area at the gun show or event for the purpose of selling, leasing, or transferring firearms. Cal. Penal Code § 27205. []
  9. Cal. Penal Code § 27210. The event and security plan must be approved by the facility’s manager prior to the event or show after consultation with the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the facility. Cal. Penal Code § 27210. []
  10. DOJ must examine its records and if it determines that a dealer’s license is not valid, it must notify the show or event producer of that fact prior to the commencement of the show or event. Cal. Penal Code § 27220. []
  11. Cal. Penal Code § 27235. []
  12. The signs must contain, but need not be limited to, the following notices:
    • This gun show follows all federal, state, and local firearms and weapons laws without exception;
    • All firearms carried onto the premises by members of the public will be checked, cleared of any ammunition, secured in a manner that prevents them from being operated, and an identification tag or sticker will be attached to the firearm prior to the person being allowed admittance to the show;
    • No member of the public under the age of 18 years must be admitted to the show unless accompanied by a parent, grandparent, or legal guardian;
    • All firearms transfers between private parties at the show must be conducted through a licensed dealer in accordance with applicable state and federal laws; and
    • Persons possessing firearms on this facility must have in their immediate possession government-issued photo identification, and display it upon request to any security officer or any peace officer.
    Cal. Penal Code § 27240. []
  13. Cal. Penal Code § 27215. []
  14. Cal. Penal Code § 27200. []
  15. Cal. Penal Code § 27320. []
  16. Cal. Penal Code § 27305. []
  17. Cal. Penal Code § 27305. []
  18. Cal. Penal Code § 27315. []
  19. Cal. Penal Code § 27330. []
  20. Cal. Penal Code § 27345. []
  21. Cal. Penal Code § 27335. []
  22. Cal. Penal Code § 27340. []

Gun Shows in Colorado

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Updated July 1, 2013

In 2000, Coloradans voted in favor of a ballot initiative to require background checks at gun shows. As a result, all firearms transfers at gun shows must be processed by a licensed firearms dealer.1 Prospective purchasers are subject to the same background check process that applies to retail firearms transfers and processing dealers must record the transfer and retain the records in the same manner as with retail transfers (see the Colorado Background Checks and Dealer Regulations sections).2

Firearms dealers may charge a fee of up to $10 for conducting the background check, and gun show promoters must prominently post a notice setting forth the requirement for a background check.3 These provisions do not apply to the transfer of antique firearms or curios or relics, as defined under federal law.4

Colorado law defines a gun show as:

[T]he entire premises provided for an event or function, including but not limited to parking areas for the event or function, that is sponsored to facilitate, in whole or in part, the purchase, sale, offer for sale, or collection of firearms at which: (a) twenty-five or more firearms are offered or exhibited for sale, transfer, or exchange; or (b) not less than three gun show vendors exhibit, sell, offer for sale, transfer, or exchange firearms.5

Colorado now requires private sellers (sellers who are not federally licensed dealers) to have a background check conducted on a prospective purchaser when transferring any firearm, whether at gun shows or elsewhere.  See the Colorado Private Sales section for further information, including additional laws that may apply at gun shows.

See our Gun Shows policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-26.1-101(1). []
  2. Id., Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-26.1-102. []
  3. Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 12-26.1-103, 12-26.1-104. []
  4. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-26.1-105. []
  5. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-26.1-106. []

Gun Shows in Connecticut

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Connecticut defines a gun show as any event at which 50 or more firearms are offered or exhibited for sale, transfer or exchange to the public, or at which two or more persons are exhibiting one or more firearms for sale, transfer or exchange to the public.1

At least 30 days before a gun show, the person who organizes, plans, promotes or operates the show must notify the chief of police, warden, or first selectman of the jurisdiction in which the show is to take place, of the date, time, duration and location of the gun show.2

Connecticut prohibits any person, firm or corporation from selling, delivering or otherwise transferring any firearm at a gun show until the person, firm or corporation requests a background check for the prospective transferee and receives an authorization number approving the transfer from the state Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection.3

Connecticut now requires private sellers (sellers who are not federally licensed dealers) to have a background check conducted on a prospective purchaser when transferring any firearm, whether at gun shows or elsewhere.  See the Private Sales in Connecticut section for further information, including additional laws that may apply at gun shows.

See our Gun Shows policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37g(a). []
  2. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37g(b). []
  3. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37g(c). For further details, see Conn. Gen. Stat. 29-36l. []

Gun Shows in Delaware

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Updated July 1, 2013

Delaware has no laws specifically regulating gun shows.

Delaware requires private sellers (sellers who are not federally licensed dealers) to have a background check conducted on a prospective purchaser before transferring any firearm, whether at gun shows or elsewhere. See the Private Sales in Delaware section for further information, including additional laws that may apply at gun shows.

See our Gun Shows policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Gun Shows in Florida

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Florida does not explicitly regulate gun shows, although retail sales of handguns at gun shows are subject to the state’s mandatory three-day waiting period. In addition, the Florida Constitution permits counties to enact ordinances requiring criminal history records checks and three to five-day waiting periods in connection with the sale of any firearm occurring on property to which the public has the right of access.1

See the Florida Private Sales and Florida Waiting Periods sections for more information.

See our Gun Shows policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Fla. Const. art. VIII, § 5(b). []

Gun Shows in Georgia

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Georgia has no law regulating gun shows or requiring background checks on gun purchasers at gun shows. In addition, Georgia law explicitly prohibits any county or municipal corporation, by zoning or by ordinance, resolution, or other enactment, from regulating gun shows in any manner.1

See the Georgia Private Sales section for state laws that may apply to firearm sales at gun shows.

See our Gun Shows policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-173(b)(1). []