Dozens of people, young and old and both women and men, circled the weapons on display, perusing the numerous guns and knives with almost revered expressions.
The manager of the show, Raymond Johns, said the event comes to Rome twice a year, once in September and again in February.
He said patrons are welcome to come buy, sell and trade as long as they are Georgia residents and can legally purchase firearms. Background checks are regularly conducted by Federal Firearm license dealers for those interested in adding to their booming collections.
“We have any and every kind of gun you could imagine,” said Johns. “There’s even a (gun from) 1863 in there, mint condition.”
The show usually brings in a pretty good crowd.
“This year, attendance is up a little bit,” said Johns. “Winter months are better for gun shows because of hunting season and Christmas.
Gun show-goers tend to support second amendment rights and Johns was no exception.
“We strongly support second amendment rights, the right to carry and bear arms,” he said proudly.
On the topic of recent legislation that would allow hunters to attach silencers to their weapons, Jones was not as quick to comment. After brief consideration, he said he didn’t see the harm in the bill.
“I’m kind of for it because a lot of people complain about the noise hunters make. The only thing the suppressor is for is to quiet the gun down,” he said.
As patrons walked around examining guns in their cases, a low hum of murmuring voices filled The Forum, interrupted every now and then by a fierce “POP POP.”
The noise was coming from Tammy Jensen’s table, whose business is called Stunning Ladies. Jensen mainly sells pepper spray and stun guns.
Not to be confused with Tasers, stun guns are small and rectangular and about the size of a small digital camera. Jensen said she gears her table toward women and self defense.
“I am a firearm carrier,” she said. “Most women won’t carry, and even if they do, they usually won’t carry it on them. But they will carry a stun gun in their hand.”
The stun guns range from $60 to $95 and carry from 4 million to 6.2 million volts of electricity.
“I’ve carried for years, and I know that women are usually targets, and I do what I can to make sure they get some power in their hands, some confidence,” said Jensen.
She said women feel more in control just holding the stun gun.
“It’s a great deterrent. When you’re walking alone to your car and you’re in the parking garage, just pop it. Every man knows that sound.”