Local News

Gun show draws big crowd at State Fairgrounds

Posted May 3, 2009 6:55 p.m. EDT
Updated May 3, 2009 11:42 p.m. EDT

— Gun and ammunition sales continue to rise as an estimated 8,000 people showed up this weekend for the Dixie Gun and Knife Show at the State Fairgrounds. The event is usually popular, but this year, perhaps even more so.

“Ammo has gone up about three times what it was about three months ago," gun owner Ray Wallace said.

Some gun owners say sales are up due to fear that a Democratic president and Congress will revive old, stricter gun laws.

“I had eight people asking me to buy this (gun) right off of me,” gun owner Matt Elston said as he left the gun show this weekend at the State Fairgrounds.

Gun retailers across North Carolina saw sales triple or even quadruple immediately after President-elect Barack Obama's victory in November.

Retailers say guns selling so fast that some are on back order and ammunition is running low. People are buying ammo by the case these days, not the box.

“They are stock piling it (ammo). They are just keeping it for themselves right now because they are afraid of the (Obama) administration and what is going to happen,” Elston said.

Other people say the economy is driving up gun demand. People want to be able to protect themselves and their families during uncertain times.

“There's so much thieving going on (and) so much breaking and entering,” Wallace said.

Political insiders say it is unlikely that Obama would focus on passing any new gun restrictions during his first term – when the economic downturn will be his top priority. Even with a Democratic-controlled Congress, stiffening gun laws would be controversial.