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Antique Historical Arms Show draws history buffs, collectors

Chris Smith, left, and Brian Williams, both of

Chris Smith, left, and Brian Williams, both of Patchogue, look at guns during the Antique Historical Arms Show at the Freeport Recreation Center on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

Guns and rifles fired in World War II battles and other vintage weapons were on display Sunday at the Antique Historical Arms Show in Freeport.

About 70 people, many antique gun collectors, roamed the Freeport Recreation Center Sunday afternoon browsing through the artifacts.

Lynbrook resident Mike Sweeney, 69, was one of them.

He looked at several rifles and decades-old souvenirs before purchasing two books documenting the Civil War.

“My grandfather was in the Civil War,” said Sweeney, a regular at antique arms shows.

He said his grandfather was in the Army, stationed in San Francisco, before going to battle against Confederate Arizona.

Other displayed collectibles included military helmets, swords, grenades and even a small picture of President Ulysses S. Grant.

“I’ve been coming to these for years,” said Nicole Sinko, 18, of Oceanside, who bought a pair of folding knives.

She purchased a book about historical pistols for her dad, a former Marine who introduced her to antique gun shows.

The Long Island Antique Historical Arms Society Inc. hosted the show, which also featured Revolutionary War and Civil War collectibles, muskets, beer bottles, canteens, lighters and military uniforms.

Show chairman David Gruner said organization members had several hundred guns for sale Sunday, and that the group hosts three shows a year.

Craig Tufano, owner of Yaphank-based Suffolk Shooting Corp., conducted background checks on each gun purchased.

Licensed by the federal government, he said the safety checks included filing out forms, checking identification and addresses and calling the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

More than 40 dealers were selling guns and artifacts.

Brooklyn-based gun dealer Sonny Zhang, who said he has been in the business for more than 20 years, was selling German Imperial helmets for between $300 and $3,000.

Catskill Mountains gun dealer Joe Albano, 65, was selling modern rifles and unique pump shotguns.

“I’ve always been fascinated with firearms,” he said. “I started hunting deer at 10 years old.”

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