Supervisors reject amendment to allow gun show to continue at Milwaukee County Sports Complex

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – In a 13-3 vote, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors rejected an amendment to an ordinance which would have allowed for a gun show at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex to continue.

Defenders of the amendment said the gun show provided economic benefits for the county as well as a resource for firearm access and education.

“I want that portion of my district that does not have often have the opportunities, such as people in suburban or rural areas, that have access to this type of gun education, hands-on kind of training,” Supervisor Felisia Martin of the 7th District said during the board meeting Thursday, March 25.

“The problem isn’t the gun show it’s our gun laws,” Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez of the 12th District said. “We know that the majority of gunowners are responsible, law abiding citizens.”

Those opposed to the amendment said they were concerned about private, unlicensed vendors who are not required by law to do background checks on their sales and therefore the county has no information on if firearms sold at the gun show are tied to firearm violence in the community.

“People with felonies or restraining orders against them could go to this gun show on county property, property that we are responsible for, and purchase and unlimited amount of firearms and ammunition and potentially commit crimes with said fire arms,” Liz Sumner, Supervisor for the 1st District said.

“Our county has no business facilitating gun violence,” Supervisor Ryan Clancy of the 4th District told the board.

Organizers of the gun show, run by Bob and Rocco Gun Shows, told CBS 58 they were disappointed with the board’s decision, noting the county was losing out on thousands of dollars of economic benefits provided by the trade show.

“We have not had any issues of any kind and I don’t understand the loss of revenue over nothing,” Ron Martin, show director for Take a Kid Hunting Foundation told CBS 58 in a phone interview. “We’ll just keep giving it to other counties. We’ll go to Waukesha and Washington Counties and other places and go to other places to get the money. If Milwaukee’s so self-sufficient and they don’t want our money then to hell with them.”

The vote does nothing to prevent gun shows from taking place at private venues in the county.

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