Crossroads of the West Gun Show was at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix on Sept. eight, 2019. (Photo: Alyssa Stoney/The Republic)

The 44th annual Crossroads of the West Gun Show produced its way to Arizona this weekend in spite of current talks of new gun law restrictions. 

Crossroads of the West is a family members-owned small business Bob and Lynn Tempelton started in Utah. They then passed the small business on to their young children, including the company’s vice president Rob Tempelton. 

The small business started a lot more than four decades ago when Bob Tempelton owned a gun retailer in Salt Lake City and held a gun show to market the retailer, Rob Tempelton mentioned. 

“The gun show ended up performing truly properly and the gun retailer did not do as properly so we just moved from a gun retailer to a gun show,” Tempelton mentioned. 

The show began off modest, just performing 4 shows a year in Salt Lake City. But it has since grown to a lot more than 60 shows a year all through Arizona, Utah, Nevada and California.

Crossroads of the West has been in Arizona for 30 years at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. In addition to guns and ammo, vendors sell leather goods, jewelry, gold and silver. 

Mass shootings have triggered panic

Federal law calls for federally-licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks, but not the private owners who frequently sell at gun shows. Gov. Doug Ducey and the Republican-led Arizona Legislature passed a law in 2017 that forbid cities, counties or the state from requiring background checks for private gun sales. 

The current mass shootings in Texas, Ohio and California have renewed conversations about gun laws, such as background checks.

That is causing some persons to be concerned about their Second Amendment rights to personal firearms. And that be concerned signifies a lot more small business for gun shows.

“When there are mass shootings, persons get a tiny panicky that there is going to be laws that are passed so they have a tendency to come to a lot more shows and invest in,” Tempelton mentioned. 

Robert Oldham, a shopper at the show, mentioned he is worried that in the future there will be a ban on owning guns. Oldham is a disabled U.S. military veteran. 

“I am concerned that they are going to go in and just due to the fact I am labeled as a disabled vet, I will drop my Second Amendment rights,” Oldham mentioned. 

Oldham mentioned he believes it is not fair for his rights to be taken away just due to the fact of a label he was provided soon after he fought in a war 30 years ago. 

A different shopper, Charles Hicks, mentioned he thinks that there will be a modify in gun laws in the future. But so far, he mentioned, not a lot has changed. 

“I do not consider its (laws have) changed in this specific state. It has changed a lot in California but I have not noticed numerous adjustments in Arizona,” Hicks mentioned. 

Hicks operates at a hospital and sees persons come in with gun-connected wounds. But, he mentioned, the quantity of gun-connected injuries and deaths do not examine to the quantity of overdose-connected deaths he sees in a day.

“For each and every one particular gun-connected death I see, I see 10 prescription overdose connected deaths,” Hicks mentioned.

Hicks mentioned he believes that gun violence is an problem. But he mentioned there is also an problem with prescription drugs. He does not consider a ban on guns will modify the quantity of deaths in America. 

Are persons against gun shows?

Tempelton mentioned he’s been shocked at the lack of protests and backlash his small business has received due to the fact the current shootings.

At one particular of the shows, “there was supposed to be a enormous protest with hundreds of persons … but a total of 15 persons showed up,” Tempelton mentioned. 

More than the years, the small business has faced conflict and backlash but the shows continue to do properly, he mentioned.

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