Hundreds attend gun and knife show Saturday

HANCOCK – The Freeman Firearms Gun & Knife Show has grown so much it had to move to the larger venue of the Houghton County Arena, according to Carol Freeman.

Freeman, who along with husband Rick, is co-owner of gun and knife show sponsor Northwoods Sporting Goods, said for its first eight years, the show was conducted in the store on Quincy Street in Hancock.

The show began to fill a void left by the ending of the show put on by the Ottawa Sportsmen’s Club, Freeman said.

“We decided to put a bigger one on,” she said.

This year, there were 50 vendors using 85 tables on Friday and Saturday, she said. Some vendors came from Iron River, Lake Linden, Marinesco, Ontonagon and Republic.

Although he wasn’t selling anything, one of the vendors was Rick Hayrynen of Toivola, who was offering information about what services are available to military veterans. He was representing the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, and the Forgotten Eagles.

Hayrynen said many people were stopping at his table, and mostly Cold War veterans were unaware they have many benefits combat veterans have.

“They’re surprised,” he said.

One of the sellers was Mark Somero of Dollar Bay, who was offering rifles and knives on his table. He was attending his first Freeman show.

Somero said by Saturday morning he had sold only one deer rifle. He thinks the economy might have something to do with the slowness of sales for him.

“People are broke,” he said. “There’s a lot of lookers, but not many takers.”

One person who was buying was Craig Jarman of Calumet, who was looking mainly for reloading equipment and some accessories.

“I found some of the accessories I need,” he said.

Also looking for a bargain was Nigel Juntunen of L’Anse.

“There’s always something unique,” he said.

Juntunen, who is a competitive shooter, said he attends gun shows as much as possible because he doesn’t know how much longer they will be around.

“Support you local gun show while you can,” he said.

Looking at handguns was Henry Grudnoski of Calumet, who said he just wanted to see what was available.

“I’m looking for anything,” he said.