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Basically, a yard sale for helicopter gunships, tanks, artillery, large quantities of automatic weapons, and other useful tools for starting and finishing small wars.

Coming in two forms:

  • Legal: Organised by a government or big corporation and taking place in a conference centre. Attract protestors.
  • Illegal: By a crime gang or terrorist group, located in some field somewhere. Attract police and military.

While it has almost certainly occured in fiction, having a Hood Ornament Hottie in skimpy camo holding a large machine gun sounds too much like self parody for any real company to actually do it, regardless of what occurs at E3.

Examples of Arms Fair include:

Anime & Manga

  • A short for Gundam SEED Astray shows Lowe and the gang at a fair on Earth and getting in trouble after he buys the head of a BuCue containing sensitive military information.


  • Black Hawk Down features extensive sequences showing off that the entire city Mogadishu qualifies as an Arms Fair, despite being under the control of a ruthless warlord who will kill people trying to get the food supplies sent by various aid groups.
  • In the Pre Titles Sequence of Tomorrow Never Dies, James Bond must infiltrate an Arms Fair to confirm its location and allow a Tomahawk missile to take it out. As the missile is launched, he discovers an L-39 Albatros with nuclear torpedoes on board...
  • Lord of War has had several - all illegal. And with Russian-Military-themed women dancing on tanks.
    • The one with the Russian-Military-themed women was implied to be legit, or as legit as you can get with an arms sale held by corrupt elements of the post-Soviet military hosted by a laissez-faire Middle Eastern state.
  • The plot of Deal Of The Century revolves around one.

Live Action TV

  • Airwolf had mini-ones.
  • Chuck has "Weap Con," of which Casey was an enthusiastic attendant every year.

Video Games

  • Goldeneye for the Wii features a level taking place at an arms fair.

Real Life

  • DSEi, held every year in London.
  • Similarly, small gun shows held in various places all over America.
  • The Gun Markets of Pakistan from Vice TV
  • After the collapse of the Soviet Union, just about anything military was up for sale from KGB badges to mothballed fighter planes.
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