Hunters, collectors and gun enthusiasts attend show at fairgrounds
By James Grob, email@example.com
The blizzard conditions that chilled northern Iowa Friday and Saturday likely convinced some people to stay home, but those who did brave the conditions and attend the gun show this weekend at the Floyd County Fairgrounds were more serious about making a purchase.
“The bad weather obviously slowed people down,” said Charles City gun dealer Bob Kellogg, one of several local and regional entrepreneurs at the show. “Some of the people who came were actually interested in buying, rather than looking.”
The gun show, hosted by Marv Kraus Promotions, took place Friday through Sunday and was open to the public, with a large selection of new and used guns and ammunition on display.
Kellogg, of BKS Gun & Ammo, and Matt Ross, at Ross’s Guns & Ammo, were among the local vendors. About half of the gun dealers who set up at the show travel from show to show, while the rest of the tables were filled with local and regional gun and outdoors dealers. Many of the dealers also offered free appraisals and accepted trade-ins of old shotguns or rifles.
“It was a slow crowd, but a good, steady crowd,” Kellogg said as the show was closing down Saturday. “When you run a gun show, you never know. You’re not only at the mercy of the weather, you’re at the mercy of other unrelated events going on.”
Kellogg said that at any given time, there were 40-50 people inside the Youth Enrichment Center at the fairgrounds, and he considered the third annual gun show in Charles City a success. He said that dealers who had a wide selection and a variety of inventory on display had the best chances of making a sale.
“As always, customers were interested in a variety of everything. You never know what to put out,” he said. “A lot of times the customers go away with something different than what they’d planned.”
Handguns, rifles, shotguns, knives, antique firearms, other outdoors equipment, clothing and accessories were all on display. Charles City area hunters, sportsmen and collectors could browse, buy, trade or just hang out at the show. The proprietors of Take A Shot gun shop, of West Union, were offering on-the-spot $20 firearms training classes throughout the gun show, for gun owners to earn concealed carry certification.
“We have a pretty good selection of rifles, shotguns and handguns — both new and used — and we have all kinds of accessories, such as clothing, knives and holsters,” said Andrew Kraus, of Marv Kraus Promotions, who said he had planned for the show to go on regardless of weather conditions. “Rain, snow or shine, we’re going to put on our show.”
Kraus Promotions covers expenses — such as advertising and liability insurance — for the show. Most of the dealers took trades, and all the dealers were required to have federal background checks.
This was the third consecutive year Kraus Promotions held a show in Charles City. Promoter Marv Kraus — Andrew Kraus’s father — started the gun shows nearly 30 years ago, and the promoter puts on several dozen shows each year throughout the Midwest.