Organizers expected twice the turnout as normal. “Typically we get 10,000-15,000, we'll exceed 20,000 this weekend,” said Bob Templeton, owner.
Templeton of Kaysville started the show in 1975. He said gun fans are anxious after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary that sparked debate about the current gun laws.
“Law abiding gun owners don't feel they had anything to do with that, yet we're being blamed for that tragic event, so they're concerned about the future of their gun rights because of the president and vice president are talking about restricting, regulating and even confiscating guns,” he said.
Dealers are noticing more people attending this year want to buy. “They seem to be in a buying mood to me,” said Scott Nell, owner of Big Dog Pawn. “Everybody's ready to spend money they're ready to get a gun whether they've owned one or never owned one.”
It's not just firearms they're buying. Ammunition is a top seller. “That's the most popular because it’s a hot commodity right now,” said Templeton. “It's not available at the traditional retailers because it's all bought up by people who are concerned about the price and the availability of it.”
Fears of stricter regulation aren’t the only thing driving sales. Nell said more women are wanting to protect themselves. “Much more especially at my store, wanting self defense, school teachers shopping today, you see a lot more of that going on,” he said.
The gun show continues at the South Towne Expo Center Sunday.