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Up in Arms Gun Show

Brandon Morgan browses the Up In Arms Gun Show Saturday at the Central Wyoming Fairgrounds. The show featuring a variety of vendors from around Wyoming and the region continues Sunday. 

People at this weekend’s gun show at Casper’s fairgrounds can find modern weapons, guns more than a century old, ammunition, knives and hunting supplies along with books, jewelry and even coyote fur outerwear.

The Up in Arms Gun Show, which continues 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Central Wyoming Fairgrounds Industrial Building, features vendors from around Wyoming and surrounding states, show owner Emery Webster said. While guns and ammunition are the main event, vendors sell all kinds of items.

“It’s almost a flea market,” Webster said.

Webster and most of the other vendors have participated in the shows for years, though there are always some new faces. It’s a place where the vendors and shopping share common interests, he said.

“The biggest draw would probably be firearms and ammunition,” Webster said, “but we find it a real social event.”

The show, dating back at least 20 years, takes place in Casper three times a year and travels to Gillette and Rock Springs, Webster said. It was formerly run by Wasatch Gun Shows, according to the Up in Arms website.

Webster, who sells ammunition at the shows, took over about six years ago, he said. His daughter, Lisa Sleight, grew up going to the shows with him and at her tables sells items including holsters, concealment purses and CBD products made from hemp oil, she said.

Claude Trigg, of Moorcroft, and his son, Robert, 18, made custom holsters from a tough plastic called Kydex Saturday in their mobile shop under a tent. Customers could watch them heat sheets of plastic, form it around guns and finish the edges. The duo also sold holsters and pouches for items like tools, knives and chewing tobacco, and they’ll create requests, Claude said.

This weekend was the third Up in Arms Gun Show, including one in Gillette, for their new business, Black Anchor Products, Claude said.

The shows give their venture exposure and help them make connections throughout the state.

“You couldn’t ask for a better group of people,” Claude said.

Brant Hilman sold rifles, handguns, shotguns, scopes and other products Saturday from his store, Monkey Armory in Sheridan.

He’s been participating in the Up in Arms shows in Wyoming for the past few years to make extra sales and promote his business, which ties in with his experience as a rancher and outfitter.

“I’ve been passionate about firearms my whole life,” Hilman said.

Sharing the enthusiasm and a set of tables at Saturday’s show was his friend Sid Lewis. His variety for sale ranged from guns to shooting benches to a pair of coyote fur mittens. The shows keep him busy selling, trading and working with the other vendors.

“Some are different and some are new,” he said. “We have a lot of camaraderie.”

Daniel Workman offered leather bags and pouches he crafts from deer, bison and cow hides, which he tans himself, he said. He created everything at his table, including Paracord bracelets, leashes, horse leads and even small bulls made of leather.

His grandmother, Jeanette Baker, joined him Saturday with a table full of belt buckles and some Nascar model kits that belonged to her late husband. He’d collected buckles for decades and always told her to sell them after he’s gone, Baker said. By Saturday afternoon at her first show, she’d sold two buckle displays and about six buckles.

The show was a way to help downsize the collection and spend time with her grandson, who carried their goods into the building.

“Then I can set it up,” she said. “We kind of work together.”

Mike Scott has been selling his knives and accessories for hunting and fishing at the Up In Arms shows since the mid-1980s. His booth displayed manufactured and custom-made knives and an assortment that included lanterns, scopes, vintage holsters and antique handmade baskets from Africa.

The shows for him are a chance to meet likeminded people among the vendors and crowd who enjoy guns, hunting and the outdoors.

“I enjoy the people, and it’s a good hunting community,” he said.

Brandon Morgan of Rolling Hills on Saturday browsed the show, where he hoped to trade a gun he’d brought. He’s been a regular attendee for about 10 years and always finds interesting things. This time, he spotted a remake of a gun model from World War II and talked with another vendor selling actual guns from the era.

“You find all sorts of things here,” he said.

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Follow reporter Elysia Conner on Twitter @erconner

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Star-Tribune reporter Elysia Conner covers arts, culture and the Casper community.

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