Valdosta Daily Times

January 21, 2013

Fear of ban draws crowd to Marietta area gun show


Associated Press

MARIETTA — Both dealers and attendees attributed the large turnout at a Marietta gun show this weekend to a fear that assault-style weapons such as the AK-47 and AR-15 will soon be banned along with some magazines under President Barack Obama’s proposed gun-control legislation.

The pending law, which Obama proposed following a mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school last month, has driven up gun prices, said those who flocked to the show at Jim Miller Park.

Nicholas Denington, a 27-year-old Army veteran who served in the Iraq war, was quoted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (http://bit.ly/UFJBxI ) as saying he came to the show looking for a profit on an AK-47.

He said he paid $330 for the gun in 2006, but saw online a couple of days ago that prices had jumped to from $1,000 to $1,300.

Rafael Gonzalez of On the Square Guns in McDonough said the line at Saturday’s gun show was “out the door.”

Retired Cobb County police Officer L.E. Race, who has worked security at the show for years, noted that six months ago prices for some models of AR-15s were about $600. He said they now go for as high as $1,600.

He advised potential AR-15 consumers to wait before buying. “Everything is going to (go) back down,” he said.

Race said ammunition also was selling out. “You can’t go squirrel hunting,” he said. “You can’t find .22-caliber rounds.”

Anthony Harden, a 25-year-old Army veteran, bought a 12-gauge Mossberg 500 shotgun with a collapsible stock for $400. He said gun prices are going up because of some of the comments made by the president.

“People are panicking,” Harden said. “They are afraid they are going to be banned, so you have these ridiculous prices.”

Tom Reese, 56, of Acworth, came to his first gun show Saturday searching for a reasonably priced AR-15. Supply and demand crushed that hope. “Every store I’ve been to has been out of AR-15s,” he said.

As for the “gun show loophole,” which allows private sellers to forgo background checks on customers, the majority of sales Saturday were being conducted by licensed firearm dealers who still put customers through the paperwork, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.