INDIANAPOLIS - Thousands of people lined up Friday hours before the doors were set to open at the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show.
Traffic was at a standstill at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and the line of people snaked around buildings starting just after 10 a.m. The show didn't open until 2 p.m.
Indianapolis police and show promoters estimate Friday's crowd marked the largest opening for the annual gun show in three decades.
As many as 10,000 people are expected to visit the show over the weekend to buy, sell and trade everything firearms.
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.
The debate over tighter restrictions on firearms has drawn experienced gun enthusiasts and first-time buyers, and with a showdown looming in Congress, people seem inclined to beat Uncle Sam to the draw.
"I think a lot of people are going to buy something they wouldn't have bought otherwise," said one attendee. "You tell Americans they can't have something, they're going to go out and get it."
Attendee Will Miller named President Obama specifically as a trigger for the big turnout.
"Obama's throwing out all these executive orders and a lot of people aren't really sure if it's allowed or not, and they're just afraid that these guns that they can buy now are going to be unavailable in the future and criminalized," Miller said.
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