Las Vegas shooting won't deter gun shows in Michigan

Gun shows planned across the state remain on schedule despite rising fears in wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, the most deadly in American history.

In coming weekends, gun enthusiasts will gather in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Cadillac, Port Huron, Kalamazoo and Novi for gun and knife shows where they can buy and sell weapons. Venue operators say the shows' promoter, Sport Shows Promotions Inc., of Mason, is responsible for security. Owner Doug Carl didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.

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"From our perspective, we always require security," said Blair Bowman, president of the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, which has two gun and knife shows scheduled in coming weeks. "There is screening that occurs at the entrance. There is a check-in program. He has a very thorough process."

Bowman said his facility has hosted many such shows in the past and never had a security issue. Neither has the Ingham County Fairgrounds, which is hosting a show this weekend.

"There are leased events," said executive director Sandy Dargatz. "We lease him the ground and per the lease, he is required to take care of" security.

Among the rules for gun show vendors listed on Sport Shows website are:

  • All handguns will be tied down or in showcases
  • No unsecured handguns on tables
  • No loose ammo on tables
  • No loaded firearms in show, except for police officers with badge and I.D.
  • Licensed vendors must bring a copy of your current Federal Firearms License

In 2015, the city of Nashville, Tenn. voted to require that gun show promoters agree to new safety measures, including gun background checks and extra security to prevent the sale of firearms from the trunks of vehicles. One of the shows sponsors sued, but the appeals court upheld the rules.

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© 2017, Detroit Free Press


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