Raleigh gun show attendance strong after shooting

ccampbell@newsobserver.comJanuary 20, 2013 

— Gun enthusiasts turned out in droves Sunday for the final day of the Dixie Gun & Knife Show at the State Fairgrounds – one day after an accidental shooting left three people injured.

A security guard and two others were hurt Saturday afternoon at the event after a shotgun went off as it was being checked in, according to police. The gun owner was planning to sell the weapon at the show, which attracts thousands of people to the fairgrounds four times a year.

The incident shut down the event early Saturday, but a long line of people were waiting when Jim Graham Building reopened at 10 a.m. Sunday.

“We thought people would stay away today, but they didn’t,” said Ken Adams of Anderson Creek Hunting Preserve as he packed up Sunday evening. “We did twice as much (in sales) today as we did yesterday.”

James Gooch of Louisburg said he’d heard about the shooting.

“It didn’t worry me,” he said. “I think it was just a freak accident.”

The show’s organizers added new restrictions Sunday after the shooting. Private gun sales were banned and visitors couldn’t bring their personal guns; only licensed dealers could sell firearms.

The new rules were met with mixed reviews from the crowd.

“I’m not sure if that would have prevented it,” Richard DiFilippo said. “It might be more of an inconvenience to people.”

But Adams said the organizers made the right call. “I think it makes good sense,” he said.

The Wake County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the shooting. As of late Sunday, no charges had been filed in the case involving Gary Lynn Wilson, 36, of Wilmington, who brought the shotgun that went off. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Phyllis Stephens said investigators plan to consult with the district attorney’s office and a decision might not come until Tuesday.

Campbell: 919-829-4802 or twitter.com/RaleighReporter

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