The 11th Annual Brookings Gun Show is underway this weekend and the Swiftel Center has been packed with gun buyers, sellers and traders.
Nationwide, gun sales have been on the rise for the past month as debate over gun control legislation heats up.
South Dakota is no exception. The Brookings gun show always draws a good amount of gun collectors and hunters.
"We always have a good crowd here because the building is always nice, now this year our numbers are up," said Vic Carter with the Dakota Territory Gun Collectors Association.
But this year, it's not only gun collectors, it's everyone, and vendors from all over the region—Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota—are showing up to accommodate the larger crowds.
"We had all the spaces rented, I think we had around 340 spots," said Carter.
Many of those vendors saw higher sales Friday and Saturday
"I think a lot of people are very interested in firearms right now," said gun show attendee Brad Schriber.
The immediate increase in demand is also raising prices.
"It's certainly driven up prices, a lot. I mean I've seen a lot of guns that are double priced or even triple," said gun show attendee Tyler Dehaven.
Hot topic models like assault rifles and even hand guns are seeing the most sales, but they're also seeing the highest prices.
"They had a $500 AK that was for $1400," said Dehaven.
Many gun owners feared this outcome as soon as they heard of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting.
"So I just went straight in and bought something as soon as I heard of any of this going up and I got in there before all this went nuts," said Dehaven.
Several vendors said they expect to see prices remain high until debate over gun control settles down.
But after nearly five decades in the gun business, Carter says he's confident sales will return to normal.
"We've seen that 3 or 4 times in the last 20 years so it'll go and it'll come and I think it will level out again," said Carter.
The Brookings Gun Show continues Sunday from 9:00-3:00pm in the Swiftel Center. The Dakota Territory Gun Collectors Association has 14 gun shows scheduled in North and South Dakota this year.
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