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Gun show visitors get armed and loaded for a new year
Atlanta Highway event draws thousands to see vendors' wares
Sign warn visitors at Saturday’s Gem Capitol Gainesville Gun Show at West Side Plaza.

Thousands of gun enthusiasts gathered at the Gem Capitol Gun Show held Saturday space on Atlanta Highway to pursue new and used firearms, ammo, knives, body armor and an arsenal of other self defense and survival gear sold by various vendors, private sellers and military contractors.

Ron Haven, co-owner of the show, said the event included nearly 125 tables of merchandise.

“I do six shows a year in Atlanta. And most are near double the amount of tables,” Haven said. “But I had to turn vendors down here due to the space constraints.”

Stil, the tight confines didn’t seem to stop anyone from coming out to the show. Inside the tan brick storefront, long lines of people wound through the tight rows of tables in a constant stream throughout the day.

Haven estimated the show will draw as many as 4,000 visitors during the weekend.

The show also featured a table of representatives from the Gainesville American Legion Post 7. Post representative Cynthia Hayes said the Legion regularly uses gun shows to reach out to veterans.

“A lot of veterans aren’t aware of their (Veterans Affairs) benefits,” she said.

“A few years ago we ran into a Vietnam veteran who had kidney failure and diabetes, with no idea what his VA benefits were. And we were able to get him compensation, and get his wife her widow’s benefits after he passed away. And we met them at an event just like this.”

No guests or vendors wished to be identified for privacy reasons, but many said such shows offer gun buyers a safe and reliable place to buy or trade firearms inexpensively and discretely.

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