First, I’m not stating my personal position on this subject. I’m presenting some thoughts.
Gun shows that don’t let me carry my legal firearm is not a gun show I support, even the Shot Show.
OK, I do have an opinion; I strongly sympathize with that position. But…
On the one hand, if a show organizer doesn’t trust his customers, why should we trust him, or do business with him? Think boycotts of stores that post their property as gun-free target rich environments. Some show organizers get it.
On the other hand, very often — unlike stores making their own decisions to disarm customers — that choice is not made directly by the organizer. When you’re running a large show, you need a certain amount of space. That limits your choice of venues. If the venues that are large enough (or have sufficient support like power, water, sanitation, Internet access) themselves opt for gun-free target rich environment, what’s the event organizer to do? He can carry on, and maybe lose some boycotters, but serve the majority. Or if enough people boycott, he can lose money and not hold any more shows.
Boycotters might hope that would trickle up: organizer goes elsewhere (or out of business), venue loses revenue due to loss of shows, venue changes gun-free target rich environment policy.
Except, how many venues are that dependent on gun shows for their own continued existence? Especially government-run venues that don’t care because they get taxpayer support anyway. You might think those would be concerned about the loss of sales tax revenues, but you might be wrong; too often the goal is to shut down sales, PERIOD, no matter the claims about using “revenues” to fight “gun violence.”
In such cases, show loses, boycotters cheer, and the victim-disarming SOBs cheer even louder.
Thoughts of nose-cutting and spite come to mind.
On the gripping hand, I have seen show organizers who chose to make themselves gun-free target rich environments, when it was not required by the venue. I have no problem with boycotting them. There are shows I stopped attending.
Since this discussion was prompted by the 2018 SHOT Show, I’ll note one more point. SHOT is not a public gun show. It is an industry trade show, attendance by application/invitation only. You need credentials to get onto the floor (as a mere TZP writer, I can’t get in). As a private event, they can set whatever policies they want; it’s between the organizers and the invited attendees. If I were invited, I’d have to balance the benefits of seeing cool new stuff versus the chance of being disarmed, and I might decide to go inside.