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Gun show sees record turnout; vendors running out of merchandise

By Sandra Yi | Posted - Jan 5th, 2013 @ 10:27pm


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SANDY — After several weeks of intense debate about gun control, the Rocky Mountain Gun Show saw a record turnout.

About 20,000 attended the opening day of the weekend-long Rocky Mountain Gun Show Saturday. Typically, this gun show draws about 17,000 people throughout the entire weekend.

People wanted to get their hands on guns, high-powered rifles and ammunition. Long lines and shoulder-to-shoulder crowds waited to get inside the Southtowne Expo Center.

Matt Webster came to get parts and ammunition for his AR-15, only to find, he was out of luck.

"We got here, maybe around noon and they were sold out of the .223, which is the main round for the AR-15 and they were just out. We asked if they had any .223 and the guy just laughed at us," Webster said.

Matthew Gomez got his hands on ammunition, but for a price.

"What I'm about to buy now, get some ammunition, normally would have cost me $250 six months ago, now it's probably going to cost me about $400 or $500 now," Gomez said.

The fear of a heavy tax on ammunition is driving sales. The possibility of stricter gun laws in the wake of several mass shootings is also behind the spike in business.

Gun vendors like Dan Petersen are having a hard time keeping inventory.

"It doesn't matter what we sell in here, we cannot get it. Doesn't matter if it's a holster, ammo, guns, we cannot call our wholesaler and get it," Petersen said. "It's virtually impossible."

He says this is typical after a shooting incident or when new legislation is being considered.

"It's not going to slow down at all it will not until we see exactly what they're going to do," Petersen said.

On the other side of the country, gun shows have been cancelled in areas close to Newtown Conn., where a gunman entered an elementary school and shot 26 people dead, including 20 children in December. The reason for the shows' cancellation has been attributed to a heightened sensitivity and appropriateness.

Promoters say they're expecting another large turnout tomorrow morning when the gun show opens again at 9 a.m.

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