Lines Out the Door and Strong Sales at Tampa Gun Show

Courtesy of The New York Times. By TIFFANY HSU

TAMPA, Fla. — The lines stretched out the door this weekend at a gun show in Tampa, Fla., as thousands of potential buyers and the merely curious waited for their turn to browse booths stocked with the latest firearms, ammunition, customizable holsters and patriotic paraphernalia.

Inside, parents pushed their babies in strollers past T-shirts emblazoned with phrases like “I study triggernometry.” A nonprofit group in one booth was raffling off a rifle to raise money to battle child and animal abuse. On large signs by the entrance, the National Rifle Association was offering refunds on the $11 admission if shoppers signed up for a membership. Outside, Girl Scouts were selling cookies.

But the deadly mass shooting a couple of hundred miles away at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School cast its shadow. Both buyers and sellers were talking about the attack, as well as about the divisive debate that it had recently reignited.

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