Timonium Gun Show Gets Boost From Talk of Assault Rifle Ban

The fairly regular event at the Maryland State Fairgrounds drew an early line Friday and is expected to grow Saturday.

Gun enthusiasts lined up around Exhibition Hall at the Maryland State Fairgrounds Friday, drawn to this weekend's gun show because of fears about possible new laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre

"Because people are scared," Neil Kravitz, a spokesman for the gun show, said. "The minute they say the word 'gun ban' 300 million guns are going to change hands.

"It’s no different than going on the air and saying 'there’s going to be a snowstorm,'" he continued. "Then [the supermarkets] run out of toilet paper. There is no difference."

Increased gun control has been something many local leaders, such as County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Police Chief Jim Johnson, as well as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, have been vocally supporting in the wake of December's tragedy.

Kamenetz called on lawmakers to tighten Maryland's gun laws in December, and proposed ending the sale of "military-grade assault weapons" and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Rawlings-Blake, along with Baltimore City and Montgomery County state lawmakers, also voiced their support for a plethora of new gun control measures during a press conference last month.

Although this weekend's show has a higher profile in light of the recent debate about firearms, the gun show, presented by Appalachian Promotions, is a common event at the fairgrounds with multiple dates scheduled throughout the year. The show features 650 tables filled with guns, ammunition, apparel and novelties.

Gun shops, as well as shows, are benefiting from a "back lash" caused by talk of banning assault weapons coming from the White House and now the State House, said Kravitz, who is also a vendor and owner of NSK Company Ltd.

But Kravitz said sales were already on the uptick when President Barack Obama won his second term in office, because of fears about the president's gun policies.

"Then this awful thing happens in Connecticut and whatever was left is now gone. And you [don't] get ramped up again until January [when stores begin to carry more inventory]," he said. 

As a result of the spike in demand, coupled with limited inventory following the holidays, the price of weaponry has also skyrocketed.

Kravitz and a friend, a regular at the show, joked about a particular gun on sale at another table that rose in price from $1,200 to $2,000 since the last time the show came to the fairgrounds.

"There’s no supply. And there’s demand. What does that do to cost? What happens when there’s no gasoline and you’re the only one whose got some? … Welcome to inflation," Kravtiz said.

Doors to the show opened Friday at noon, and it will run through the weekend. Promoters and vendors are bracing for the biggest crowd on Saturday.

The line Friday was filled with customers hoping to re-up on ammunition that gun owners haven't been able to find at stores.

"Everything is picked clean," Mike Storck, a local comedian and Parkville resident, said. "It’s so stupid. It’s like Beanie Babies."

Storck, who has been on the hunt for a new barrel for his AR-15, said even supplies that are not theoretically in jeopardy are flying off the shelves.

He said he noticed vendors, who are normally at the Timonium gun show, were absent, most likely because they don't have enough inventory.

"Maybe they’re sold out," he said. "Obviously there are plenty of tables, but you’re seeing a lot more knives, and dream catchers, and t-shirts, and beef jerky in a can, stuff like that."

He said concerns about possible bans are resulting in more interest in weapons that just resemble assault rifles.

"Even if it’s a .22-caliber Plinkster, but it looks like an AK or an AR, people are looking at it," Storck said. "It's so far removed from the gun they’re talking about, but just because it looks like it, people are fawning over it."

The gun show opens again Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $8. 

Read more:

  • Leaders Call for Increased Gun Control
  • Cardin Calls for a National Discussion on Gun Control Following Newtown School Shooting (blog)
  • Huff Favors 'Gun Safety' Not Control
  • Nearly 500 Guns Surrendered in Baltimore After Newtown Shooting
  •  (blog)
  • County Police Chief Joins Call For Stricter Gun Laws
  • Stop Pretending That Guns Are Not The Problem (blog)
  • Baltimore County Offering Free Gun Locks

Buck Harmon January 18, 2013 at 11:27 PM
amark January 19, 2013 at 02:45 AM
Frank that is not surprising. Most leftists don't believe in American exceptionalism and actually have never been too fond of the US of A because they view it as a place full of a bunch of evil capitalists, religous nuts and don't like the military much either. Of course now that your guy Obama is in office, I guess some of you see the country a little more positively now as he is turning us into a progressive paradise. To quote Michelle: "for the first time in my adult life I'm proud of my country". Those words ring true Frankie?
Lorna D. Rudnikas January 19, 2013 at 03:57 AM
You are so very anti-anti Frankie, how could you feel any other way. The problem, as I see it, is that you and all you stand for with all your fellow cohorts must never be given the edge....unless of course it is at the very edge of a very high cliff. Sorry, as much as you see me in total opposite poles to you way of thinking..I too see you that way as well. But you are a small cog and I pray you and those of your persuasion never grow to make a wheel that destroys us and all that our great country stands for. If that ever happens, you and yours will be the very first to be thrown off the cliff..you will no longer be of use to anyone as far as "they" are concerned. Yes, I know that gets on your last little nerves. Too bad!
Lorna D. Rudnikas January 19, 2013 at 04:40 AM
Well Frank...it just so happens that i do believe the Arbutus is quite exceptional in a very positive way. Now, Frank I also find you exceptional...but not in a very positive way. I also find that Maryland is exceptional...in spite of!!! How would you. being so anti-anti, find anything positive about anything. We can only hope that your BRAND of exceptionalism does not grow beyond tolerance.
amark January 19, 2013 at 05:25 PM
Frank, Maryland is becoming an exceptionally bad place to live, primarily due to your friend Owe'malley and his out of control taxing and spending. Now from your perch in Montgomery Co, the "progressive" capital of the state, you are thrilled with what has happened.


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