Gun show participants say they attended to support constitutional rights

(WMC-TV) - Some called for Memphis and Shelby County leaders to make a statement of compassion in light of the tragedies in Connecticut and in Memphis and shut down the annual Gun and Knife at the Agricenter, but the annual event still kicked off Saturday.

It's the 23rd year for the R.K. Gun show.

Most people who attended are collectors or hunters, and many said they went in the wake of tragedy to defend themselves and their families.

"The promoter of this show should have some sensitivity," said Memphis councilman Myron Lowery.

Lowery was among those who called for the show to be cancelled.

From antiques knives and guns to assault rifles, a variety of weapons were on display.

Promoters said sales were up and the lines were out the door.

Those who came out to support the show said they did so as part of their constitutional right.

Mark Thomas said he fears federal gun regulations could take away his rights so he has already purchased a gun for his two-year-old grandson.

"His was bought within about three months of him being born just to make sure he had one in the future and for him to continue hunting and guns," said Thomas.

Thousands of people supported the show this year.

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