“They’re trying to get their AR-15’s, their 47’s and all that. All the big guns,” said a man standing in line outside the Puyallup Fair Grounds Saturday.
He was one of hundreds of people waiting to get inside a gun show hosted by the Washington Arms Collectors, a two-day event which brought in an estimated 10,000 attendees.
“They’re scared that Obama’s going to get rid of the second amendment,” he said of show-goers.
Although non-members could attend, only registered WAC members were allowed to purchase firearms at the event. Those individuals have undergone necessary background checks, according to President John Rodabaugh.
Mike, who ran a booth selling specialty ammo and survival gear, said “panic” over the current gun control debate has led to a “buying frenzy.”
“(Lawmakers) are going to use this opportunity, this tragedy, to push through their agenda,” he said, speaking of the Dec. 14 mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Rodabaugh said guns and gun owners have been unfairly targeted in the wake of the shooting.
“There’s a lot of response to fear that the government is going to enact Draconian measures on law-abiding citizens who have done nothing wrong,” he said.
The current debate over gun control has centered around a ban on certain assault-style weapons to help prevent tragedies like the Sandy Hook shooting and the massacre at an Aurora, Colo., movie theatre on July 20, 2012.
“Telling 80-million gun owners that they can’t own this gun because it looks scarier than this gun isn’t going to do that,” he said. “What ultimately people see is a black scary gun and they’re frightened by the black scary gun and they want to know why you would need a black scary gun.”
The gun show kicked off while “Gun Appreciation Day” rallies were taking place around the country, including one in Olympia that brought in an estimated 2,000 participants. Some supporters brought copies of the constitution to show their support for the Second Amendment.