October 5, 2008

Dear Members and Exhibitors,

The headlines could read “Bailout Just a Band-Aid” and “Barracuda Bites Biden,” catchy phrases but even the political pundits nor Wall Street analysts have any answers for the economy or the coming election.  Now the wonder is whether a terrorist strike somewhere in the world against US interests is imminent in October.  Regardless of the supposed 75% of people who dislike President Bush, remember he has kept terrorism on our shores at bay during his watch.  A McCain comfortability package is a lot more comforting to me than someone named Barrack Hussein Obama whose liberal tenets and questionable friends could take us in a direction our kid’s children may have to dig us out of.

Doom and gloom aside, it seems we all may have to adjust a little in the coming year, at least the cost of oil is dropping and Wall Street fat cats are happy.  Joyous too were our gun dealers who attended the last Saratoga September show; we all did very well in sales as did most all other dealers.  Though our knife dealer friends from the NCCA sold enough to be satisfied we all know that there were many, many other events giving dealers and public an alternate place to go on a wonderful sunny weekend.  However, the folks who came to Saratoga came to buy …. And they did.

Well, another dealer’s choice is being dealt for our normal Halloween weekend show on October 31, Nov 1 & 2.  We will be keeping this date in the future along with the third weekend in March at the City Center in Saratoga Springs.  Make up your minds as to where you want to be and whom you wish to associate with.  We tried to bring back at least one antique show to Saratoga, the November date, but with the sparcity of dealers who responded early, we announced that the date would change to a regular Arms Fair with sporting and Adirondack antiques allowed.  The flyer is enclosed and we are about half sold out.  Please send in your application now, there is little time left.  There are no guaranteed locations unless a prior deposit was made and no tables will be assigned a location without a paid application in my hand.

Our 2009 schedule in Saratoga is the January 2, 3 and 4 Arms Fair, Dinner and Auction, our March 20, 21, 22 Arms Fair as well as October 30, 31 and November 1.  We also have our single date in Utica on April 3, 4, 5 and will probably do Lake George on Sunday, February 8th.  Member renewals for October 1st are out but some of you have not responded as yet; please check your mailing label for due date.  For our next show please note that members will only be allowed in at 5PM on Friday, no earlier unless you have a table at the show.  Badges will only be given to table holders and bona fide employees or immediate family.

Be aware that for 2009 and the future we are considering dropping our Friday member preview and only allowing table holders to be in attendance on Friday.  Cathy and I put a lot of extra work into Friday evening and it seems there is little appreciation but rather an expectation and demand to have things ready on time.  After 25 years of trying to do the right thing for our shows and our exhibitors, it appears to have had little effect on generating loyalty but from only a very few dependable friends and dealers.  This upcoming show in November and our count of dinner tickets sold for January will be a deciding factor on how we move forward.

Speaking of January, again we will have a dinner and auction at the Saratoga Hilton on January 3rd beginning at 6PM.  Last year’s event was a very nice affair with prizes, silent auction and live auction with some great buys.  Tickets will again be $35.00 in advance and members may submit an item for either the Silent or Live auction but well in advance of the event.  Ask me about details.  SPECIAL DEAL; two dinner tickets and a show table for $125.00 PRIOR to October 31st.

Did I say prizes?  Our 25th Anniversary Show in September was the place for dealers to get them.  We had a ticket for every table holder present, one for each table purchased.  When a ticket was drawn the winner then drew a numbered ticket for a prize.  The Pachislo Gaming Machine went down to the very last prize given out; luck of the draw went to Dave Karnes.  Cindy Franks won a $55.00 afghan, Jim McCormick a $20 bill for gas, Rich Pelzer a $100 bill just for fun, plus hotel room, dining gifts and many more were doled out.  It was great fun for us giving back some of our good fortune derived from these many years of shows.  It made a memorable Friday evening filled with camaraderie, fun and food and the weekend business was icing on the cake.  Hell, even I sold five great guns, no discounts!  And lots of guns came in the door, along with some fantastic antiques and collector pieces.  I won’t go into detail except noting the two flintlock matched sets of pistols, the Sharps target rifle, the Springfield Arms revolver, an unidentified large European Revolver, etc., etc.  Some went home; a few are my new friends.  We had a couple of new dealers and one took an order for an $8500.00 Barrett.  As I’ve always said, Saratoga is the place to be.

For the November show we have a few hotel deals if you mention our Saratoga NEACA Arms Fair.  From the high end Marriott Courtyard just north of the City Center at $139.00, to the Grand Union on the south end of Broadway at $79.00 to midway at either the St Charles or St Francis at $55.00 you have quite a choice. The Saratoga Hilton deal for January is $75.00 for dinner ticket holders.

One of the dealers from the North Country has informed me about a crackdown by the NYS troopers on exhibitors at gun shows who are not going through the NICS check.  It seems a small show was targeted both inside and in the parking lot for gun deals occurring without NICS authorization.  As you all should be well aware of, any gun sale originating from a gun show has to go through the Federal NICS check.  If you are not a FFL holder then you must process the sale through a dealer and there will most likely be a fee for the time and paperwork.  Most of the public knows it and is prepared for it.  You must give or sell a locking devise with a gun sale along with an approved NY statement and instruction of safe handling.  At Saratoga and Utica we will provide that full service for $25.00 per gun transfer.  If you sell a gun to someone and try to be cute by delivering it to your car, don’t be surprised when a Trooper shows a badge and a warrant.  And if Obama gets in I’m sure it will be even worse if we can sell at all.

The other way to get into trouble is acting as a gun dealer from behind the table and buying guns from the public without going through a FFL holder or a NICS check.  Anyone coming into the show with a firearm can only sell it to a FFL dealer or go through a dealer.  Your license must be displayed on the table if you buy and sell guns or you must go through a FFL holder.  This is the law of the land now and we will have to abide by it so consider yourself notified and reminded.

On the other hand, good hunting, turkey season is open!

Cathy & Dave