Virginia gun show
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Crowds browse assault rifles and ammunition at a gun show in Virginia.
A gun trade show in the U.S. has attracted huge crowds and posted record sales - just weeks after 20 children and six adults were shot dead in the Sandy Hook school massacre.

Many vendors at the Nation's Gun Show, held over three days in Chantilly, Virginia, struggled to keep up with demand as customers rushed to snap up assault-type rifles, handguns, ammunition and magazines.

As the debate over gun control continues to rage in the U.S. in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting on December 14, some commentators said boosted sales at the trade show were down to fears such weapons may not be on the market for much longer.

Virginia gun show
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'Stocking up': Vendors said some rifles were changing hands for double their usual price due to increased demand
While official figures are yet to be confirmed following the event, early reports said increased demand saw many weapons selling for up to double their usual price, while some vendors sold out of products altogether.

Among the first items to sell out were semi-automatic rifles and 30-round magazines, according to a report on NBCWashington.com, with some rifles normally priced at $1,500 selling for $3,000.

Customers queuing up to attend the show at the Dulles Expo Center, which came to a close on Sunday, were met by anti-gun protestors from the group Code Pink, who waved signs and wore tops emblazoned with the phrase 'Let's Talk Gun Control'.

But their presence appeared to do little to deter customers, with one trader describing Friday as the busiest day ever for the Nation's Gun Show.

'We were selling at a rate of 1.8 guns a minute,' Jerry Cochran told the Washington Times.

The Virginia-based gun dealer told the newspaper fears of a possible ban on weapons were driving unprecedented sales.

Virginia gun show
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Fears: Some traders said the crowds were down to fears of a possible ban on weapon sales in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre
Virginia gun show
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Lines of people can be seen snaking around the tables weighed down with weapons and ammunition
virginia gun show
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The Nation's Gun Show, held in Chantilly, Virginia, posted record sales
Virginia gun show
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People heading into the building to attend the gun show were met by protestors
Adam Lanza, 20, gunned down 20 children and six adults - including his mother - on December 14 in the Sandy Hook massacre.

The shooting shocked the nation and reignited the debate over gun control laws in the U.S.

President Barack Obama has vowed to put his 'full weight' behind the push for new gun control legislation in the wake of the tragedy, which he has said represented 'the worst days' of his presidency.

Virginia gun show
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Unofficial reports indicate the show enjoyed larger crowds than normal and many vendors sold out of products
Virginia gun show
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Semi-automatic rifles and 30-round clips were said to be among the first items to sell out
Virginia gun show
© Splash
Traders bumped up the prices on many of the items due to increased demand, according to reports