FORT WORTH – Gun shows, like the Original Fort Worth Gun Show, which kicked off Saturday, keep bringing patrons in. Some come for the savings, others come for difficult to find items.
Regardless, attendance is on the rise –– since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and the ambush on New York City firefighters earlier this week, assault style weapons like the AR-15 are in demand, sellers say.
“I have an AR-15 rifle and I want to add optics to it at a cheaper price than at the regular retail stores,” said Don Bates, who attended the show Saturday. “Most of the people that are buying weapons are buying them for self defense or home defense.”
While the AR-15 was used in both of those incidents, the line of thinking at the Amon Carter Exhibit Hall Saturday was in synch with Bates’ statement.
“It’s not something that you get with the idea of hurting anyone. It’s to protect your family and for sport,” said Brian Maijala.
While Original Fort Worth Gun Show organizers declined to speak to News 8 or release attendance numbers, the convention hall was bustling throughout the afternoon. Many patrons, like Maijala, said it’s become increasingly difficult to find ammunition in gun stores and decided to look at the show for it.
“I think a lot of people are just looking around for ammo,” he said.
And while a formal debate on a possible assault rifle ban has yet to happen, it’s at the top of these owners’ minds –– the ammunition shortage, they say, is indicative of others feeling the same concern.
“I don’t think that the actual Second Amendment will be infringed upon, but I think that the government will overreact with a knee jerk reaction,” Bates said.
“I think some people that don’t understand guns will blame it on the guns not the people,” Maijala added.
The Original Fort Worth Gun Show lasts until Sunday.