The Warren Outdoor Show last weekend had a very noticeable addition to this year's list of vendors: River Valley Surplus from Ridgway.
Despite the nationwide controversy surrounding gun control, especially focusing on gun shows, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms gave the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry approval to add firearms to this year's event.
Although there were several models of assault rifles available for purchase, many of the crowds surrounded a display of vintage and vintage-style firearms from James H. Buck & Son from Frewsburg, N.Y., that included flintlock pistols and muskets.
There was a push made for the Warren Outdoor Show to become a gun show, according to Lou Dussia of Dreamboat Hobbies, who led the effort.
"It all went through the WCCBI," said John Papalia Jr., director of the Council on Tourism,. "For it to be a gun show, it has to be hosted by an agency that helps promote hunting, fishing, and safe use of firearms in the outdoors."
After going through the ATF for approval, the idea materialized. "It was a very simple process," said Papalia. "We just always make sure to go through the proper channels."
Ralph Dussia of River Valley Surplus said he was pleased to be a part of the event. "It's been a great day," he added. "We will come back next year, definitely."
In order to ensure the safety of those attending the event, Papalia arranged for some added security protection above what is provided at the event each year.
"We worked with the Warren Explorers and Conewango Township Police this year to provide security," he explained. "Conewango Township Police have been kind enough to perform sweeps of the area from the time that the show closes to the time the Explorers arrive the next morning. They've always been great in helping us."