On the heels of an announcement by President Barack Obama of a gun control plan, several advocates of stricter laws on Thursday demonstrated at one of the largest firearm trade shows in the county.
The weeklong Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT) has brought thousands to the Sands Convention Center.
A handful of protestors from an organization called the Nevada Desert Experience gathered at the show on Thursday, passing out flyers and reading the names of recent shooting victims.
Gun show attendees, largely made up of store owners and other retailers, said they're simply trying to earn a living.
"I want the SHOT show to go away right now. I think the horror and the deaths and the tragedy in this county by all means trump money," protester Mary Lou Anderson said.
While the protest was peaceful, convention goers complained that protestors targeted the wrong people.
"Hell, there's a porn convention around here somewhere," said professional hunter Steve Criner.
Criner said he was shaken by the demonstration, calling protesters misinformed.
"They're throwing these statistics out and the 900 people who died (since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting). What about the people who were saved by concealed carry firearms? The people in the church, the people in the movie theater," Criner said.
Activists said they back the president's proposal for background checks and an assault weapons ban.
"The time is now. I'm happy that President Obama said what he said yesterday and I can only hope that people in this country understand that there needs to be mass reform happening now," Anderson said.
For protester Jim Haber, the cause is personal. He and his girlfriend witnessed a shooting several years ago in California.
"It stunned me. It was close. It also brought home we are all vulnerable," he said.
More than 60,000 people have attended the SHOT show, which was not open to the public. The show wraps up on Friday.
Copyright 2013 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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