April 19th, 2024

Firearms enthusiasts look for deals at gun show

By Lethbridge Herald on February 20, 2024.

Herald Photo by Justin Seward Devin Hardy looks over a Sako 338 rifle during the Southern Alberta Rifleman's Association's Gun and Hobby Show at the Agri-Food Hub and Trade Centre on Saturday.

Justin Seward

Gun enthusiasts flocked to the Agri-Food Hub and Trade Centre to buy, sell and trade their guns during the annual Southern Alberta Rifleman’s Association Gun and Hobby Show over the weekend.

“It’s just a place for everyone to come together and you can buy and sell and trade our wares,” said Stephen Jones, SARA chairman.

“Mostly a place that we just kind of discuss our hobbies more than anything it seems like.”

Jones said there were definitely bargain hunters looking for deals at the show.

“I think the biggest thing at a show like this, you find unique things, something you wouldn’t find at your average gun store probably,” said Jones.

There were also skilled tradesmen such as knife makers, coins for collectors, fur and leather makers, ammunition and gun accessories on hand for attendees to browse.

Jones agreed there is an educational component to the gun show.

“You get lots of questions,” said Jones.

“People come up and they just want to know about our club … The Taber Shooting Foundation has a booth here and they’re promoting joining their club, they have all kinds of educational things they do. They have youth shooting programs through there, too. The CSSA (Canadian Shooting Sports Association) is here as well  and they’re the same kind of thing, kind of an educational deal 0 you join (a) membership there, you also get insurance for outdoor activities that’ll cover you.”

Jones has seen sport shooting grow over the years.

“It does bring people together, it teaches a lot of responsibility for young people,” said Jones.

“It’s good to join a club if you want to learn because there’s always very experienced people there in leadership roles that can teach the proper ways to handle and use firearms, and store and safe usage.”

Bryce Hungerford figures he attends the gun show every other year to upgrade his collection.

“I’m an avid shooter,” said Hungerford.

“So I came out looking for a deal as everybody else is I’m sure, and it’s just a matter of coming and seeing what’s here, how many businesses show up and see if there’s any deals they have on for the weekend and see if I can walk away with something.”

Hungerford was in the market perhaps for a Savage 99 and 308 to replace one of his dad’s guns.

Devin Hardy is a hunting guide in B.C. and loves hunting and the outdoors.

“There’s so much variety here and I like just how there’s so much stuff that you can look at,” said Hardy.

“I like shopping, I like looking at new stuff, buying stuff, and so there’s just a ton of variety here and that’s always awesome. And then also just the atmosphere. There’s something cool that happens just when you’re with people that like the same thing.”

Hardy was in the market for a rifle.

“It seems like even though our government is trying to maybe push everyone away from the shooting sports a bit, it seems like our show is busier every year, there’s more people every year, we have more vendors every year.  So there’s a lot of interest in it and it’s a good thing I think,” said Jones.

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