FAIRMONT - The Fairmont National Guard Armory was a sea of camouflage clothing this past weekend as the Fairmont Trap Club hosted its 12th annual gun show.
"It's been real steady," said Kathy Shane, who serves on the board of directors for the trap club. "It's the biggest show we've ever had. We sold 88 (exhibit) tables this year."
Her husband, Steve, had his own theory about the uptick in the gunshow's attendance.
BROWSING THE MERCHANDISE — The 12th annual gun show at the Fairmont Armory on Saturday and Sunday provides some father-son time for this Swea City family. Pictured, from left, are Kyle Wolterman, Cal Wolterman, Caedyn Sandvig and Kaden Wolterman, looking over a rifle used to hunt coyotes.
"A lot of these people are fisherman," he said. "It's been so cold and windy that fishing isn't so good, so a lot of fisherman come out."
The Shanes said the gun show has something for every level of hunting enthusiast.
"There's guns, ammo, knives, collectibles - you name it," Steve Shane said. "It's like big boys and girls going to a candy store."
There was no "average" attendee. Aisles were filled with men and women of all ages, as well as entire families. One exhibitor commented that he enjoyed seeing the younger children with their parents or grandparents.
"Teach them young," he said, declining to give his name. "They are never too young to learn about gun safety and respect for firearms."
The gun and hunting enthusiasts all shared the common goal of protecting their right to bear arms, and several hunters commented about efforts to ban firearms.
"The nuts still get them," said one man.
Their sentiments were summed up on a T-shirt worn by one of the exhibitors. The shirt read: "The Second Amendment...America's Homeland Security."
Gun shows, such as the one in Fairmont, usually start in late November and continue throughout the area during the winter months. Upcoming shows are slated for Jan. 18-19 at the Burt, Iowa, Activity Complex, and Feb. 1-2 at the Estherville Elks Club.