September 20, 2013

Membership

Members & Exhibitors,

This is the time of year which stirs that primeval urge in most of us; whether you are a leaf peeper, hiker or hunter, these crisp mornings and sunny cool days awaken that hidden spirit within.  With me, living on the Hudson River, I see the gathering of geese and ducks readying for their winter migration; just like all of us who will reap the fall harvests as we prepare to settle in for those cold winter nights.  I love this time of year.

The urge to prepare and harvest also brings the larger crowds to our gun shows, hopefully to our next NEACA Arms Fair at the Saratoga Springs City Center for those hunting enthusiasts who want new guns and accessories for the upcoming fall season.These hunters and gatherers will come to browse and shop for something new or familiar; theirs is a ritual of renewal, an indulgence of passing from summer to fall. This ritual of the hunt is stirred by the smells of cool, north breezes and sightings of changing colors in those alluring mountains and woodlands. And my purpose is to direct those with primal urges into Saratoga on October 12 & 13 so as to satisfy the needs and wants of those awakened spirits.

“Build it and they will come,” is my “Promote it and they will be there!” Again, we have 50,000 watts of air waves urging folks from Utica to Vermont and Glens Falls to Kingston and beyond, via WGY radio, to come to Saratoga. The news on CBS, channel six, will direct the folks that their needs will be met if they come to Saratoga. For the folks who still read, they can see why, where and how to get to Saratoga just by opening their daily or weekly newspaper. Even the internet savvy people can learn that they too, can come to our Saratoga Arms Fair on October 12 & 13, just by clicking on their emails or favorite websites. And, if they were prior visitors to any of our NEACA Shows, they already know of October or will be reminded with their own personal discount coupon by US mail. If you all can help me by posting a flyer, telling your friends and emailing your contacts about our show, possibly – but not assuredly – the one person who is living under that rock may even get the message!

Friends, I wrote all that above to try to impress upon you that we certainly try our very best, for each and every show, to reach out to the public and present our Arms Fair to them. And I know a lot of you members and exhibitors do promote our shows. Sometimes I wonder, however, how people can come in and tell me – at the show, mind you, -- “I didn’t know about it. Did you advertise? I only saw it on _____.” Then I smile, scratch my head, and direct them to fill out a door prize coupon – maybe win some cash to spend with you dealers at the show – and tell them I use it for my direct mailing list. Just remember, we try very hard to bring as many people past your tables as we can – I also have a good incentive, I tend to earn money with that effort. More the Merrier!

Another point in writing is that it seems these past summer shows, including September, and no matter where, public attendance has been fairly light, and so have gun sales. Even ammo sales are down somewhat. The hoarding may have peaked but now, with the hunting season beginning, the actual need may now be kicking in. There are still shortages of key ammo calibers and even components for re-loading. I suggest you bring some of your un-needed hunting ammo or re-loading supplies with you. Hunting accessories, knives and cleaning supplies are also now in need.

As for collector guns, antiques, vintage sporting goods and militaria, they will always be sought after and still are. The only problem is that disposable income is not as disposable as it once was; the folks who collect these things are getting tighter with their money. As with other household items, not that I include our wares in that category, prices may have to be discounted a little. Even collectors still enjoy a good deal now and then! Even I, the guru of quality and high-prices, have (dare I say it) lowered a price here and there. What Obama has wrought I hope we can put asunder.

But, the internet is still good, folks with cash still do spend it; all is not lost because that 1% bracket, of which we mostly all belong, still deal between our own. So, Saratoga should still be the place to be, anytime, including our show this October 12 & 13. View our website at NEACA.com.

As many of you know, our New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, was at our last Saratoga Show in August. He was very cordial to Cathy and I and also to our Arms Fair in general. I was very pleased with his visit and encouraged by his enthusiasm for our show. As he walked around and I introduced him to a variety of exhibitors he was truly impressed with our event. I was also very proud of you all for showing him and his entourage respect and civility. He commented on Channel 13 News on how well run our show was, how Cathy and I were prominent in this show business and how pleased he was that we were leading the way for future shows.  He also said that “gun shows are the safest place to buy a gun in NY State” – on camera – and that “you” should consider attending one. Also, he commented that there would be another here in Saratoga in October. Whether he plans on attending, I haven’t heard but I look forward to another visit. Maybe he’ll bring some of his friends and start collecting guns and knives!

Attorney General Schneiderman and his staff have learned a lot about gun shows in general and I hope to help him learn more thru his visits to Saratoga. I personally have come to view him as a reasonable man and have created a mutual understanding with him as to where ours and all NY State guns shows fit into the overall plan of safety for New York residents. His view that gun shows are the safest place to buy a gun in New York State is a long road from ten subpoenas nearly two years ago. I look forward to working with the AG in the future and guiding him into our world of gun ownership and gun collecting.

And yes, we are alive and well in Saratoga for the future. Our upcoming flyer is included. You can see we have dates and contracts at the City Center for January 11 & 12 and March 15 & 16 in 2014. I haven’t finalized our August or fall dates as of yet but will do so soon. We are also working on the rest or our 2014 schedule which we will have ready in a month or so.  New things are always in the plans. If you want us to look into particular venues for shows, let us know. If there are some things we should drop or change or try to create, in your view, let us know.

Cathy and I, as always, look forward to seeing all of our friends in Saratoga next month, and to enjoying this wonderful upcoming fall season. Maybe we’ll even get to go hunting!

Sincerely, Dave Petronis