ONTARIO - Crossroads of the West Gun Shows will be hosting its first gun show at the Ontario Convention Center since the November election and massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, which have both prompted record-breaking gun sales in the country.
The Utah-based company hosts shows at the Convention Center several times a year, but due to recent concerns over the future of the nation's firearm laws, this weekend's show is expected to have a larger turnout.
"We anticipate a huge crowd," Crossroads owner Bob Templeton said.
"Everything that we've done since the election has been up significantly in terms of attendance."
Attendance at a recent Las Vegas show put on by Crossroads was up 50 percent, and there is a waiting list for vendors to participate in the Ontario show, Templeton said.
There will be 720 tables this weekend displaying firearms, ammunition, accessories, knives and other products.
"There's a lot of activity in terms of number of vendors. We always sell out the Ontario show," Templeton said.
Templeton said the rush to purchase guns has been spurred by recent discussion of creating more firearm bans and regulations.
"All of us feel a lot of sadness for what happened in Connecticut, but those who would restrict or regulate our Second Amendment right to lawfully have access to guns are using a tragic event to further their gun control agenda and political agenda," he said.
"People are feeling that threat and are responding by going out and buying guns and ammunition."
Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut school on Dec. 14. He also killed his mother before going on the rampage and then killed himself. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has said legislation would be introduced this session to limit the sale, transfer and possession of assault weapons.
Crossroads holds shows at the Convention Center a couple times a year and they have always been well organized and positive, said Michael Krouse, president and CEO of the Ontario Convention Center and Visitors Bureau.
"They are very conscious of the need to be safe and secure," he said.
"They're probably one of the most professional I've seen in my years of experience."
Krouse said he expects this show to run as smoothly as past shows.
"I believe it will be business as usual for them, and I will say in this city they're very welcome and do a very good job," he said.
Police Lt. Dean Brown said there will be officers on the premises, which is typical.
The Police Department has also not been made aware of any planned protests.
"We haven't heard of any protests, but we actually have officers that will be working that event specifically," he said.
Crossroads of the West Gun Shows have attracted more than 407,000 customers over the past year, according to its website.
Hundreds of tables are on display during the show with a range of products suitable for the once-a-year hunter to collectors. Gun show attendees will also be able to find knives, gun parts, accessories and even crafts.
A variety of firearms are available for sale at the show, including antiques, collectibles and modern firearms.
California has the strictest gun laws in the country, Templeton said. Assault rifles are not permitted for sale nor are magazines that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
"Essentially a gun show in California is just like buying a gun from a dealer at their store. There's no private party sales," Templeton said.
Ladd Everitt of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence said California gun shows are generally well-regulated, closing many of the loopholes that allow unsafe person-to-person sales in other states.
"We believe that California should be a model for the rest of the nation," he said.
Staff Writer Ryan Hagen contributed to this report.