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Gunrunners gun show packs in enthusiasts

Joshua Cripe, of Americus, checks the sights on a Smith & Wesson MP15 .22 cal. rifle at the Albany Gun and Knife Show/Sale Saturday at the Hasan Shrine Temple at 1822 Palmyra Road. The show/sale continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Joshua Cripe, of Americus, checks the sights on a Smith & Wesson MP15 .22 cal. rifle at the Albany Gun and Knife Show/Sale Saturday at the Hasan Shrine Temple at 1822 Palmyra Road. The show/sale continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

ALBANY, Ga. -- A constant crowd of gun enthusiasts filed into an Albany civic club’s hall past a sign that stated, “Absolutely no loaded guns” starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The gun show and sale held by Gunrunners Shows of Hephzibah at the Hasan Shrine Temple, 1822 Palmyra Road, continues today starting at 10 a.m.

photo

Joe Bellacomo

Bill Lovvorn helps his wife, Paige Lovvorn, choose a handgun at the Albany Gun and Knife Show/Sale Saturday at the Hasan Shrine Temple at 1822 Palmyra Road. The show/sale continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The gun show’s owner Larry Steverson said he thought the looming federal gun-control debate and restrictions sent many more customers his way.

A couple of customers from Warner Robins agreed. They said they were stocking up against any new rules.

“The Diane Feinstein bill is opposed to my having a 10-22 Ruger long rifle because it has 10 rounds,” said Keith Hamilton. “It (the law) would make it a D felony to possess it. It would be banned and guns limited to five rounds.”

The show featured table after table of legal guns including handguns, shotguns and assault rifles offered for sale by licensed merchants.

“The gun-buy loophole at a gun show is a baldface lie,” said Leesburg’s Steven B. Drew, of Georgia Loan & Gun. “I am a federally licensed firearms dealer and I comply with all the laws. I call the FBI and they say if I can sell a gun. Ninety-six percent of all background checks are approved. No felon or criminal is going to come to a gun show to buy.”

The thought heard over and over again at the gun show from dealers and customers was that guns do not cause the problem — people do. Gun-show participants said imposing stricter controls on law-abiding citizens was not the way to deal with the problem of violence by criminals and the mentally ill.

Strict regulations are “unacceptable,” said Mike Cramer, a customer from Columbus. Guns don’t kill people, people do. You won’t stop crime by banning guns.”

The problem isn’t with guns said dealer Andrew Dearhart, of Stone Mountain; it is with a lack of common sense and strict enforcement of the laws.

“There is a lack of justice increasing crime,” Dearhart said. “Criminals know they won’t be punished. Slap on wrist and they are out again.”

As for the mentally ill, Dearhart, owner of Mainstreet Firearms, used the Aurora, CO., movie killings as an example where the swift application of punishment should be applied.

“We know he did it. Why isn’t he hanging from a tree?” Dearhart said. “He is sick. If a dog is sick, you put him down. Put that guy down.”

Judging from those spoken to, the crowd at the gun show agreed that if criminality and mental illness are the root causes of gun violence, then deal with those, not the law-abiding citizen’s rights.

“Guns are cool. People like to shoot them at targets,” said the owner of Advanced Tactical Solutions who did not want his name used. “It is like having a Corvette. Nobody needs a Corvette, but they are fun to drive.”

Comments

pettibone 1 year, 11 months ago

I guess Mr. Dearhart is talking about those gang bangers in the inner-city. I know he is not talking about those good old boys in Texas because he is talking about hanging them. We know who Americans hang. If guns do not kill people I guess the guy in Newtown would have killed more people if he would have had a stick.

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Jax 1 year, 11 months ago

He specifically referred to the Aurora shooter as one who should be hanging from a tree. He was not a gang banger as I'm sure you know. Just because you associate hanging with the lynching of black people does not mean that blacks were the only people that have been hanged.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 11 months ago

Get'em while they last! Obama's about to put the keebosh on them through King's X. Divine right of Kings. His Royal Majesty Barack Hussein O'Bama (All will bow to His Royal Highness at the mention of His name........)

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Merlin 1 year, 11 months ago

I have an AR 15 and an AK 47 and several other guns. I do not hunt. I use these to target shoot. Why? Because they are simply fun to shoot. I have 30 round mags for the AR15 and a 75 round drum magazine for the AK 47. Nothing is more fun than plinking away at paper targets and not having to reload.

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Merlin 1 year, 11 months ago

Oh, by the way, the ONLY people who have, by the the definition, an " assault weapon" are the ones who have a class three weapons license . The difference is that if you pull and hold back the trigger the gun sprays bullets everywhere. Also the gun has to have a selector switch to cycle between single fire, which means only one shot per trigger pull and a auto fire selection which enables the gun to shoot stupid amounts of misplaced bullets over and around the target. I have shot many (thousands) of rounds in my time in the military and let me tell yo, it ain't like in the movies. Full auto can't hit s.h.i.t. So, let me say this, I have a single shot AR 15 and a single shot AK 47...... Among others and single shot weapons are the best. Do not ban my rifles or my hi cap mags just because they look military.

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chinaberry25 1 year, 11 months ago

Guns will still be around when Obama is gone. Both parties like guns, so Obama better leave them alone. This could very well be his Achilles heel.

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RedEric 1 year, 11 months ago

Foriegn tourists come to shooting ranges and bang off a truck load of ammo. Why? Because its fun! It is fun to shoot rifles, pistols, shotguns, bows, slingshots. Some people here like to shoot off their mouth. It is against the bill of rights to restrict access to guns. Simple. This administration hasn't approved a budget yet and that is required. So, what is to prevent them trying to restrict access?

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Nous_Defions 1 year, 11 months ago

Hey Mr. Skiba, is that female reporter who caused an uproar at the gunshow an employee of the Herald?

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