Gun and knife show at Show Me Center expected to draw 6,000 to 8,000

Thursday, March 11, 2010

As trade shows go, this weekend's Missouri Gun and Knife Show is one of the biggest events of the year at the Show Me Center.

"It's bigger than the majority of the trade shows," said Show Me Center marketing director Shannon Buford said about the event, which is expected to draw between 6,000 and 8,000 gun and knife enthusiasts for the three days of exhibitions beginning Friday.

Jody Geiser, one of the local promoters of the event, said last spring's show drew more than 10,000 people, with many turning out to demonstrate their support of their rights under the Second Amendment, which some feared were being threatened by the Obama administration.

"There were many who came out last year due to the new president," said Geiser, who along with J.D. King and Bill Geiser has been putting on the event each spring and fall at the Show Me Center for eight years.

More than 100 exhibitors will be at the event, which Buford said will greatly tax the available floor space at the Show Me Center.

"We're going to be at the physical limit of the Show Me Center," Buford said.

Geiser said most of those in attendance are from within a 50-mile radius of Cape Girardeau, but said there are some who come from as far away as Kansas City, St. Louis and Memphis.

"You're going to see all kinds of stuff," Geiser said. "You'll see gun dealers, ammo dealers, sports enthusiasts and more."

Buford said trade shows that appeal to a broader audience, such as the upcoming home and garden show or a women's show, might draw more people than the gun and knife show. But he said that gun and knife enthusiasts turn out in large numbers for this show.

"Folks are surprised at the variety of merchandise available at the show," Buford said. "Usually they know what they're looking for when they come in the door."

Geiser said that while many of the exhibitors are dealers, others are collectors who like to show off their rare pieces and enjoy getting together with other collectors. The National Rifle Association will have a booth at the show, and there will be concessions and souvenirs available as well.

The show kicks off with a session from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, followed by Saturday and Sunday shows beginning at 8 a.m. and concluding at 5 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.

Admission to the Missouri Gun and Knife Show is $6, but a pass good for all three days can be bought for $12.

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