The Gander Mountain Concealed Carry and Firearms expo returned to Lakeville, Minn. on Saturday, and with the push for sharper gun legislation in the past nine months, these events are attracting a lot of buzz while instructors are on a mission to teach gun users to properly control their weapons.
"If you're a novice here it's like putty to clay -- we can mold you right into what you're supposed to do," an instructor at Gander Mountain Academy said.
Whether it's your first time with a Glock 9 in your hands or you're a seasoned pro at the range, the expo has something for everyone, and thousands of participants come through the expo in just one day.
The popular expo takes place for an entire day once every spring and once during the fall. Whether you're looking for ammo, or you're aiming for information on safety training, or you just want to get inside the range, it's open to the public, anybody can come and shoot for free.
The event attracts a wide demographic, from youthful girls to the gracious elderly.
"I have much bigger hands than most girls so it's hard to find a lighter gun with a grip the size that I need," expo participant Chelsea Stoffel said.
Event organizers said the youngest shooter they've seen was around 10 years old.
"I grew up with guns all of my life and I think it's a good thing to have your family involved and have them aware of what's going on," an expo visitor with Stoffel said.
At the Academy, it's emphasized that the right to bear arms always comes with responsibility
"A great opportunity is to bring young kids here, younger adults, and get them through our hunter safety courses so they can learn the right way to handle and use and the safeness aspect firearms," an instructor said.
Gander Mountain offers gear training, special courses and touts itself as the largest network of firearm training facilities in the country.