Gun & Blade Show organizer Kim Sansom estimates that at least 6,000 people showed up at the Civic Center this weekend. She says most Lubbock shows get 3,000 people over the course of a weekend. This weekend they had 3,000 people on Saturday alone.
Vendors say they're having record shows all over Texas. One vendor wasn't sure he had enough merchandise to continue to the next stop in San Angelo.
Sansom says the threat of new legislation is driving shoppers to the show.
"Mainly because they are talking about the assault weapons ban, high-cap magazines and talking about the gun show loophole which is the private individuals trading and selling within themselves," Sansom said.
California Senator Dianne Feinstien has announced, "In January, Senator Feinstein will introduce a bill to stop the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices."
The bill includes:
Banning the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacturing of 120 specifically-named firearms; certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have one or more military characteristics; and semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds.
Strengthening the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, banning large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds, protecting legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment and requiring that grandfathered weapons be registered under the National Firearms Act.
But people on the South Plains aren't waiting for Washington - they're stocking up now.
Robert Schellhammer lives in Illinois, but came to the Lubbock show while visiting his kids. He feels that Congress is getting this one wrong.
"We need to go after the crooks, not the guns," he said. "I've got some guns and they're totally safe until some idiot picks it up and does something wrong with it. Guns are not bad. It's like saying it's a fork's fault for making me fat. It's not the gun's fault, it's the people behind the gun."
Schellhammer suggests harsher punishment for crimes committed with firearms. He suggests adding 20 years to the sentence if a person uses a gun while committing a criminal act - no arbitration and no leniency - but he doesn't want guns taken from the hands of law-abiding citizens.
Texas Tech student Mark Thomas came to the show in hopes of finding a high-capacity magazine for his assault rifle, one of the items that will potentially be banned if these laws pass. He says fear of new legislation brought him to the Civic Center.
"I see them changing things pretty soon. I just want to have one so I can have one," he said.
Thomas said he's not completely opposed to the idea of an assault weapons ban, but he doesn't think new laws will eliminate the danger.
"You're never going to take crazy out of society. 99.9% of the people are law-abiding citizens that own guns are careful with them, train their kids to use them properly and store them correctly," he said.
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