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January 12. 2013 11:36PM

Law changes and rodents: Reasons varied for those attending gun show


The line to get into the Manchester Gun Show started at the restaurant by the lobby of the hotel at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester on Saturday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER - The line to enter Saturday's gun show at the Radisson Hotel was hundreds deep, with some participants saying they were willing to wait up to an hour because they believe the government will soon restrict their access to firearms.

"Before all the Democrats make all the changes," was one of the reasons Chris Ryan of Plaistow gave when asked why he was waiting in line for the gun show, which continues today. Ryan said he was also attending because he wanted to experience a gun show - Saturday's was his first.

Ryan is referring to a task force headed by Vice President Joseph Biden, a Democrat, that is looking to curb gun violence and to efforts by state House Democrats, who assumed a majority in November's elections, to repeal the state's stand-your-ground law, which allows the use of deadly force if one feels threatened.

Bob Chabot of Atkinson, who was also at his first gun show, said he wasn't worried about his gun rights being infringed because he doubts much will change. He said he was hoping to pick up a smaller-caliber weapon to ward off rodents on his property.

"I've waited in longer lines at Disneyland," he said.

But he said he believes most people were at the show for reasons given for a huge spike in gun sales after Biden's task force was formed - that people believe the administration of President Barack Obama wants to restrict access to guns.

"You know why they're all here," he said. "They want to grab something before they can't."

But not everyone was willing to wait. Seeing the line, which snaked along the entire glass wall at the front of the Expo Center and was curling back toward the hotel's entrance, Dan Blogdon of Merrimack turned back.

"Life is too short," he said. "Who wants to wait an hour and a half just to maybe end up with nothing? I have better things to do on a Saturday afternoon."


tbuckland@unionleader.com


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