Organizers said they typically get a crowd of 12,000 for a weekend show in Del Mar. They’re expecting to draw 20,000 this time.
“We waited seven and half hours in line today,“ said Nick Pinto, a Poway resident and gun owner. “We started at eight o’clock. I didn’t really get to look at the show. I just waited in line – to get in and for ammo.”
Ammunition is the hot item at the gun show. Gun owners are buying as much as they can because of shortages. They’re also nervous about the heated debate over gun control.
“It’s getting tight with the restrictions coming down. No one seems to know what’s getting ready to happen. People are getting afraid of the government taking their guns away,” said T. Hardrick, a Rancho San Diego resident.
There was controversy leading up to the show. Following the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, some Del Mar residents lobbied to have the show canceled. Some wonder if all the attention helped make this weekend’s show even bigger.
“Publicity is publicity and we’ll take it. If they’re going to talk about us they’re going to talk about us. It might be good – it might be bad. People who have never been before are coming to see what this is all about and if something might interest them,” said Tracy Olcott, vice-president of Crossroads of the West Gun Shows.