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Fairmont Gun Show Sees Increase In Attendance, Gun Purchases

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FAIRMONT -

The Gun Control Debate is keeping many people on the edge of their seats.

Recent events, like the Newtown shooting, has caused the government to consider stricter laws. In turn, it has increased business for gun stores and shows.

One of the state's largest gun shows, Showmasters, came to Fairmont this weekend.

"Normally, we'll pull 3000 for the weekend," said Annette Elliott, Promoter for Fairmont Gun Show. "We had that many yesterday. So we are 30 percent up right now. We had an line all the way to the end of the parking lot."

Why are those numbers increasing? Why is this popular gun show drawing in even more people?

"Starting to get scared because ammo is getting higher," said Rick Bollinger of Bridgeport. "I just wanted to check things out, get an idea on how much to spend."

"People are just very afraid that they are going to do something either to make it too expensive for them to own fire arms and even the ammo to go out and shoot, they are talking about all kinds of stuff," Elliott said.

While these issues may be keeping people glued to the television, it is also pushing them into the doors of gun stores and shows.

"A lot of people are concerned about, you know, coming in and wanting to have safety for right now because they are afraid they aren't going to be able to get them later," said Debra Snyder, Ray's Gun Store.

Bollinger agrees.

"Half the crowd are people that are scared they are going to take the guns or price the ammo so high you can't afford to buy it," he said.

Showmasters Gun Show is based out of Blacksburg, Virginia and travels around seven different states.

"There's all kinds of great stuff and that's why people love coming to gun shows," Elliott said. "There is a huge variety. You'll never see this many guns in a gun shop."

Showmasters said West Virginians love their firearms and the show comes to Fairmont three times a year for that reason.

"They really are firearms lovers. They really are," Elliott said. "They love the outdoors, they love sports shooting. It's really entrenched in the way West Virginians are."

"I think if there is ever a revolution, it will start in this state because they're not going to get our guns," Bollinger said.

Elliott said she predicts gun sale numbers to continue to rise.

If you missed the Gun Show, Showmasters will be back again in October at the new Armed Forces Reserve Center in East Fairmont.