Big crowds expected at 'Indy 1500' gun, knife show at Indiana State Fairgrounds

'Indy 1500' gun, knife show opens Friday

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show opens Friday amidst the growing debate over tighter gun control.

Dave Mouradian, who owns a supply store just outside Detroit, arrived Thursday afternoon at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

It's his 13th consecutive Indy 1500 Gun and Knife show. He's just one of 250 vendors from across the Midwest who says that interest is high and business is booming.

"People that never owned a firearm are now buying their very first one," Mouradian said. "We've seen more ladies going out and getting their concealed weapons permits. They're feeling unsafe. And a lot of people that have put off buying what they want are now coming out because they're afraid they may not be able to get it in the next day or two."

In recent years, the firearms business has become one of the nation's few recession-proof industries.

As many as 10,000 people will fill the state fairgrounds pavilion over the weekend, buying, selling, trading everything firearms, and according to promoters, everything according to law.

"We take great pains to follow all local, state and federal laws," said organizer Ashley Varner. "Everyone is a licensed retailer with the federal government. They are very professional."

While all retail gun sales require the buyer to undergo a background check, Indiana law does not require a background check for gun sales between private individuals.

State Rep. Vernon Smith, D-Gary, has tried to close the so-called loophole for years.

"Indiana has become a spawning ground for everybody to come and buy guns," Smith said. "We must close that loophole."

According to Indiana State Police, almost half a million Hoosiers, including almost 90,000 women, have permits to carry a concealed weapon.

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