Gun show fans flock to event

The Denver Post - - DENVER & THE WEST - By Con­rad Swan­son

Stand­ing un­der 5 feet tall and weigh­ing just 85 pounds, Mary Hosel­ton said she car­ries her hand­gun, a Smith & Wes­son .38 spe­cial, ev­ery­where.

Ev­ery­where, ex­cept the gun show.

Hosel­ton and her hus­band wan­dered be­tween ta­bles of ri­fles, pis­tols, knives and mem­o­ra­bilia Sat­ur­day dur­ing the Colorado Springs Gun & Knife Show at the Colorado Springs Event Cen­ter, 3960 Palmer Park Blvd. To them, the event is just as much so­cial as it is ed­u­ca­tional, she said. It’s also an op­por­tu­nity to hunt for any­thing they might need to buy.

Each of the hun­dreds of cus­tomers pass­ing through the cen­ter’s doors were quickly asked if they were car­ry­ing a weapon. Had Hosel­ton brought her pis­tol, she said, it would have been tagged and a zip tie would have been placed be­hind the trig­ger to keep the weapon from be­ing fired.

It’s not worth the has­sle, Hosel­ton said.

“And I know I’m safe here,” she added.

Busi­ness was steady Sat­ur­day for the gun show, which will last through Sun­day, said Kevin Hum­mer, CEO of both the show and the event cen­ter.

Steady, but not boom­ing. Not like it was dur­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, Hum­mer said.

“Oh my God, it was crazy,” he said.

Dur­ing Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion prices and avail­abil­ity fluc­tu­ated heav­ily be­cause so many gun own­ers were afraid of tight­en­ing reg­u­la­tions or of their weapons be­ing con­fis­cated, Hum­mer said.

But with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, it’s a dif­fer­ent story, he said. Prices have flat­tened. The mar­ket’s volatil­ity has died down.

“Now’s the time to buy guns and am­mu­ni­tion, be­cause it’s so sta­ble right now,” he said. “Now peo­ple feel safe with their guns. You have con­fi­dence out there. They don’t have the fear of their guns be­ing reg­u­lated down.”

Dur­ing Obama’s two terms as pres­i­dent, no sin­gle piece of leg­is­la­tion sig­nif­i­cantly re­strict­ing gun own­ers’ rights was en­acted.

One piece of re­cent leg­is­la­tion has made a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on Tim Henry’s busi­ness, though.

Colorado Gover­nor John Hick­en­looper signed a bi­par­ti­san bill into law in March end­ing the state’s ban on switch­blades and grav­ity knives, which can be opened quickly from a con­cealed po­si­tion. The law took ef­fect on Wed­nes­day, which brought Henry and his Ari­zona-based busi­ness, Big Boy Knives, into town.

“Just like when we were in school,” Henry said to one gray-haired man ex­am­in­ing a switch­blade.

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