Examining the popularity of gun shows in Texas

NEWSCENTER 23
News

POSTED: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 4:54pm

UPDATED: Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 7:55am

In Texas, there will be more than a hundred gun shows from July through the end of the year.  That's about four gun shows on average every weekend in the Lone Star State.  

Each one attracts thousands of visitors looking for the latest in the world of firearms.  Lately, there's been a lot of talk on the national level about the gunshow loophole.  

In Texas, it's legal for a private person to sell guns to a private person.  But that's only if the seller doesn't know the buyer is a criminal or has mental health problems.  A gun dealer - who does it for a living - must have the buyer go through a criminal history check.  

Newscenter 23 wanted to see what the gun show in McAllen is all about.  

"Reading the national magazines and articles, it's kind of hard locally to find certain things that I need," said Ruben Caballero Sr. "I was able to find those particular items at this show."

At the Saxet gun show in McAllen, attendees are on the hunt for the latest in cutting edge firearms technology.  Held at the McAllen Convention Center, the show spans 27,000 square feet.  

At the show in Corpus Christi, it covers 50,000 square feet.  In San Antonio, 55,000 square feet.  

With hundreds of vendors filling that space, visitors can find just about anything.  

 "And we have some jewelry for the gals, some concealed carry, Rolex watches, diamonds, there's stuff besides guns," said Gus Cargile, who started the Saxet shows, but now follows his son Todd to the shows.  "What am I going to do on weekends? I've been coming to gun shows on weekends all my life.  Either I'm at a flea market or at a gun show."  

Fred Ridings owns more than 30 guns.  But he only attends the show to browse.  

"I can buy guns cheaper across the street at Academy," he said.  "In fact, I saw a gun here that I wanted, and I went across the street and bought it for $30 less.  Ain't that something, that you go out to the retail store, and buy a gun cheaper than you can at a gun show."  

"Where you gonna see so many stuff at one time?" Cargile countered. "You go to a gun shop, and you're going to see a few guns.  Here you're going to see hundreds of guns.  And you can negotiate prices.  At a gun shop, you can't negotiate." 

Some folks attend to learn about the latest innovations in firearms.  Others want to learn about firearms in general; which in turn can help you get very cheap firearms.  

"Honestly, it's cheaper to make your own guns," said attendee Andrhea Ribera. "I'm coming to these things, I'm learning something new everyday.  I'm hoping to eventually building my own AR-15."  

Ribera is new to the world of guns.  She only started shooting eight months ago.  

"It's the same thing with shooting, it's the same thing with learning your firearms," she said. "There's always something new and interesting coming out, so the more and more you can gain knowledge on something, the better it is for you in the long run."  

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