Costa Mesa Gun Show Expecting 20,000 Attendees

Organizers are expecting 20,000 people, twice as many as usual

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Organizers say gun owners, feeling threatened by proposed gun control measures, are stocking up on weapons and ammunition. But despite an expected 20,000 attendees, organizers predict about 200 guns will be sold at Orange County's weekend gun show. Vikki Vargas reports from Costa Mesa for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on March 22, 2013.

    Costa Mesa Gun Show organizers expect more than 20,000 people to attend the gun and ammunition sales event this weekend at the Orange County Fair and Event Center. That is twice the amount of people who usually attend the gun shows.

    Bob Templeton of Crossroads of the West said the increase is because people feel threatened by proposed gun control laws. He said that as soon as President Barack Obama won re-election, there was a run on guns and ammunition.

    "We've seen these things historically; these surges based on politics and based on perceived threats to gun owners' rights, but never at the level we're seeing now," Templeton said.

    Templeton has organized gun shows for 38 years and believes this recent issue of supply and demand could subside if federal officials back down from plans to ban assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. Both cannot be sold legally in California.

    The tipping point of the debate on gun control, according to Templeton, came in December following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, where 27 people were killed by one man using a rifle and two handguns.

    "The challenge going forward, if we can find common ground between the sides, is going to be to try to be able to keep the guns out of the hands of folks who shouldn't have them," Templeton said.

    The gun show organizer points to California's tough gun laws and the mandated 10-day waiting period as the reason he is predicting only 200 guns will be sold at this weekend's Costa Mesa show.

    "Buying a gun here is just like buying a gun in a store. There is no just walking into a gun show and walking away with one," Templeton said.

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