LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - Hundreds of gun enthusiasts have gathered at a Lawrenceville gun show, which offers attendees a chance to buy, sell and trade an array of guns. The event comes amid a widespread debate about gun control in the United States.
"I'm here to sell a few guns and to buy anything that might become illegal arbitrarily. A lot of our freedoms seem to be under the gun. Pardon the pun," Phil Turser told Channel 2's Amanda Cook at the event held Saturday at the Gwinnett County Fairground.
Turser is referring to concerns about President Barack Obama's ban on assault weapons. The measure would require background checks on all gun sales and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines as part of a package of steps to reduce gun violence in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. shooting massacre last month.
On Saturday, thousands of people gathered in front of the Capitol for a march on Washington for gun control. About 100 residents of Newtown, Conn., were expected at the march, organized in response to the attack that killed 20 first-graders and six teachers.
Some protestors are asking lawmakers to require everyone who buys a gun to get gun safety training. But opponents of proposed gun law changes said efforts have gotten out of hand. Worried that the measure may take effect, local enthusiasts said they were compelled to attend the Lawrenceville gun show.
"People are looking for things that are going to be banned; that’s what they're looking for," said vendor Dave Josker.
Josker said for the last three weekends at gun shows, he's sold every AR-15 he has had to sell; about 24 a weekend.
“They’re concerned that their guns are going to be (taken) and stuff like that; and ammunition and all of that,” said gun show manager Bill Abner.
Several attendees told Cook they opposed the proposed ban. Turser said the measure would even lead to more crime.
"I think you'll see crimes skyrocket. Unarmed populations are soft targets, and everybody here refuses to be a soft target," he said. "The only people these bans will affect are regular, hard-working, honest people.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.