Because of the tightening up of gun laws around the world the future of gun shows, now called arms fairs, is uncertain. Many are going down the route of having stalls completely unrelated to guns selling coins, stamps, and bric-a-brac which makes them boring for the true collector.
At the Brisbane Gun Fair we are of the old school and believe the gun lovers and collectors who come to our shows should be treated with the respect they deserve and we have a policy to only display guns, gun-related items and militaria.
The Australian antique weapons laws are very complicated because single-shot or double-barelled firearms that are muzzle loaded and made before July 1st 1901 are recognized in every state as antique and can be legally bought and owned without having to apply for a licence.
But cartridge-loaded weapons made before that date are not always accepted as antique if the ammunition is still available and any firearm made after January 1st 1901, including modern replicas, are not classed as antique and cannot be owned without a licence. As it takes about six months to clear paperwork to import an antique Winchester rifle or a Smith and Wesson gun from the USA they are only purchased by true collectors.
That is why the Brisbane Gun Show is so exciting because you can walk round the 200 plus tables and see displays of both muzzleloading and cartridge firing guns, you can even touch some of them. Imagine how exciting it is to see antique weapons you may not have seen before.
Exhibits such as old Winchesters, Lee Enfields, military snipers and more. That is why the Spring and Autumn gun shows must have a permanent place in your diary.