PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Record breaking numbers of people are purchasing guns in the wake of the proposed assault weapons ban, especially locally.

Saturday, a line of hundreds of gun enthusiasts snaked through the Pittsburgh Mills Mall parking lot to attend the annual Pennsylvania Gun Collectors Show.

Many came out in support of “Gun Appreciation Day,” a day in which a conservative gun support group encouraged gun owners to line up “around the block” at gun shows, gun shops, gun ranges and gun counters.

And locals did just that.

“Whenever you say the word ban in front of anyone that’s a shooter or a sportsman, a second amendment person, that puts the fear in them,” Phil Dacey with the Pennsylvania Gun Collectors Association said.

The gun collectors’ show offers a chance to buy or sell a variety of hunting rifles, antiques and state-of-the-art weapons.

But the newly proposed legislation from the White House is causing assault weapons sales to skyrocket.

“I’m here to defend my second amendment rights … to buy and own guns,” gun owner Steve Steigerwald said.

Gun owners may strongly oppose a weapons ban, but Dacey thinks there could be flexibility on other enforcement issues.

“I think the vast majority of the people here would agree on an expansion of the background check and certainly it needs to improve,” Dacey said. “The fact that some states will not supply the mental health data.”

The latest debate on banning assault weapons comes after the tragedy in Newtown, Conn.

“Be a lot better off having armed guards in schools, they can guard our money with weapons, why can’t they guard our children with weapons?” one gun supporter asked.

Hundreds of people also protested in support of gun ownership in Harrisburg, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, as did the many people outside the courthouse in Greensburg Saturday.

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