Clovis Lions Club President Joe Whitehurst expects a significant jump in attendance at this weekend’s spring gun, knife and coin show because of proposed state and federal gun control legislation.
According to Whitehurst, who is also an individual vendor at the show of guns, knives and ammunition, is predicting 2,500 to 3,000 visitors during the two-day show at the Clovis Civic Center.
He said the attendance at the club’s gun, knife and coin show in October was 1,200 to 1,500.
Whitehurst said the event will attract visitors from cities such as Lubbock, Amarillo, Las Cruces and Rio Rancho.
Gary Elliot, owner of A-1 Alignment, plans to sell mostly knives, but said he’ll also sell guns, ammunition and firearm accessories at the show.
“It’s kind of a get-together,” said Elliot, who collects knives and firearms. “You develop a friendship with the people who go to these shows. I don’t do it for money.”
About 100 vendors will offer a variety of firearms, knives and rare and expensive coins. Whitehurst said there will also be watches and antique clocks.
He described the event as a kind of community gathering that allows citizens the freedom to view all different makes of firearms they may not be able to see at area gun shops.
“I enjoy seeing the farmers and ranchers visit with city officials and talk about old times,” Whitehurst said. “I hope visitors get to see that Clovis really is a good community that has good, clean fun.”
Show proceeds will go to charities such as the Salvation Army, Lighthouse Mission and Pregnancy Resource Center. Whitehurst said about $3,000 of proceeds from the October gun show went toward helping Clovis Apartments residents displaced by fires in late August.
October gun show proceeds were also used to purchase more than 800 dictionaries for third-graders in De Baca and Curry counties.
“I just hope that they can keep on doing this,” said Elliot, who has been a vendor at the show for several years. “I hope the federal and state legislation lawmakers are trying to push won’t stop them (Lions Club) from doing this fundraiser.”
City officials are concerned proposed state bill requiring background checks on private firearm sales would effectively kill two annual gun shows in Clovis.
In fact, city officials sent a letter to state lawmakers last month opposing the proposed bill.
City Commissioner Randy Crowder, who spearheaded the letter opposing requiring background checks at gun shots, and City Manager Joe Thomas estimate loss of the shows could cost the city and related businesses $350,000 to $400,000.
- What: Clovis Lions Club’s spring gun, knife and coin show
- When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday
- Where: Clovis Civic Center
- Cost: $5 for adults, $4 for active duty military and spouse, children under 12 free
- Information: Joe Whitehurst 760-1379