The Assault On South Florida’s Gun Culture Continues

As a South Florida native, I spent countless summers as a child with my father strolling up and down the aisles at the Fort Lauderdale War Memorial Auditorium when the gun show was in town. I recall the years before the Clinton assault weapons ban, the years during the ban, and after it finally ended. I noted how the demographics of the vendors, buyers, and even the merchandise itself changed over time.

The tables went from selling surplus M1 carbines, Browning Citori over/unders, and Smith & Wesson revolvers to AR-15s, GLOCKs, and PMAGs. The kids like me who grew up going to the shows with their fathers are now the guys running those tables. The Fort Lauderdale show was, for many South Florida gun owners, a timeless place where memories and deals could be made.

Alas, the gun show in Fort Lauderdale is now coming to an end after 30 years. The City Commission has decided to cancel the show’s contract in the wake of the Parkland School Shooting. The city of Fort Lauderdale, long a leftist Democrat stronghold, has joined the social justice warriors and are tearing down another cherished institution of Florida’s gun culture all in the name of feelz.

Jorge Fernandez, the manager of the show,

“We’ve been informed and we’ve been assured, not only by the elected officials here, but also the city’s administration and the administration at the War Memorial Auditorium, that it has nothing to do with firearms or the gun show,” said Jorge Fernandez, the manager of Florida Gun Shows.

Fernandez said the city has told them it wants to use the space in other ways.

“So I understand that, not only the gun show is affected, but the orchid show, the art show, coin show, whatever other shows are scheduled are also affected after the sunset of their contracts,” he said.

What Mr. Fernandez might not know know is that back in 2016, the city tried to ban the sale of ARs by modifying the lease agreement and stipulating that ARs, AKs, and standard capacity magazines couldn’t be sold on the convention center grounds.

The State’s preemption law prevent that from happening. The city’s attack on the show has been ongoing and finally came to fruition when Mayor Dean Trantalis, who as a city commissioner last year found no support for getting rid of the gun show outright, now has colleagues in agreement with him on the issue in Florida’s post-Parkland climate.

Event organizers have stated to WSVN News that they will look for other venues to continue to host the show. Hopefully they will find something soon because just south of the county line, in Miami-Dade County, the Miami Gun Show there is also under assault because Florida International University owns the grounds that the Dade County Expo Center is on. Since 2013, the University and county have been in discussions to allow the buildings to be demolished and the campus expanded with new dorms.

In the end, it doesn’t look good for the future of the South Florida gun culture. Another cherished place of my youth is being wiped out.


  1. avatar JR Pollock says:

    I think the 3 day wait on long gun sales will kill off most of the gun show business. Granted there are a lot of people with CWoFL’s but a lot more long gun buyers who up until now, didn’t feel the need/couldn’t justify the expense and hassle of applying for one.

    No point in buying from an out of town vendor if you have to wait and drive to their shop to complete the sale.

    1. avatar Binder says:

      Not that hard to work around, just have local FFLs finish the transfer. Yes it will add $15-$25 to the transaction (I think you could get a FFL to do it for $15 for the extra business and if the seller makes it easy on the FFL)

      1. avatar Kyle says:

        15-25 per transaction?

        I live in the gun hell hole of CA, trust me, that fee goes up and it goes up real fast.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          Bingo. Try $75 to $100 because the closing FFL has to put the gun on his books to transfer it, and it is the way he makes money off the deal.

          Meanwhile, there is a bill pending in the Legislature to kill off the gun show at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, something the City has been wanting to do for years.

        2. avatar California Richard says:

          …. the point we’re ignoring here is that even with all the hostility in California, gunshows are still big and people buy guns from gun shows all the time. Even in Liberal ground zero San Francisco…… well, across the street from San Francisco; the Cow Palace is technically in Daly City/San Mateo County, even though everybody associates it with San Francisco. Ive bought more guns from the Cow Palace gun show than any other single physical location. My next most sourced place is City Arms right down hwy1 in Pacifica….. the messed up part is I live 60 miles away in Inland Red State California and go to Coastal Blue State California to buy most of my guns.

      2. avatar JR Pollock says:

        Except, it’s a cumulative thing. You have to drive to the gun show, in my case, 40 miles each way, pay to park, admission fee, and from what I’ve heard. The prices aren’t all that great at gun shows any more. I haven’t been to one in more that a few years, so I’m basing the last part on what other attendees have told me.

        I have to think with the BATF choking off the kitchen table dealers, who at one time made up a decent percentage of gun show vendors, regular gun stores have the additional overhead of trucking their inventory all over the state.

        It just seems to me, if you’re looking for something unique, you’re better off using Gunbroker, or if you want new production stuff, well there’s the internet.

      3. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

        $15 to $25 is usual and customary in Houston, too. Some, like my FFL, charge $20, but just $10 if you hold a valid carry license.

        In Houston, it’s the independent kitchen table guys who charge a reasonable fee. The LGS or gun range or whomever else will try for $50, $60 or more. They just want you to buy the gun from them, not online, so they try to screw you on transfer fees.

        Anyone charging more than $30–in this town–should have to register as a sex offender.

  2. avatar Joe R. says:

    FL can suck it.

    1. avatar Ranger Rick says:

      And apparently so can the good folks in South Florida.

    2. avatar Ernest K. Peckerwood III says:

      Well, it is the state that looks most like a d!ck…

  3. avatar Bloving says:

    “Another cherished place of my youth is being wiped out.”
    Hmmm. Yeah, well when I was a teenager you could drive ten minutes in any direction and find some undeveloped woods you could hunt rabbits or squirrels in or just plink a bit with your guns. All that land was clear cut and has houses, businesses and concrete all over it now.
    Country ain’t country no more.

  4. avatar New Continental Army says:

    “The tables went from selling surplus M1 carbines, Browning Citori over/unders, and Smith & Wesson revolvers to AR-15s, GLOCKs, and PMAGs.“

    It’s almost like, if you tell Americans they can’t have something, they automatically want it more… God Bless America.

  5. avatar Mike Hawkizard says:

    Democratic stronghold doing an anti gun thing. Seriously people are shocked by this??

    It’s not hard people: vote Dem, get antigun actions.

    1. avatar KenW says:

      To late for the Palm Beach/Broward/Dade/Monroe/Collier/megacountytropolus,
      Between the south Americans, and the northerners that area has become the taint of Florida.
      I left there back in 1980 when it became obvious I was going to need to learn Haitian on top of Spanish for my job and I was getting tired of all the crap about living there. Unfortunately the west coast is slowly changing. To many northerners flooding in, the developers control the political process so its build build build.
      Guess I’ll look at Northern Florida and maybe further north this time.

      1. avatar Tsgt Joe says:

        I’m curious, how do the northerners mess things up?

  6. avatar Stateisevil says:

    Florida is toast, sorry to say. Their GOP SUCKS.

  7. avatar Marty says:

    Come to Utah. So far, our gun shows are going full blast. As far as I know, only one is on college property, and it is still going well. But, so far, all schools welcome CCW permit holders with their firearms.

  8. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    Yup this aint what it used to be by a long shot. So Eastern Fl is now South NY. Has been for the last 20-30 years going that way. People here that don’t like North Easterners went west to Naples and ruined there too.
    Between the Latin Rhinos and all the transplanted well everything down here.
    It aint what it used to be…………….sigh.
    But the funny thing is. These NY transplants all run to the local gun store pay overly high prices and buy it all up. No High Points or Skky CPx or cheap Ruger 9mms bought here.
    They wont vote guns. Say they are anti gun and vote Libitards dems in here. But buy up everything they can.
    I sure do see it locally at the range 5 minutes from my house.

  9. avatar Alec Johnson says:

    My only option is to stop vacationing in Florida…

    With their assault on 2A, I dont feel safe there anymore…

    Looks like I will find a condo in South Padre (Tx)… 🙂

  10. avatar JD says:

    Moved out of St. Petersburg to N. Florida this year. Had been in St. Pete since the mid 80’s and watched the communist invasion ruin a nice area. Now I’m 7 miles from the GA border in an area that should stay the way it is for the next century. Nothing around to attract the liberal invasion. No Starbucks, Whole Foods, Panera, etc for at least 100 miles. Lots of churches, guns, cows, goats, and chickens. It’s like I found my youth again. Not all of Florida has been taken over by the leftist agenda.

    1. avatar Bob says:

      JD, you can live in rural Po’Dunk nowhere North Florida and guess what. It doesn’t matter if your neighbor three miles down the dirt road isn’t a Leftist. If the major population centers are then they eventually control State Government via redistricting through the census and that means they will control the Governor’s seat and the Legislature. They’ll make all the laws that restrict your rights and freedoms.

      Just like California, Illinois, New York, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The major urban population centers are the majority of the residents and they out vote to under populated rural areas.

      Demographics is key and simply moving out into the sticks doesn’t solve the real issue. You’ll have no voice or say in the matter as you’re turned from a citizen to a subject.

      1. avatar JD says:

        That can happen but tbe mindset here is my property my rules. I’m fortunate that I never have to take a long gun off my property again of I don’t want to. Any law enforcement would have to drive a minimum of 5 miles down gated private roads. We don’t have to please any building dept of we want to build say a barn.or cabin. Water comes from private well. Power is a mix of solar, wind, public utilities, and generators. Trash burned, metals and glass hauled off to recycle centers. No gay pride marches, no code enforcement, no busy body neighbors etc. Just us, horses, goats, cows, dogs, and one 200# African Tortoise my daughter brought home 30 years ago when it was 1/2 a pound. (The goats and dogs like to ride him)

  11. avatar MIO says:

    What did y’all expect with the influx of certain groups of people? You can’t have both it’s just that simple.

  12. avatar Lance Manion says:

    I attended the Fort Lauderdale show for years back in the 90’s and 2000’s. Best vendor there was Herky Jerky! The guy was the nicest guy you ever met. Always a free sample and the best jerky I’ve ever tasted. Even if I didn’t buy a gun, I always got some teriyaki beef jerky.

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