LIMA — Gun control has become a political football. When former President Barack Obama was elected, gun owners were concerned that their Second Amendment rights would be curtailed and attempts were made toward that end but ultimately any proposed legislation failed.
Foot traffic at gun shows across the country spiked then, as those fears translated into a gun-buying frenzy.
Things have subsided a bit now and the urgency to buy isn’t as strong, but still, the crowds at the monthly gun show at the Allen County Fairgrounds have been pretty strong.
Bob Orwick owns Buckeye Silencers in Elida. His wife Amy, was helping him in the booth.
“Today has been really busy. We’re usually pretty busy though, even when the crowds are a little bit lighter. We’re the only suppressors out here at the gun show, so we do get a lot of attention,” said Amy Orwick.
“As far as the government, we’re so much Republican in here it hasn’t affected us at all. Right now, it’s a gun-friendly government. It’s not affecting the shows at all. We started in October. The shows have been very well attended and everybody’s seemed very happy and it’s a good market. Gun shows, since the Republicans were in, were an average of ten to fifteen percent lower, some of the big ones. Our shows have been setting records. We have been doing very good since October and there’s no rhyme or reason for it,” said Tom Holycross, president of the Tri-State Gun Collectors.
But there are cracks beginning to show as President Donald Trump in December effectively enacted a ban on bump stocks, a device used to help a semi-automatic weapon fire several shots in rapid succession. That ban takes effect in mid-March.
If bump stocks were being sold at the local gun show, it wasn’t evident.
Holycross isn’t concerned about the bump stock ban infringing on gun owners’ Second Amendment rights.
“I don’t look at it that way, but maybe some do. The bump stock was just a convenience. Just because it made news because the one guy used it on a bad situation [the Las Vegas mass shooting]. [Trump] probably would have never picked them out if that had been not used,” said Holycross.
Orwick is still concerned about how the political climate might affect Second Amendment rights of gun owners.
“There’s always that apprehension that your Second Amendment rights are going to be infringed on. Is there a fear? Not really, but I think it’s always on people’s minds that that’s something that could happen. You know, with suppressors, it’s a lot more than buying a firearm. There’s a tax stamp to the government, there’s a set of paperwork, there’s fingerprints and all of this gets sent to the ATF and the FBI, and it’s usually running about a seven to eight-month wait period,” said Amy Orwick.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.