“Breathe, Relax, Aim, Squeeze.”
Robert Farago, creator and publisher of The Truth About Guns blog, offers this advice to newcomers attending the Texas Firearms Festival.
The third annual Texas Firearms Festival, which will run from Oct. 14-16 at the Best of the West Shooting Range in Liberty Hill, Texas, welcomes firearms enthusiasts from as far as Norway to try out and buy a variety of guns.
“The most important thing for protecting our rights as gun owners is to have a strong, healthy and vibrant gun culture, and the festival is ground zero for Texas gun culture once a year,” Farago said. “We’re very proud and happy to be able to provide that to help protect our right to keep and bear arms.”
Farago modeled The Texas Firearms Festival after another annual event only available to those in the gun industry and media, but he wanted this festival to be open to the general public.
The Texas Firearms Festival is not just for experienced shooters. Dan Zimmerman, CEO and Managing Editor of The Truth About Guns, said for those who have never shot a gun before, the Texas State Rifle Association will be giving lessons, while more experienced shooters will be able to try hundreds of guns.
“Most people don’t get the chance to try out a gun before they buy one,” Zimmerman said. “This is the biggest and probably the only try-and-buy event like this in the country.”
Computer science junior Joey Jackson and undeclared freshman Koen Moore will both be attending the festival for the first time.
“I was raised on a farm and my dad brought me up shooting guns, so I like guns and have a great deal of respect for weapons,” Jackson said. “That’s why I’m interested in going to the festival to see all the types of guns and to meet other people who enjoy handling guns responsibly.”
Moore said the festival is unique because most gun stores don’t have ranges built into them.
“It’s a pretty cool experience because you can try all the different guns out and see which one you feel is the best,” Moore said.
This year the festival will add an event called “Full Auto Friday” which gives VIP ticket-holders the chance to shoot modern machine guns. Another new addition to the festival is “Blue Sunday Salute to Law Enforcement” which will honor active duty military, veterans and law enforcement.
Farago said he knows some people are pro gun-control or even anti-gun and that although he respects that position, he doesn’t agree with it. According to Farago, the first thing these people should do is come out and shoot some guns.
“You really can’t get an informed opinion about gun rights — what they mean, their importance to Americans, their importance to you personally — without actually firing a gun,” Farago said. “So if anybody’s never actually fired a gun and holds a position that they’re pro-gun control, this is their chance to come out and see what it actually means to own and to keep and bear firearms.”
Whatever festival attendees’ opinions on gun control may be, Farago said everyone can still enjoy the festival.
“One of the most interesting things about the firearms industry is just how nice the people are in it. It’s incredible how receptive they are to new shooters, how much patience they have, and it’s an industry that really does take care of its own,” Farago said. “It’s really an incredible experience to see people get turned on to their firearms freedom.”
What: Texas Firearms Festival
When: Oct. 14-16
Where: Best of the West Shooting Range in Liberty Hill, Texas
Admission: Purchase tickets at www.texasgunfest.com