ONTARIO (CBSLA.com) — Huge crowds are expected in Ontario this weekend at the first local gun show since the Newtown shootings.
Gun enthusiasts say there’s a sudden surge in attendance because gun stores have been selling out. They say sales are up since the re-election of President Obama and the Newtown massacre because gun owners fear their rights will be scaled back.
After a 10-day waiting period, Eric Mereno was able to pick up his new rifle at a gun store in Ontario Thursday night.
“I went to three gun shops, eventually found it here, and probably paid a little less than double of what it normally costs,” Mereno said.
Gun shows across the country have also been packed with buyers, who fear gun reform in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy may preclude them from purchasing as easily in the future.
The same scene is expected to play out at the Crossroads of the West gun show in the Ontario Convention Center.
“I’m planning to attend it this weekend…maybe look for an assault rifle,” gun owner Justin Velazco said.
Third-grade teacher Leslie Hanslik said having a gun show less than a month after the Connecticut school shooting was upsetting.
“It’s sick,” Hanslik said. “We have to protect our kids, we have to protect our community, and the only way, I feel, is to restrict.”
Bob Templeton, the owner of the Crossroads gun show, said in a statement, “All of us feel a lot of sadness for what happened in Connecticut, but for those who would restrict or regulate our Second Amendment right to lawfully have access to guns are using a tragic event to further their gun control agenda and political agenda.”