CHANTILLY, Va. (WUSA) - They screamed and held signs: "NRA Stop Killing Our Kids!" and "Ban Assault Weapons Now!" and "Close The Gun Show Loophole!"
They're Code Pink. You've might have seen them before, interrupting the NRA's Wayne LaPierre's press conference a week after the Newtown School shooting tragedy.
They were vastly outnumbered by gun enthusiasts, but out-shouted by none. One protestor got into a screaming match with a man driving away about second amendment right, ending with "You're an idiot!"
Both sides may never agree. We searched for answers inside the more-packed-than-usual gun show. First we tried to get some clarity on what the protestors have been calling the gun show loophole.
Madea Benjamin of Code Pink explains: "They can make a transaction right there without a background check, that what's part of this gun show loophole."
Annette Elliott runs the gun show. She takes issue with calling it that. "It's a private citizen that owns a firearm that can sell it without going through a background check. not just at a gun show, but in a trade magazine, to his brother, to his family," she said.
To be clear, Elliott says more than half the sellers here have an FFL or Federal firearms license. That means they do background checks. We met a man named Lonnie who used to be a dealer, but gave up his FFL. He's selling his assault rifles and says he does his own background check; he asks for two forms of Virginia ID.
"The gun shows even with the loophole where it's a private sale from person to person is actually very safe because you have all so much law enforcement and nobody's enough to try and break the law on a person to person sale," Lonnie said.
The second issue we asked about is the ease with which one can buy an assault weapon. Elliott says, "You may be able to find one on one guy selling it, but there's not going to be a bunch of them here like that."
She says a ban won't work. "Criminals and crazy people don't follow the laws." she said.
The one thing both sides agree on is their rights - to bear and sell arms for one- and for the other, the right to gather and be heard.
Reported and written by Debra Alfarone, WUSA9