Amid Gun Control Talks, Auction Awaits Unprecedented Crowds - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Amid Gun Control Talks, Auction Awaits Unprecedented Crowds

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PARSONSBURG, Md. - Owners of a popular Eastern Shore auction house, gearing up for their busiest weekend of the year, admit they're both excited and worried.

"This year is going to be unprecedented as far as our exposure for the auction sale," said David Allen, owner of Allen & Marshall Auctioneers.

On an average year, the gun show at Allen's auction house brings in 1,500 people.

But it's far from business as usual with the possibility of gun law changes in Maryland. Early estimates put attendance closer to 2,000 this year.

"Right now a lot of the weapon manufacturers are running low on supply," said Allen of the popularity boost.

Though gun control advocates may be trying to ban assault style weapons with multiple rounds, the auction house owner says he thinks the proposals may be misguided.

While showing a Baretta and a military-style assault weapon, Allen points out that both are semi-automatic and that "this [A-R] has a 20-round magazine. [The] pistol has an 18-round magazine."

In a portion of his State of the State address, Gov. Martin O'Malley (Md.-D) said that he asks the "ban the sale of military-style assault weapons in Maryland. I ask you to require a license for the purchase of all handguns, but not hunting rifles."

If the Governor's ban goes through, auctioneers and sellers say that this auction may not happen next year.

"We have hotel rooms getting booked up. We have people flying in to the Salisbury Airport," said Allen. "I have a staff working the auction sale over the weekend of about 40, so you think about what that does to the local community.

"It drives a lot money and a lot of business, not just to us but to everyone in the surrounding area. You take this sale away and that's a lot of revenue that's lost for the entire area."

"I'd probably be put out of work," said Brad Moore, owner of Big Brad's Gun Shop in Parsonsburg.

Businessmen who benefit from this auction, like Brad Moore, feel as though new laws would punish legitimate gun sellers.

"You have to be sure that the people buying guns from you are legal," said Moore. "I'm a licensed dealer, you have to be sure of who you're selling to.

"I'm going to tell you right now, criminals don't come to me to buy guns, they don't do paperwork."

Allen adds that he too follows Maryland laws when selling his firearms.

"We have a 7-10 day wait period. We also run what is called a NICS check," said Allen. "It's a National Instant Criminal System Check. Everyone who purchases a firearm has to go through that background check. There's four different paperworks that they have to fill out.

"We take every precaution, again we make certain that the firearms are not stolen by running serial numbers. We also make certain that the purchasers are legal [and] have the right to own them by passing the required background checks by law."

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