A record-breaking number of people filled the Allstar Events Complex in Gettysburg on Saturday for the Gettysburg Gun Show, just days after President Barrack Obama announced a new gun-control proposal.
Several show attendees and vendors anticipated larger-than-normal crowds at the show after Obama's sweeping package of federal gun-control proposals was introduced earlier in the week. Exact attendee numbers were unavailable as of press time Saturday, but the show was sold out, according to a spokesperson.
The show, hosted by the Eagle Arms Sporting Show of Pennsylvania, featured 500 tables, and is one of two shows the group hosts in Gettysburg during the year. The second show is Aug. 31 to Sept. 1 the same location.
People who are afraid Obama and his administration will take away their Second Amendment rights have flocked to gun stores, attendees and vendors said.
But Mike Sipes, owner of Hanover Shooter's Supply, LLC in Hanover, said much of the President's proposal - such as background checks for those wanting to buy a gun - are already law.
Business has been "crazy" recently, said Sipes.
And in light of recent events, he's finding that many people are purchasing a gun for the first
"I don't want to hand out guns to people who don't know how to use them," Sipes said.
Sipes believes a lack of gun education - including safety, respect for the gun and marksmanship - is to blame for the fear of guns in America.
Sipes learned to shoot a BB gun when he was 8. Although shooting at targets was fun, safety was a top priority when using the gun, he said, adding that his father taught him to handle the BB gun as if it were a real firearm.
The safety tips stuck with Sipes throughout his life. In addition to teaching new gun owners, he also teaches children ages 12 to 21 at various ranges in the area. He said he hopes to show them that guns can be fun and educational if used properly.
"We can get through this if people understand what we do," Sipes said.
Saturday was the first Gettysburg show for Fransico Miyares, of Frederick. He had expected a huge crowd because of recent legislative proposals but said a gun show in Maryland last weekend was even more packed.
People are trying to buy guns now, he said.
Maryland governor details proposal for tighter rules for gun licenses. No protestors were seen outside the building as a crowd of thousands of Second Amendment advocates gathered, however across the nation Saturday thousands gathered at state capitals to express concern about measures being proposed that could weaken gun-possession rights.
If you go
What: Gettysburg Gun Show
When: Today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Allstar Events Complex at 2638 Emmitsburg Road in Gettysburg
Cost: $7 per person