What is it about gun/hunting expos?

Hunt Ex 2013

Gun/hunting expos the world over seem to take a perverse delight in biting the hands that feed them. This time the largest South African gun/hunting expo decided to ban personal firearms from being carried at the event. My understanding of South African gun laws is that once you go through the crazy long process of getting a gun licensed you can carry it just about anywhere. The HuntEx organizers relented, after a lot of pressure, but now they will zip tie any personal guns on entry to ensure they cannot be fired. Gunservant.com published the expo’s response to their backlash

After careful consideration, we decided not to impose a total ban on the carrying of personal firearms at the venue of the HuntEx Cape Game Fair. However, since the Fair is held within a controlled environment, where shooting exercises and competitions take place, we have to apply certain measures to ensure personal firearm safety in the public areas of the Fair.

Before entering the Cape Fair venue visitors carrying personal firearms will be directed to a designated safe area where they will have to make their firearms safe, sign an indemnity and apply a plastic cable tie to disable their firearms. They will then be allowed to carry their firearms in a concealed holster for the duration of their visit. On departure they will be free to return to the designated safe area to remove the cable tie and reload their firearms.

No firearm will be removed from the control of its owner who will be responsible for unloading and re-loading his/her own firearm. These activities will only be allowed within the designated safety area and under the control of a competent safety officer.

We look forward to the HuntEx Cape Game Fair to showcase an industry about which we are passionate. We are confident that reasonable, responsible gun owners will understand and support these necessary visitor firearm safety rules to ensure a safe environment for visitors and their families.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Trent Russell

    Am i missing something? This is the same as every gun show i’ve been to in the US…

    • M.M.D.C.

      Yes, the point. from the post above:
      “Gun/hunting expos the world over seem to take a perverse delight in biting the hands that feed them.”
      In other words, it’s the same as every gun show in the us.

    • Oopssorrymybad

      Yeah, that’s true enough. Only nobody actually conducts body searches at Shot Show, and South Africa is not the US. We cling tenuously to our firearm ‘rights’ (which are not really rights at all, but privileges extended to us by a hostile socialist government). What we don’t need is an organisation like Huntex throwing us under the bus by sending out the message that even gun organisations don’t trust other gunowners.

    • Johnny757

      Yeah Trent, you are missing a little something.

      South Africa is one of the most violent countries in the world today with extremely high crime rates.

      While many people here (not me) would love to not have to carry their guns for self-defence, in our beloved country it is somewhat of a necessity.

      And also a right that is under constant threat and not, unlike in the States, one that is enshrined in our constitution.

  • Gideon Joubert

    Thank you so much for publishing Steve. We are giving them Hell over here, and we won’t stop until they cave. Molon Labe!

  • Ratcraft

    All it takes is one leftist revolutionary to go in and “accidentally” shoot an “unloaded gun” just for the anti-gun media frenzy that would certainly follow.

  • Jacqueshacques

    What’s the big deal? My gun club in PA requires you to open the action and unload anything you bring in (cc weapons included) unless you’re on the line. Seems like common sense when you have a bunch of people around a bunch of guns they aren’t familiar with the condition or operations of.

    • Gideon Joubert

      This pertains specifically to your conceal carry weapon. Criminals don’t give you a free pass just because you are visiting a gun show…where everyone is disarmed…in one of the most criminally violent countries on the planet.

      • Anton Gray Basson

        Have you attended Huntex Cape? The previous times I attended there were a number of armed police officers. I will be attending with my handgun and will comply with the organizers request.

        • Gideon Joubert

          So you find it perfectly fine for a shooting expo to brand you as too irresponsible with your firearm to EDC in public? Just hand your gun in already buddy, because that’s where GFSA wants our country to go. HuntEx should be representing our rights, not trampling on them.

        • Tetelestai

          I’m assuming you’ve not seen recent news reports on the proficiency of SAPS. Neither are you taking into account how susceptible they are to our national sport, corruption. Most critically though, you’re making the mistake of expecting the government to protect you, the individual. The buck for protecting me and my family stops with me, not some guy in a uniform that probably flunked his latest proficiency because he gets 50 rounds a year to train with.

        • HvR

          Seeing as half the criminals are running around in SA police officer uniforms and bulletproofs I prefer to have my self defense firearm with me whenever I see someone in a SAPS uniform.

      • Jacqueshacques

        I suppose we come from different situations, but I will state that ALL of the times when I have felt that my life was in danger over the course of my 20 years with the shooting sports have been because of negligent fellow shooters. The reason I voluntarily joined a club with such restrictive rules in the first place was because I was tired of getting muzzle swept at the public range – or having the guy at the next bench over light off and immediately drop the .500 S&W he was shooting without ear protection, or someone asking if I’m “a cop, ‘cuz you have to tell me if you are” before screwing a section of welded-up black gas pipe on to the end of their AR. I can’t pretend to understand your situation, but I can tell you that at 100% of the large firearm-related gatherings I have attended, my main fear has been of catching a round from an ND and not of being robbed.

        • Tetelestai

          Well, the point is the mandatory unloading at the venue now INCREASES the odds of an ND. Concealed firearms should remain concealed and holstered like everywhere else. That’s ALL we ask for.

        • Gideon Joubert

          I hear you, but please bear in mind: you have the 2A. Your rights as a gun owner is enshrined in your constitution regardless of what gun shows think.

          We have to fight tooth and nail to keep ours down here, and the last thing we need is for one of our “own” to screw us up the a$$.

    • Sertorius

      What kind of a weird solution is this? Why would anyone want to bring their carry weapon in if they are forced to unload it and disable it with a ziptie? Why not just tell people to leave them in the car?

      In any case, I don’t understand a gun expo saying it doesn’t trust concealed carriers on their premises, where they are trusted everywhere else.

      • Gideon Joubert

        Amen! We carry everywhere as we are allowed to by law. Leaving the weapon in the car in SA is a no-no: unless you have a certified safe installed in the car, it must be on your person at all times. People carry to church, why is a gun expo suddenly more dangerous for CCW?

        • Sertorius

          It’s illegal to leave a weapon in a locked car trunk (boot? do South Africans say “boot”?) in SA? The trunk is locked – that seems secure enough. I suppose the idea is that even looked in the car, there is a risk of gun theft?

          • HvR

            Yes, if the firearm is not under your direct control (on your person in holster or covered in a gun bag in your presence) it needs to be in an legally approved safe that has been inspected by a designated police officer. And the license holder is the only one allowed to access the safe.

            High rate of car theft here I would not leave it in the vehicle in any case.

          • Sertorius

            We’re getting a little off the subject here I suppose, but I’m curious how the thieves steal the cars in SA. Theft of modern cars is almost unknown in the US — the car most likely to be stolen here is the pre-1998 Honda Accord, because 1998 was the year Honda began equipping cars with electronic keys.

            Here is a NY Times article on the massive decline in auto theft as a result of electronic keys:


          • Gideon Joubert

            The guys here circumvent the most sophisticated anti-theft devices you can imagine: they rip out satellite tracking devices before the security companies can respond. Immobilizers, alarm systems, gear locks, steering wheel locks, none of it stops the “professional” car thieves. They are something fierce: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp9dVFu4P00

          • HvR

            Three things South Africa is very good at thieves ingenuity, illegal grow and export of a marijuana and the general government corruption.

            Syndicates who run these car theft operations find security exploits forcing open bonnet with a crowbar bypassing wiring of the security systems, continually developing black market ignition override devices, buying key copies from dealers, towing the vehicle.

            Theft from vehicles also a big problem, the they just use direct force to gain entry.

          • TommyShark

            Our Community Policing Forum in the area i live has managed to over the last 5years or so drive down crime in the area by around 20% at one point we had 12-18 vehicles respond to a call (This is a city suburb not a farm area) at one point the criminals caught on a starting hitting 3 houses each on a “opposite” ends of the suburb in order to split the response now instead of 12 cars showing up at one location you have 3-4 showing up.

            They helped bust a car theft ring a while back some of the people voluntarily doing patrols started spotting the same two cars a few evenings in a row just driving around and not long after a car theft report came in. Turns out one car scouts ahead and reports cars not locked up behind gates or doors etc and then the 2nd car drives by later drops off two guys and gone is the car 5min later they pull into Apartment building basements (sat tracking doesn’t pic it up, just incase the guy not driving didn’t find the sat track device or devices) 15km away through the city. 50min later car is stripped and packed away in boxes as spares body is later discarded somewhere.

            If the cars security is too difficult to bypass or you can’t find someone that you can pay to get you past it (cloned keys etc) they Just High Jack you sometimes not even giving you the option to surrender walk up shoot you pull your body out the car and leave.

            a Family member use to work for one of the sat tracking companies told me many stories of them getting called out to recover a stolen caravan motor home etc you drive by the location the system shows the vehicle and you see noting but shacks (informal dwellings mostly built out of discarded / stolen building material on further investigation they found the caravan was parked there and 3min later covered completely to look like the rest of the dwellings in the area.

            Heck criminals in ZA fake car licenses (and nobody not even the cops would know it’s a fake unless they check the system) faster than our authorities can print them legally…

          • TommyShark


            Forgot that link, that the kind of criminal element we have to live and deal with daily…

          • Gideon Joubert

            Unfortunately yes, it is illegal and you may be charged with negligence in case of theft. The way things are here, I prefer having my 9mm on me as often as possible 🙂

    • USMC03Vet

      You’re comparing private club to public market for one.

      Secondly any gun club that doesn’t trust it’s members enough to safely conceal carry isn’t a club I’d want to be in. More Bloomberg gun hypocrites it sounds like.

  • Anton Gray Basson

    I agree with the measures in place at Huntex-cape , which I intend to attend. Also Huntex this year had a shooting of a boy by his father. http://www.farmersweekly.co.za/news.aspx?id=56943&h=Child-injured-in-shooting-accident-at-HuntEx

    • Gideon Joubert

      One by one they are eroding our rights, and you don’t even see it.

    • Tetelestai

      Please tell me why I should be subject to additional COUNTEREFFECTIVE “safety measures” when some tool could not keep his firearm in a holster while visiting a toilet stall? Have they come to take the petrol from your car because another dude drove over three pedestrians yesterday?

    • HvR

      Because one idiot was negligent and almost killed his son the rest of us should be punished?

      The idiot is probably going to get away with a slap on the wrist (as usual); so the guilty gets away and the innocent gets the punishment. Typical South African logic.

    • Burst

      This seems like it should have made the article somewhere. Context is everything.

      • Gideon Joubert

        It did make my article: gunservant.com/2014/09/04/huntex-drops-the-ball/

    • USMC03Vet

      Translation: “Do as I say not as I do”

      Got it.

  • Tetelestai

    Guys, this is different from a gun club where you do sport shooting and by definition, people need to handle their firearms. This also happens to be South Africa which is at the very least twice as violent as the US (think Chicago with a 60million population and you’d be about on target, except that farmers, a common target, live miles apart). The reality of an armed gang attacking, even at a firearm show is appreciably higher than the US.

    But even that is not the hub of the matter. The hub of the matter is that a fellow “firearm friendly” party in our country has introduced non-sensical safety procedures pandering to the anti gun lobby. Due to a tragic accident, we’re now forced to be searched upon entry. Then, thousands of people have to handle their firearms to unload them. Even without the unmanageable queues of last year, that’s just inviting an ND. Guns in proper holsters don’t go off if left in holsters and all that. Much more sensible options to “do something” (I truly hate that expression and the futility behind it) were proposed by several local interest groups, none of which were taken into account. Before a severe backlash in social media, the guns even had to be cable tied with the slide open.

    Unlike you in the US, we don’t have something like the second amendment. Having a firearm expo take the lead in effectively disarming me in a manner which creates even more risks is erosion of the little firearm rights I have. My bank, supermarket, doctor, movie theatre all allow me to carry concealed. Why on earth should I accept a firearm show to please our local anti-gun lobby?

    • Gideon Joubert

      Couldn’t have said it better. Then there are the guys in our fraternity going through life with blinkers on and not seeing the woods for the trees.

    • xerx

      Boycott the show until they come to their senses. Voting with your dollars (or rand) is a powerful tool.

    • dan citizen

      Bur this is South Africa, the detroit of the world.

  • Jeff

    Guns have to be zip-tied at gun shows in my area (Alaska). Fortunately, there is no real “search.” There is a senior citizen who asks, “Do you have a gun?” as he stands ready with a little strip of plastic. I always say, “No,” and walk in with all the weapons that I normally carry.

    • HvR

      Haven’t heard the latest (HuntEx management changes their mind every 5 minutes) but last I heard they are going to use scanners/metal detectors and body searches.

      • Gideon Joubert

        I wouldn’t be surprised.

    • floppyscience

      Same here in Michigan, there’s a guy sitting at a table as you walk in that says “firearms check”, but he doesn’t stop and ask everyone. If you’re carrying you’re supposed to walk over and have him unload and ziptie your gun. You can guess how many people voluntarily do this.

  • Steve Tucker

    Im trusted to walk around pretty much wherever I want including shopping malls, banks, restaurants or wherever with my fully loaded firearm. I have a card issued by the government that says I can. I dont have to do silly things to my pistol like unload it. A gun Show, however does not trust me, and they are supposed to be on my side! Stuff em!
    PS We are already a long way on the track to open competitive shows that are not run by people who will throw other gun owners under the bus.

  • Kobus

    people who attend HuntEx are usually gun owners and enthusiasts. if i am not allowed to concealed carry one of my licensed, legal handguns then I will simply not attend the expo. i will rather go to the shooting range and spend my day there.

  • USMC03Vet

    I can’t stand second amendment hypocrites. This a perfect example of it.

    Don’t trust gun owners enough to carry the products we sell them.

    – HuntEx

    • Gideon Joubert

      Amen. So much win.

    • bucherm

      They don’t have a 2nd Amendment(or something similar) in South Africa. It’s almost certainly true that the South African shooting industry views it more as “sporting”

      • USMC03Vet

        You know what I mean, Debbie Downer…

  • Hudson

    I wonder if the Insurance Companies for show venues are to blame for this. The thought of insuring a Gun Show would send most insurance companies running for cover.

    • John105

      You’ve hit the nail on the head. We have a group that does gun shows throughout Michigan, and the only way they can get insurance required by the facilities they lease is to ban loaded firearms.

      • Oopssorrymybad

        Jacques… you DO realise you answered and responded to yourself there ;-{>}

        Sure, but this IS NOT the case here. If it were we could live with it. This is a so-called firearms organisation saying other firearm owners can’t be trusted. Our well-organised and funded opponents will seize upon this and use it to further their gun-grabbing agenda.

    • Johnny757

      It’s the venue owners saying “hey, you gotta do something to make sure nobody gets shot on our premises”… in the same breath as which they are refusing to restrict alcohol sales… at a gun show!


  • Oopssorrymybad

    Guys, I see that a lot of context is missing here. The context is that this organisation (Huntex) is one of ‘our own’ that is panicking and pushing what they have identified as the most dangerous element (EDC folk) under the bus in an attempt to appease … I don’t know who actually … NOBODY has so far emerged as the prime mover behind this at all. The show organisers are jumping at their own shadows.

    In the process they are feeding an anti-gun movement that we had slowly driven back into their ratholes with invaluable soundbites.

    Firearms folk calling other firearms folk too dangerous to contemplate in the total absence of any evidence is a BAD THING for us all.

    If we don’t all hang together we shall surely all hang separately.

  • mzungu

    A little too much politic on this one. 😀 Prob just an insurance thing, or some venue rental requirement…

    • Tetelestai

      Odd, seeing as it wasn’t an issue for the years before. Even more odd is that the organisers haven’t used insurance as an excuse yet. My conclusion is that it’s NOT about insurance.

  • Richard Lioekans

    Gee if someone screws up in the USA they SUE YOU Butt-hole if it s non-sensical or not. One side say don’t do it and the other say we got to make a show of it encase some Joker screws up and we get blamed. As Gun owner I have to Laugh at just how Religious most owners are. Eg : where everyone is disarmed…in one of the most criminally violent countries on the planet. Kind of sound like a preacher Going You must Repaint or you going to burn.

    Gee There s 1500 or less shooting in Canada compared to 35 000 plus murders in the USA. As The daily show point out there Been no Rampages Australian . No mass shooting in Canada for 30 years.

    So It’s anti gun to give the cops the right to ask Gee Do you have A mental illness ? Being checked into a Pyci Ward lately? Maybe it’s not a good idea for you to own those weapons. But nope that interface with Your Religion that blind you to that fact. I m written to amuse myself not because I think anyone going to listen.
    So I ve dare to step on your Religion and now will be hung up to swing by my neck. Whoops nope everyone going to get out there 7 plus guns per person shot my to death LMAO. Nah I going to guess some trolls are going to put down my English writing skills etc. Just so show how big of guys they are. I really dought that at a gun show that you need to be armed because someone might rob it etc.

    • dan citizen

      “The daily show point out there Been no Rampages Australian”

      Unless you count Port Arthur, which at 35 dead, 23 wounded is larger than any US mass shooting. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Arthur_massacre_(Australia)

      Which is why I don’t source my news from comedy shows.

      • Richard Lioekans

        I don’t count it because that whats brought on the reforms. “The Port Arthur perpetrator said he bought his firearms from a gun dealer without holding the required firearms license.” As daily show point out after the hand gun since the restriction and licensing there be no mass shooting beyond someone killing 2 people.

        . So call me anti gun if I say Yep you should have to wait a 7 days to see if your mental ill nut job. Ether gun owners like me accept sane thing like check ups or one day the anti gun guys will stuff far worse thing down you throat as happen there. Sadly The fact I ve saying that mean I blasphemed the Pro gun Religion ! I m anti gun , Nope I just don’t want some of the people I know with mental illness having them sitting around when the little blue man runs out of there ears and then they try to off him.

        I news on comedy shows will it’s at least 1000% better then watching fox news .

        • dan citizen

          I think you’re trying a little too hard to get you to say you’re anti-gun.

          I’m pro gun, been working on or with guns for 3 decades… but I fully support background checks, my main criticism is that they are not thorough enough, many nutters and even a few felons slip through.

          And there are lot’s of news options other than a comedy show (albeit a great one) or “fox news” All of the mainstream news media fox, cnn, rt etc are so much fluff and bias that they are useless.

          Do you recall the russian strike on the US ship a month ago? The one where our ship had to be towed out of harm’s way and then limp to dry dock? That’s newsworthy, I mean it must have been HUGE on CNN, FOX, RT etc?

          Anyway, back to the subject at hand…

          Don’t presume the political leanings or gun control views of the incredibly varied international readership of TFB. Take note of how folks aren’t putting you down or labeling you.