Gun interest

Talk of banning the AR-15 is causing an increased interest in the upcoming Abilene Gun Show.

A record number of gun sales could be made this weekend in Abilene.

The number of vendors has reached record numbers at the Abilene Gun Show Saturday and Sunday at Sterl Hall.

Gun Show organizer Rip Daniels said interest in the upcoming show has never been greater.

Daniels said it’s the Democrats that are increasing interest.

“Beto O’Rourke said he wanted to take all the AR-15s away from us and all that,” Daniels said.

“Hell, yes, we are going to take your AR-15s and AK-47s,” O’Rourke said during a debate of Democratic presidential candidates.

He said comments like O’Rourke’s are helping gun sales.

“There are more being sold right now,” Daniels said. “I get fliers from wholesalers and AR-15s are really being pushed. All it takes is for a guy like that to make a statement like that.”

The AR-15 is a semiautomatic rifle that shoots one round for each pull of the trigger.

According to an NBC news report, the AR-15 or a variant was used in several mass shootings.

“You got to look at the people and not the gun. Normal persons don’t go shooting 20 to 30 people,” Daniels said.

Daniels said the last time there was as much interest in the gun show was during the administration of President Barack Obama.

In January 2013, Obama proposed a long list of measures, including bans on assault weapons and armor-piercing bullets and a limit on the size of magazines.

“It’s happening now, too,” he said. “I have four tables left and there is probably over 100 there.”

Daniels said he expects to get over 1,000 people walking through the show over the two days.

He said the usual fall gun show attracts between 85 and 90 vendors.

“They come from all over: Wichita, Hutchinson, Great Bend, Ellsworth, Topeka,” he said.

Daniels said critics of gun shows who say those events should face greater government control are uninformed.

“They say they should have permits to sell at gun shows. All of the dealers have what they call 4473, which is okayed by the government,” he said.

The Firearms Transactions Record is a form “to determine whether you are prohibited from receiving a firearm.”

He said most of the new firearms sold during the gun show are new and from a dealer. However, there are some antique gun vendors as well.

Daniels said he started operating a gun show with the Dickinson County Reserve in the mid 1980s.

When the reserve disbanded, he took it over. He now runs the show with his son Rick Daniels and brother-in-law and daughter Mike and Julie Mohn.

O’Rourke dismissed criticisms of his sweeping gun control proposal, telling CBS News in an interview that he expects gun owners will go along with his plan to institute a “mandatory buyback” of high-powered rifles.

O’Rourke’s “mandatory buyback” plan, which would force gun owners to surrender high-powered rifles like the AR-15 and the AK-47, has been criticized as impractical by other candidates in the race. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, for example, has said that O’Rourke’s plan amounts to “confiscation.”

“He couldn’t do that. He couldn’t take the AR-15s away,” Daniels said. “There are too many of them.”

Contact Tim Horan at

Contact Tim Horan at

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