News 12 at 11 o’clock / Sunday, April 22, 2012
AIKEN, S.C. -- Thousands of people filled the Odell Weeks Community Center in Aiken for the City of Aiken’s first gun and knife show.
The two-day event, hosted by Gunrunner shows, brought in people from all over the area
This is 80-year-old Mary Kelly's first gun show.
“I think it's magnificent and interesting,” she said.
She said she used to be afraid of guns, but now she wants to keep one in her home.
“I feel safe with a gun,” she said. “I feel like I have some protection. I bought a shotgun I may not be able to lift it but at least I know its there.”
But she says that won't stop her.
“If anybody does come in to rob me, I'll lift it,” she said.
Mary isn't the only one who bought a gun.
“We did probably a record show this week,” said dealer Chris Munro.
Munro owns Fort Mill Gun Shop. He said that high demand for guns isn't just here in Aiken.
“We're almost at the point now where we can't keep guns in stock,” he said. “We buy almost every used handgun we can get our hands on.”
Experts say that's because it's an election year.
“When election year comes up, demand for guns and ammo goes up because there's that fear of the unknown,” said Event Director Larry Steverson. “You never know if the next president is gonna come in and pass or at least try to pass a lot of anti-gun legislation or try to take our guns away from us.”
Steverson said it's something that happens every four years.
“It doesn't matter who's running or who may get elected or who may not get elected,” Steverson said. “It's been typical and I've seen that go on ever since the early 90s.”
It keeps the gun sales up and the gun show in Aiken showed just that.
The event did so well that Steverson said they are hoping to hold one twice a year in Aiken.
The next gun show for Gunrunner Shows is in Augusta in May.