The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

January 5, 2013

Some gun shows canceling after Conn. shooting

(Continued)

MANKATO —

Marv Kraus, who helped organize a weekend gun show in Evansville, Wis., said business has been especially strong lately.

Kraus said there was never any reason to consider postponing or canceling the Wisconsin event, which runs from Friday through Sunday. One of the few vendors there with semiautomatic weapons, Scott Kuhl of Janesville, Wis., bristled at any suggestion that he temporarily stop selling semiautomatic weapons because of the Connecticut shooting.

"When a plane crashes, should they shut down the airline for six months?" Kuhl said. "This is my business; this is my livelihood."

Jared Hook, 40, who came to the show looking for a .223-caliber gun for coyote hunting, said he was glad vendors did not back away after Newtown.

"If anything, there's a lot more interest in guns now because of the shooting," Hook said. "People want them for protection, and it's good that they still have access to them."

Joel Koehler, a Pennsylvania gun dealer, said a few dealers have dropped out of a show this weekend in the Pocono Mountains, but only "because they have nothing to sell. They are out of inventory."

"The gun sales have been crazy. They are going through the roof," he said.

Koehler said he has felt no pressure to cancel his shows in Pennsylvania.

"The shows are going on," he said. "Nobody's said to us that we can't have them."

President Barack Obama has urged Congress to vote rapidly on measures that he says a majority of Americans support: a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons; a ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines; and required criminal background checks for all gun buyers by removing loopholes that cover some sales, such as at gun shows in states that don't currently require checks.

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