Among ongoing gun law debate, thousands attend major gun show at the Blaisdell

Updated: Mar. 18, 2018 at 4:02 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As gun law debates continue nationwide, thousands attended a major gun show at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall over the weekend.

It was the Hawaii Historic Arms Association's 82nd semi-annual gun show.

Exhibitors and vendors included gun shops, knife makers and educational programs.

There were also military collectibles, plus antique and modern firearms on display.

Those carrying a proper permit were able take one home.

"I'm hoping to purchase a handgun today," said event attendee Barbara Beppu.

"We're just looking at what's new," said Javier Ortega. "I'm an avid gun collector so I'm just seeing what's out there that I might not have."

The Honolulu gun show comes one month after 17 students and staff were killed in a Florida high school shooting.

Last week, thousands of students across the nation walked out of class to demand stricter gun laws.

Even with the ongoing debate, President of the Hawaii Historic Arms Association Philip Rapoza said attendance was high.

"Most people actually don't realize how strict the gun laws here in Hawaii are, so everything protestors are calling for, we already have in the books," he said. "Our show is not about self defense, our gun show is all about history and education."

X-Ring Security and Firearms based out of Waipahu was among the nearly 200 booths at the show.

Kitiya Shiroma says their shop has seen an increase in people wanting to buy and learn more about firearms.

"They want to protect themselves and their family so they come to us and ask about the training courses and what not," Shiroma said.

A bill moving through the state legislature would ban "bump stocks" and other modifications that increase the rate-of-fire of a firearm beyond what the manufacturer intends. It's another step in creating a future free of gun violence.

"It's really important for all of us to be here to show our support and our love for our second amendment," said Shiroma. "We're all here for the same reason and we want to see firearms be part of our lives as long as you educate people about it."

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