Gun enthusiasts turned out in droves to the Love Civic Center on Saturday to take part in the annual Big Gun and Knife Show, a two-day show that benefits the Valley of the Caddo Museum and Cultural Center.
More than a dozen vendors took part in the event, which featured a wide variety of firearms, scopes and other firearm accessories, knives, firearm maintenance products and more.
“If you’re looking to buy any kind of firearm or supplies or anything, you can find it here,” said Allen Bowles, one of the organizers of the gun show. “There’s just about something here for everyone.”
Don Powell, who sold guns and ammo at the event, said he enjoys selling his wares in Paris each year.
“I’ve been coming for years, and this is as good as any (gun show) I get out to,” he said. “There’s always a good turnout here in Paris, and it’s great people, too.”
Despite concerns about the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Bowles said the virus has not had a noticeable impact on the turnout at the gun show.
“We’ve had a really nice turnout,” he said. “I’d say it’s as nice as it’s ever been, to be honest.”
The American Legion was one of many groups that is taking part in the show, as they are raffling off a gun that will help fund scholarships for Prairiland, Rivercrest and Detroit ISDs.
“Each year we raffle off a different gun, and this year we’ve got a .308 lever-action Henry,” American Legion member Sammy LaRue said. “It’s almost a $1,000 package that we’re raffling off to help support the local high schoolers.”
For more than a decade, the Big Gun and Knife Show has partnered with the Valley of the Caddo Museum, as a portion of the sales go to the museum, museum board president Mike Nickey said.
“This is the only true annual fundraising event we have, so it’s pretty big for us,” Nickey said.
Though Nickey said the museum is generally able to fund the maintenance and upkeep of the museum through donations, he added that the gun show is instrumental in helping the museum pay for displays and the interactive learning programs.
“The Valley of the Caddo is doing good things for the history and heritage of this area,” Bowles said. ‘I think it’s really important for people to realize and understand our history, so I think it’s important to do things like this.”
The gun show will continue today at the Love Civic Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.