NRA Recruits New Members at "HuntFest"
Roanoke, VA - For the second year in a row "HuntFest" was held at the Roanoke Civic Center.
Thousands flocked to the three-day event, saying they are excited that the Star City has a festival like this.
With most hunting seasons over, here in Virginia, people say it offers a chance to prepare for next year. It's also a huge recruitment opportunity for the National Rifle Association.
Before you even need to buy a ticket to enter HuntFest, Al Milton greets you with a smile, and a chance to support the NRA.
"So far I've done about 175 memberships this weekend," said Milton.
Since December, Milton says he's doubled the number of recruits, from the same time period last year.
"I think the public has finally woke up and realizes the attack is on the second amendment, as well as guns," said Milton.
One of those new supporters is Russell Peters. He was a member of the NRA 20 years ago but just recently decided it's time to rejoin.
"I wanted to get into the NRA because I want them fighting for our rights, our Second Amendment rights," said Peters.
Promoters of HuntFest say protecting the Second Amendment is something that most all outdoors man care about.
Take the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg Pennsylvania for example.
That show was supposed to kick off next weekend, but promoters there decided to ban Modern Sporting Rifles, like the AR-15, from being sold or even displayed.
The hunting community announced a boycott. Venders, celebrities, and customers canceled plans to attend, forcing promoters to pull the plug on the entire event.
As for the promoter of HuntFest, he says politicians should take note of what happened in Harrisburg.
"I think they would be crazy not to, I think it would be insane to not notice it, the gun it's self is neither inherently good or bad, people are good or bad," said Max Rowe, a HuntFest Promoter.
Organizers point out they do support the sale of those Modern Sporting Rifles in hunting shows, which they say are semi-automatic weapons, not fully automatic weapons.
A bill that has been proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein seeks to outlaw the manufacture of those guns.