Roanoke Gun Show Draws Record Crowd & Concerns Over Gun Laws
Roanoke, VA - Gun shows in our area seem to be busier than ever lately, and a record crowd came out to the Roanoke Valley Gun Show Saturday to prove it.
Organizers say in two days, a total of 4,500 people usually come out to the Roanoke Civic Center. But they say they broke that with about 4,700 people attending the event just on Saturday.
Many sellers and buyers at the gun show said they were worried about new laws that the Obama administration could pass regarding gun control.
James Worth was at the show to sell his private collection of guns.
"I'm concerned that there's going to be some draconian ban ran through Congress," he said. "There's a lot of fear that guns won't be available and there will be severe guns laws restrictions passed. I think people want to get some guns while they can."
Annette Elliott works for Showmasters Gun Shows and is the promoter for the Roanoke Valley Gun Show. She says her family has been running the show in Roanoke for 41 years, and these past couple of months have brought in the largest crowds ever.
Elliott says that fear of stricter laws is driving the big crowds.
"Right after the elections, attendance went up maybe even a week or two before it increased, and it's steadily rising," she said.
Many hope the attendance increase at gun shows will draw the attention of our nation's leaders.
"I think they have to be looking at the amount of gun sales, the amount ammo sales, the amount of activity on things like Facebook and social mediapeople are talking about this. I think that's good." said gun owner Jack Morgan.
Worth says it could help get a conversation started on how to deal with gun control.
"It's not total gun violence that's a problem; it's people who are seriously disordered mentally they shouldn't have any kind of gun," he said.
Worth says there needs to be a way to ensure that those who buy guns are eligible to do so. He proposed creating a credible database with the cooperation of the mental health community that would allow sellers to check if the buyer can indeed own a gun.
There are many different aspects that play a role in this conversation. You can read more about Obama's call for new gun measures here.
Get more information on Virginia's gun laws.