Legion reports good crowds at gun show

Posted 4/29/21

Some things are just a natural fit: peanut butter and jelly, spring and baseball, small churches and revivals. 

So it’s little wonder that American Legion Post 340 hosted the gun show in Winnsboro recently. An organization composed of those who wore the uniform, under arms, and served to protect it, is now facilitating the lawful and proper ownership of firearms. 

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Legion reports good crowds at gun show

Posted

Some things are just a natural fit: peanut butter and jelly, spring and baseball, small churches and revivals. 

So it’s little wonder that American Legion Post 340 hosted the gun show in Winnsboro recently. An organization composed of those who wore the uniform, under arms, and served to protect it, is now facilitating the lawful and proper ownership of firearms. 

It seems a logical and worthwhile endeavor. Who better to be proponents of firearm ownership than those in society who have seen first-hand that the nation, and the freedoms it represents, require defending. 

As Post Commander Doug Grantham described, “The gun show generates significant income to make a real difference in the community. As we are a non-profit organization, everything we earn goes right back out the door through programs such as Boys State, Curtis Rhodes Memorial scholarships and emergency assistance.”

In short, Grantham compared the proceeds from a well-run gun show to “months and months of selling burgers and barbecue.”

Proceeds are generated mostly through vendor fees. About 35 venders rented 75 tables at which to hawk their wares over the weekend event. A nominal entry fee of $7 per adult also contributed to the take. 

The Winnsboro post has held a gun show for the last four years. According to Grantham, this year was, by far, the busiest yet. On Saturday April 17, 727 people visited the Winnsboro Civic Center. 

Numerous members of the 85-man post were on-hand to facilitate a smooth operation. Grantham listed three ingredients to a successful show: advertising, filling the venue with vendors and the legwork of the post membership.  

“We start planning the next show the minute this show wraps up,” he said. He noted that it was the advance work which is key to a great show. That work drew buyers from across East Texas and from as far away as California.   

The connection between the American Legion and gun shows seems to be strengthening. Gilmer Post 320 will host a gun show at the Gilmer Civic Center Sept. 11-12. Winnsboro Post 340 will next host a show in Quitman at the Carroll Greene Civic Center Oct. 23-24.

The success realized by Post 340 has allowed the post to more ardently pursue some long-term objectives. Grantham noted that they are now looking at a grant system to more efficiently donate funds. Additionally, establishing a family program to increase the reach of the American Legion is also being weighed.

“Like all such organizations,” Grantham summarized, “we need to become more youthful within our membership ranks in order to render our best impact in the community.”

As the state emerges fully from the pandemic, many local organizations will be restarting fund-raising efforts. A successful event, regardless of the sponsoring organization, will have benefits to all. 

The American Legion is the nation’s largest and most powerful proponent for wartime veterans and their families. The founding of today’s Veterans Administration and the GI Bill are two of the Legion’s many accomplishments.