Gun enthusiasts, gun control activist weigh-in on firearm age re - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Gun enthusiasts, gun control activist weigh-in on firearm age requirements

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WBIR -

Hundreds of gun enthusiasts from all over came to Knoxville this weekend for the gun show at the Knoxville Expo Center.

They shared their opinions after several major retailers like Walmart & Dick's Sporting Goods chose to stop selling guns to people under the age of 21.

This was in response to the deadly shooting at a high school in Florida. Several gun shops in Knoxville said they will not raise their age requirements.

READ MORE | Walmart sets age of 21 to buy firearms, ammunition

Right now, 18-year-olds can legally buy firearms.

Gun expo show owner Rex Kehrli said this year's strong turn out to the show is in part because people are afraid their gun rights will be taken away.

His vendors sold guns this weekend to people ages 18 and up.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Dick's Sporting Goods to immediately stop selling assault-style rifles in its stores

"I think if you're old enough and you're above 18 and you're a man or a woman who can go over and defend your country, I think that you absolutely ought to be able to have all the rights of any adult citizen in the United States," Kehrli said.

The expo's main clientele are hunters, sportsmen and gun collectors.

Kehrli said conversation on gun change doesn't stop people from buying firearms, and that 18 should be the age they can purchase guns.

That was echoed by another longtime gun shop owner John Arnold.

"If they change the age to 21, they should change the age to be a police officer, to be in the military, to sign a legal contract," Arnold said.

The feeling is different among a younger generation of students, who say the effects of the Parkland school shooting are much more personal to them-- Students like 17-year-old Zoe Brookshire-Wrisley.

"When I was 7 a man walked into my church and killed two people with a shotgun," she said.

Brookshire-Wrisley survived the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church shooting in Knoxville 10 years ago.

"I realize, and the people who stand with me realize, we're not going to get rid of guns in America. It's nor reasonable."

Read more from WBIR's website.

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