Indianapolis holds gun show during control debate - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Indianapolis holds gun show during control debate

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The line to get into the gun show wrapped around the building at the State Fairgrounds. The line to get into the gun show wrapped around the building at the State Fairgrounds.
INDIANAPOLIS -

Thousands of people waited in a huge line to get into this weekend's gun show at the State Fairgrounds.

Many of those in line are concerned about impending gun law changes, but a number of them also support some of the proposed gun controls.

"The lines are going around the buildings," Long, long lines at the 1500 Gun and Knife Show at the State Fair Grounds Friday.

Some waited two to three hours in line outside to get into the 1500 Gun and Knife Show.

"The laws they're wanting to pass are making people a little scared," said gun enthusiast Bick Sarkine.

The Connecticut school shooting is just the latest trigger to calls for tougher gun laws.

"People really feel they are being unfairly targeted. Their hobby, their livelihood is being attacked," said gun show spokeswoman Ashley Varner.

So they were at the fairgrounds in record numbers.

"I just want to see what money they might be offering," said gun enthusiast Jim Williams.

Unlicensed gun sellers are a small percentage of the dealers at the show. They are not required to do background checks on their buyers. But that would change under proposed new laws that would tighten the gun show loophole.

"Well, I don't see any problem with it," says Williams, "as far as the background check, I want them in legal hands as much as anybody else. That's not gonna stop the shootings. Criminals are doing the shootings and they don't have rules."

Some recent polls say 88 percent of Americans want background checks for all gun show buyers. And on the line outside the fairgrounds Eyewitness News found some gun owners who agree.

"Just to make that a safe thing to do, because you don't want to sell something to a guy who is going to go out of here and hurt somebody," Sarkine said.

"Some of the things the President said about doing background checks and stuff on personal sales, I fully support that idea. I don't want to sell a gun to a felon who would then go and do something that would come back on me. I want to know who I'm selling to," said Jamin Filbrun.

"I don't want to sell a weapon to a felon, someone who isn't even supposed to own a gun," Bill Middleton said.

But restrictions on high-capacity magazines has a lot of opposition. Concerns that rule hurts legal gun owners.

"A criminal wants a high capacity mag or whatever. They'll just find a way to get around that," Middleton said.

Some at the gun show said talk of tighter gun laws seemed to be pushing up the prices of some products.

Earlier version

The debate over gun control will be front and center at one of the largest gun shows in the country starting today at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.  The annual show may turn into more of a demonstration.

The Indy 1500 Gun and Knife show bills itself as one of the largest gun and knife shows east of the Mississippi, and it may be even bigger this year because of the current gun control debate. We're already hearing about one anti-big government rally planned for tomorrow just across the street from the Fairgrounds that's meant to coincide with the show.

Traditionally, this show has been a place for sportsmen and gun enthusiasts to see and buy the latest guns and gear. But conservative radio talk show host Greg Garrison says this year's show may attract a whole new crowd who may not even be shopping for guns.

"What you see this weekend is more than a show, more than a convocation," Garrison said. "It's an expression to peaceably assemble, to speak out and to arm ourselves. That's three of them in a row.  And I think that's what you're going to see and that's why you'll see so many people who otherwise probably wouldn't go to the gun show."

On Wednesday, President Obama was speaking about gun shows just like this, and closing the so called "gun show loophole" that allows sales of guns without background checks. The President called that "not safe" and "not smart."

"It's very, very personal," said Garrison. "There's tons of people - they call the show. They don't own a gun, they don't like 'em, they don't want to know about them. But they don't want to be told they cannot have one."

The show starts Friday at 2:00 p.m. and runs through Sunday. Adults get in for $10 and children 12 and under are admitted for $3.

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