St. John excited about today’s gun show

Published 11:59 pm Friday, August 14, 2009

Dr. Ab St. John knows a thing or two about firearms.

Whether it’s a revolver, a pistol, or a rifle — antique or modern day — St. John said he is fascinated by the mechanics and ingenuity it takes to create them — which is one of the reasons why the retired OB-GYN and South Alabama Gun Club member is pleased the county is home to one of the most-widely attended gun and knife shows in the Southeast.

“I don’t consider myself a collector,” St. John said. “All the guns I own are functional. They’ve been and can be fired. When I think of a collector, I think of a rare, expensive. That’s not me.”

Firearms should be functional for the purpose they’re intended for, St. John said.

“If you’re headed out this weekend to the gun show and are looking to buy a gun or if it’s the first time you’ve purchased a firearm, the key is that the gun you buy should be able to do what you want it to do.

“If you want it to hang on the wall, it should be pretty,” he said. “If you want it for hunting or whatever the purpose, make sure it’s what you need before you buy it.”

To do that, St. John said research is the key. He recommended fully “investigating” the firearm to see if it meets one’s needs.

“Talk to people; talk to dealers,” he said. “Pick it up. Hold it. Make sure it fits your grip. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, that’s the key. And remember, bigger isn’t always better when it comes to a handgun.”

St. John is expected to be one of more than 1,000 people set to attend this year’s 26th annual event set for today and tomorrow in the Kiwanis Community Center. Doors open today at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m.; on Sunday, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is $5 and children under 12 are free.

Approximately 70 dealers will cover 150 tables with their wares, and organizers said there will be “something for ladies” including jewelry, purses and other accessories.

The event is sponsored by the South Alabama Gun Club.

Purchasers will be required to produce a valid driver’s license and undergo a Federal Bureau of Investigation background check.

Mike Jones Sr., event organizer, said a person can “walk out in 10 minutes with their gun” after being given FBI clearance.

Gun and knife owners are welcome to bring their own merchandise for trade or appraisals, he said.

Ammunition will be available but is expected to sell out early, he said.