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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Gun Lovers Not About To Go Shooting Their Mouths Off

It was a gun lover’s paradise, and everyone was welcome.

Everyone, that is, but the media.

Signs at the entrance to the Spokane Gun Show made it clear - no photographers, no videocameras allowed.

And just try to find someone willing to be quoted.

“Gun show people don’t like to be quoted,” said one man who - surprise - wouldn’t give his name.

Promoter Paul Snider described the annual show at the Spokane County Fairgrounds as the perfect place “to buy, sell and trade firearms.

“But tell your photographer to stay home,” Snider said, adding that gun owners get too much bad publicity.

The show featured at least 400 displays, ranging from collections of silver spurs made in the early 1900s by Mexican craftsmen to boar furs and bison heads. Handguns and rifles of all shapes and sizes filled the rows and rows of tables.

“Eighty percent of the stuff is collectibles,” Snider said. “You’ll find some new, modern guns, and lots of Old West type stuff.”

Snider guessed that Saturday’s attendance topped at least 2,000 people. They roamed among the display booths, lusting after guns like the 1950s Winchester rifle and a replica of an 1835 Dimmic Plains muzzleloader.

A few displays featured books, with topics ranging from women police officers to surveillance, survival skills to poaching without getting caught.

At least one table was offering bumper stickers about the evils of gun control and signs with Hitler’s face, reading “When I come back, no more mister nice guy.”

Shar Aguilar, of Plummer, Idaho, came to the show with her husband and three daughters in search of a new rifle.

“This is family recreation,” she said, adding that she and her two older daughters all had rifles.

One gun owner described his collection of European rifles as “jewelry.”

“This is my favorite,” he said, gingerly picking up a 1922 German Kettner. “It’s handmade.”

He, too, didn’t want his name used.

“It’s Zak, and that’ll do,” he said. “Spokane people are weird about guns.”

xxxx Gun Show The Spokane Gun Show continues at the fairgrounds today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $4.50 for adults, free for kids under 10.

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