Firearm vendors talk history, safety at gun show
RAPID CITY, S.D. – A ballistic bazaar brought guns both modern and antique to Rapid City.
The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center played host to the Rapid City Rifle Club’s December gun show over the weekend.
Enthusiasts browsed hundreds of historic and contemporary rifles and pistols, as well as various hunting implements brought by gunsmiths from across the United States. Over 100 vendors sold guns, ammunition, war memorabilia and hunting equipment throughout the show.
Gun vendors promoted a positive image of guns by talking to customers about responsible ownership within a safe environment. All weapons were unloaded and tied down except for inspection purposes.
Lee Rohrer, Rapid City Rifle Club Gun Show manager, said that snowfall and potentially icy roads did not deter many gun owners from attending this year’s event.
“We had a pretty good turnout. I think it’s mostly local Rapid City,” Rohrer said. “I’ve had calls this past weekend from people over 300 miles away that were coming to the show.”
Gun collectors hope to appeal to younger firearm owners by selling more modern weapons.
Triple S Guns vendor Libby Tope said she believes the budding audience enjoys looking at hardware that have a certain style.
“If there were more guns like what I’m selling – the more tactical, cooler, flashy guns – I feel like more younger people would show up for that stuff,” Tope said. “They’re more into the glitzy, glammy guns than they are the old school rifles.”
Profits from the show will benefit the rifle club’s youth shooting programs.