Expo I was the scene Saturday for the fourth annual gun and knife show in Great Bend. Spokesman Anthony Lutz said the show sponsored by RK Shows Inc. will continue Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The show is always held here on the first weekend of January, “rain or shine,” Lutz said.
Gun dealer Shawn Moore from 2nd Amendment Trading in Douglas said exhibitor space for the shows sells out.
“We hit the circuit this time of year,” Moore said. Most weeks from now into March, he will attend shows on the weekends, then spend the first part of each week reordering stock and filling out paperwork.
One thing that has changed for sellers in the last couple of years is the price of AR-15 rifles, which are now available starting at under $600. In 2013, the price of rifles of that style doubled or tripled, following speculation that they might be banned. Moore said he didn’t join the price gouging, but maintained his dealership. But buyers who spent as much as $2,000 for a $700 rifle are often disappointed when they attempt to sell the guns, he said.
Doug and Monnie Shearer from Doug’s Gun Shop in Hays attend the Great Bend show every year. With Great Bend just an hour from their shop in Hays, “I can’t miss it,” Doug said.
Monnie noted that handguns are selling well this year. “A lot of our (customers) are getting more into the concealed carry,” she said.
Deb Kleinkauf, chief executive officer of Arc Angel Firearms Inc., Enterprise, agreed. Men and women are getting concealed carry permits, said Kleinkauf, who sells holsters and handbags designed for women to carry concealed firearms.
“The world has become a very scary place,” she said, and more people are buying guns for protection. She also sells stun guns, noting, “not all ladies want to have a lethal weapon.”
Hunters and collectors are also regular customers, she said.