LEWISTON — When talk began about banning bump stocks, used by the sniper who killed 58 people and wounded more than 500 in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, J.T. Reid’s Gun Shop in Auburn sold out of the attachments.

Shop owner John Reid, one of 48 dealers at the J.T. Reid Gun Show at the Ramada Inn on Saturday, said he had four bump stocks for a year and never sold one.

But when members of Congress expressed support for a ban and the National Rifle Association said such devices “should be subject to additional regulations,” Reid sold all four in a couple of days.

“If I had had 30 of them, they would’ve all sold, too,” he said. “It seems any time you talk about restrictions and banning things, … people want it, and that’s what’s happening now.”

The device is used to make a semiautomatic rifle function as a fully automatic weapon.

“The general consensus from gun dealers is that was a horrible incident, a horrible event,” Reid said of the Las Vegas massacre. “But there’s nothing a dealer could do about it; it’s beyond our control.”


He said hundreds of people came to the gun show Saturday, along with dealers from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Many firearms were sold, including handguns, hunting rifles and collectibles, and ammunition, he said. Because it’s hunting season, most buyers were looking for hunting supplies.

Dana Hodgdon and his son, Tyler, 12, of Norway came to look for good deals on hunting supplies. Hodgdon said he’s been hunting since he was a kid and this is his son’s second year.

He said recent events and discussions that have come up about guns don’t affect him.

“I’m just a hunter,” Hodgdon said. “We’ve used guns forever, but you’ve got to be careful.”

He added: “I grew up hunting and fishing. It’s what we do in Maine.”


Reid said several people from Auburn talked about the home invasion on Park Avenue on Thursday, in which a woman was tied up in her home and held at gunpoint by a pair of masked men. She was not injured, but her SUV and motorcycle were stolen.

“It brought in new buyers, and people asking about safety courses,” Reid said.

To buy a gun in Maine you must be at least 21 years old, or 18 if you’ve served in the military. You also must be an in-state resident with a Maine photo ID, and you must pass a background check.

Reid said the federal database to run the background checks was busier than usual Saturday, and they had to call 15 to 20 times just to get through.

“That shows it’s across the country,” he said.

Michael Leighton of Progun Gunworks in Boothbay mostly sells guns made from parts because, he said, “ours come out better than factory-made guns.”


Most of the individual parts anyone can buy. But the strip receiver, the part that makes the gun work, requires a special form and a background check.

“Without that, it won’t shoot bullets,” Leighton said.

He agreed that what happened in Las Vegas was terrible, but he doesn’t believe blaming guns is the answer.

“Not one of these inanimate objects jumped off the table and killed someone,” he said. “It’s the idiots that do it.”

Leighton said if something has to change, it’s background checks.

“Change that they don’t just check criminal history but medical and mental as well,” he said. “Also, part of it is education; we need to educate people on how to properly use guns.”

J.T. Reid’s Gun Show will continue Sunday at the Ramada Inn from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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