Springfield Sportsmen Show begins amid gun control debates - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Springfield Sportsmen Show begins amid gun control debates

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WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Organizers claim the biggest sportsmen show on the East Coast is taking place this weekend at The Big E, as The Springfield Sportsmen's Show is expected to attract thousands.

But with the show comes the discussion of gun control.  Gun enthusiasts realize gun control laws are front and center following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

James Wallace is the executive director of the Gun Owners' Action League (GOAL). His group attends close to a dozen gun shows across Massachusetts each year.

GOAL promotes the fact that gun ownership is a Second Amendment right.

"We have to separate the discussion of lawful ownership and criminal use," said Wallace.

Wallace and gun supporters at the show said mental health is a bigger issue that needs to be tackled.

"Guns do not kill people, people kill people," said Shawn Wilson, an active hunter.

Wilson and his friends made the trip up to The Big E from Connecticut. He said that while he is a hunter and he is pro-gun, he understands a need for compromise.

"Some of the assault guns, they could ban that, it doesn't bother me," said Wilson.

In the end, Wallace believed early education is the answer.

Organizers of the show told CBS 3 that they actually picked up business this year due to another show not taking place.

The event runs through Sunday.

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