Gun show draws crowd
February 2, 2011
Collector and trader Levi Tarr aimed to find the right rifle for his collection at the gun show exhibit at the NEMO Fairgrounds on Jan. 29, and he hit the bull's-eye. Tarr found a rare Springfield Trapdoor Rifle .50-70, which might have been made as early as 1866.
Tarr said he has been collecting and trading locally for 15 years. After 32 years of service in the Navy, he said he retired and really got into this hobby. Tarr said he has picked up a lot of information throughout the years about a variety of different firearms.
"You pick a rifle and I can tell you the history and the wars it fought in," Tarr said. "I'm kind of a military historian, but it's just a hobby for me."
Other customers searched the vendor tables for their next recreation gun, collector's item, knife and other accessories. Stories circulated about finding hidden treasures, making and finding deals and defending their right as U.S. citizens to possess a firearm.
Vendor Bob Hofmeister of Xtreme Outdoors hobby shop in Hermann, Mo., said he and his co-workers were there to promote the store. Hofmeister said the firearms they brought to the show were store inventory and he hopes that will bring customers to his store.
Hofmeister said that recently the biggest sellers have been concealable hand guns. People cannot carry a concealed firearm without a permit to do so or without a concealed carry endorsement, according to Missouri gun laws. However, they can have possession of one in their "dwelling, while hunting or while traveling in a continuous journey through the state," according to information from the National Rifle Association - Institute for Legislative Action.
Hofmeister said there are strict regulations to deal with when selling firearms from a company. He said buyers do not need to have a license to own a firearm, but they need identification and a clean background check.
Individual sales are different, Hofmeister said. He warns against individuals' sales because there usually are no transfer of ownership documents. He said it is important to know who you sell firearms to and have proof in case a situation arises that traces ownership back to the seller.
Companies have more protection in the sales business because the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives runs the background checks and approves, delays or denies the sale of the firearm to an individual. Hofmeister said in cases of delay at gun shows, the individual might not get to purchase the item, depending on the length of the delay.
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