It’s not often that the NRA and its bullies don’t get their way but today, the the Board of Fair Commissioners voted to no longer hold gun shows at the state fairgrounds in Nashville.
That’s right, and yes, this is the city which just hosted the NRA at its publicly-owned convention center. Yee haw! From The Tennessean link above:
Citing three cases that linked guns purchased at the fairgrounds to criminals, the Metro Board of Fair Commissioners voted 3-0, with one member abstaining, to terminate future gun shows at the fairgrounds after fulfilling any existing contracts with show operators.
The plan is to later adopt new safety measures and other rules for any future gun shows before deciding whether to allow the events to continue at the fairgrounds.
The board’s action, which could trigger an appeal from at least one gun show operator, means Bill Goodman’s Gun and Knife Shows, which has rented space in the fairgrounds since the 1970s, will still hold an already scheduled set of gun shows at the fairgrounds this Saturday and Sunday. Future events more than 30 days out by Goodman and RK, a separate gun show producer that contracts with the fair board, will no longer take place.
The most significant testimony came from Assistant Davidson County District Attorney Jenny Charles, who detailed three criminal cases in Nashville that she said involved people who purchased firearms at gun shows at the fairgrounds.
Go to the link for details on the three stories she cited.
Both Bill Goodman and R.K. Shows have had problems, not just in Nashville but in Tennessee and, indeed, around the country. Goodman most notably was outted by Michael Bloomberg’s group in 2009 for allowing illegal gun sales at several of his shows across the country, including right here in Nashville. Goodman claims that he took action to stop the illegal sales, and now requires private sellers to go through a dealer so background checks can be done on every sale. But check out this Ohio story from 2013:
Within 20 minutes of paying $8 to enter Bill Goodman’s Gun and Knife show at the Vandalia Aiport Expo Center earlier this month, I was offered an SKS semi-automatic rifle with a 30-round magazine for $450, no background check required.
The seller, who didn’t give his name, said he had the gun for years but was selling it because the price of semi-automatic rifles had ballooned.
Another man, who gave his name as John, strolled the aisles of the gun show with a semi-automatic Ruger Mini-14 slung over his shoulder. Taped to the end of the barrel was a piece of paper listing four guns he had for sale.
They included an AR-15, commonly called an “assault weapon” or “military style” gun because it looks similar to weapons used by SWAT teams or military. This is the same type of gun used by shooter Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
John said the AR-15 was available for $1,500, “straight out of the box.” I asked to see the gun and was escorted to John’s car in the parking lot and shown the gun in the trunk. John offered to throw in a second 30-round magazine with a cash purchase.
When asked if any paperwork was required, John said no. He said I only needed to be an Ohio resident and be allowed to buy a weapon. I told John that I wasn’t a felon.
Well, forgive me for not being comforted by the notion of “new safety measures and other rules.” Seems to me that if you get a bunch of gun guys together, sooner or later someone is going to buy or sell something under the table, out in the parking lot, you name it.
RK Shows has been even worse. There was the Chattanooga gun show purchase that ended up killing a police sergeant, the accidental shooting in the parking lot of the Gray, TN gun show, and the vendor at the show in Knoxville who accidentally shot himself in the hand. And then there’s RK’s squirrelly banking practices, which caught the attention of the Feds in Iowa.
So, yeah. I’m not sure the taxpayers should be partners in crime with these folks.
The gun loons will probably call for the fainting couches, but truth be told, there’s a gun show just about every weekend in these parts. I don’t think the gun people will be too inconvenienced. But at least the county doesn’t have to be part of this dirty business.