The National Rifle Association, which recently declared support for a lawsuit challenging Knoxville’s move to ban guns from the city-owned park that hosts the regional Tennessee Valley Fair (previous post HERE), is now opposing a notion raised in Nashville about putting restrictions on gun shows at the city-owned Nashville Fairgrounds.
From The Tennessean:
National Rifle Association lobbyist Erin Luper addressed the five-member Metro Board of Fair Commissioners at Tuesday’s fair board meeting to deliver a message: Don’t pull the plug on guns shows at The Fairgrounds Nashville that date back more than three decades.
There is no proposal to halt gun shows at the Nashville’s fairgrounds — however, fair board commissioner Kenny Byrd has suggested that a communitywide discussion take place to see whether the public wants to continue gun shows on property that belongs to Metro. That push comes amid proposed regulations floated by he and other fair commissioners they say are aimed at safety.
Luper, a state liaison for the NRA who is based at the organization’s Fairfax, Va. headquarters, in her remarks accused gun control advocates such as former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg of “shamelessly touting” inaccurate statistics regarding firearm transactions from gun shows. She claimed less than 1 percent of guns used to commit crimes in the U.S. originate from gun shows and warned against listening to “bad data” of gun control backers.
“With this reality in mind, I ask the board to address a simple question: Why now? Why after a (long) legacy of holding gun shows at The Fairgrounds Nashville is the board now considering the move to cancel these events, especially considering how these events are enjoyed by so many of our citizens in a safe and responsible manner?” Luper said.
“On behalf of NRA members across the state of Tennessee, we oppose the removal of gun shows from the schedule of activities at The Fairgrounds Nashville and hope that this board will not pander to the misguided politics of the anti-freedom agenda.”
For 35 years, Kentucky-based Bill Goodman’s Gun and Knife Shows has rented space from the Metro fairgrounds for its weekend gun shows. The entity pays around $7,500 for each show, accounting for more than $80,000 in fairgrounds revenue per year.
More recently, a new vendor, RK Gun Show, has started renting fairgrounds space for events.
The fair board took no action Tuesday regarding possible new guidelines for gun shows at the Nashville fairgrounds, but it plans to revisit the issue at next month’s meeting. Bill Goodman’s Gun and Knife Shows is contracted with the fair board through 2016, meaning new rules wouldn’t go into effect until 2017.