Organizers of a gun show in Las Vegas this weekend expect bigger crowds as more first-time buyers, buoyed by safety fears and any looming federal crackdown on gun sales, flock to the city, reports the Las Vegas Sun “This is the largest gun show we’ve ever had or anyone has ever had in Las Vegas,” said Bob Templeton, president of Crossroads of the West Gun Shows. The show typically draws 6,000 to 7,000 customers during its two-day stay in Las Vegas, but based on presale ticket numbers, organizers think attendance could surge as high as 12,000.
The show comes two weeks after the Dec. 14 massacre in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman armed with two semiautomatic pistols and a semiautomatic rifle killed 20 elementary school students, six staff members and his mother before committing suicide. That shooting triggered both cries for stricter gun-control laws in the United States and a spike in gun sales. “These kind of things, unfortunately, tend to energize people in regard to their gun rights and their personal safety,” Templeton said. A thousand vendors — several hundred more than in previous years — will attend the Las Vegas show. Templeton said a few have pulled out because their inventory was depleted by the Newtown-inspired race to gun stores.