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Weekend gun show expected to bring record crowd in Springfield

January 18, 2013|Emily Wood, KY3 News | ewood@ky3.com

Springfield, Mo. -- Thousands of buyers, sellers and traders are expected at a gun show in Springfield this weekend.  Gun dealers said they've seen record numbers at similar shows this year in Kansas City and St. Louis following President Barack Obama's proposed changes to gun laws.

The majority of gun deals that will go down Saturday and Sunday at the R.K. Gun Show at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds will involve licensed dealers and federal background checks.  But some deals will not involve those checks, and that is something Obama wants to change.

"Well your AR and AK, which would be assault weapons, but they are hard to come by and that's what the problem is," said 35-year veteran gun dealer Duane Hungerford.

Hungerford said those types of firearms will be among the more popular items at the gun show in Springfield, and gun enthusiasts are willing to pay high prices for the guns and ammo President Obama is aiming to take off the market for good.

"A good quality gun is going to cost you anywhere from $1600 to $2500," said Travis Coleman, a gun dealer from Lake Ozark, Mo.

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Coleman said he is selling at least 50 percent more at shows this season than last.  As a licensed dealer, Coleman is required to run background checks and supports the idea of private sellers doing the same.

"It's my opinion two strangers passing on the street, it's just a good responsible practice to find out who you're selling that gun to," Coleman said.

Operators of the R.K. Gun Show said about 90 percent of the sales that will happen at the show this weekend will include federal background checks.  However, it is still legal for private individuals to sell to whomever they choose.  That's the gun show loophole the Obama administration wants to close.

"They all have 30 round magazine,s which you see in this case, they shoot a lot of bullets, and that's what people like to do," Hungerford said.

Hungerford is all fired up and ready to sell to the 10,000 or more people expected to attend.  Though, like many dealers across the country, he is running low on assault weapons inventory and having a hard time getting any more from manufacturers.

Despite that many gun dealers still intend to unload nearly every piece of inventory they carted in to the fairgrounds. 

Dealers said the top reasons people by guns include protection, hunting, and collecting.  Opponents of the proposed changes said any new limitations threaten second amendment rights.

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