BANGOR- “All good Americans come here. This is a place where we have exhibitors of firearms with everything from the oldest of antiques to right now, today, the newest guns that there are,” said Charlie Rumsey, the promoter of the Bangor Gun Show.
A room full of guns- some modern and some classics- attracting thousands to Bangor.
“There’s always something new to see on the tables. Plus you get a lot of people that come here that might have something that they’re looking for, some item that was manufactured somewhere in firearms history but not anymore, and we have people here who will have parts for those sorts of things, who could share knowledge about them and how to repair them maybe. So again, it’s a following. People who go to gun shows come back to gun shows,” said Rumsey.
Some of these new things to see happen to be centuries old…like these Wesley Richards guns from the early 1900s.
“The craftsmanship- it truly is an artistry unto itself. You could have fine paintings up on the wall, you can have fine firearms. They’re both works of art,” said Bob Erickson, an antique gun owner.
Some guns simply for display- others for sale. But the hobby does not come cheap.
“We sold one yesterday that was way over $2000. A lot over $2000. And the scope for it was over $1000,” said Darrold Door, an assistant at Willey’s Sports Center.
A common misconception about gun shows- it leads people to believe that it may be easy for anyone to purchase a firearm. Gun show promoters emphasize that is not the case.
“We don’t have a gun show loophole here. Every firearm that is sold here that’s a modern firearm goes through the national instant check system with the FBI,” said Rumsey.
“Anyone who buys a gun has to fill out a form, 4473, answer the questions, and then that is forwarded to the FBI, and they do a background check. And if they have nothing in any records, they’re accepted and they can have the gun that same day,” said Door.
Funds raised go to scholarships for students at the University of Maine and Unity College who are studying Wildlife Conservation and Wildlife Law Enforcement.