Gun shows have been held at Owensboro’s Sportscenter for decades. Although, Owensboro attorney Chase Wilkey says he fears these events could allow guns to fall into the wrong hands.
“Right now anybody can buy a booth. For $50, you can sell guns at the Sportscenter here in a couple of weeks,” says attorney Chase Wilkey. He says it’s concerning that someone without a license can sell a firearm to someone without running a background check because it’s considered a private sale.
“So we don’t have any way of knowing whether or not that person is a convicted felon, whether they have past instances of domestic violence, whether they have been honorably discharged from the military,” says Wilkey.
Wilkey says he would be much more supportive of the gun show if there was a vetting process for those buying a gun. This is not his only concern, the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act is in place ensuring a gun and ammunition stays at least 1,000 feet away from a school.
The problem is Owensboro Catholic High School is right across the street from the Sportscenter, where the gun show is going to be held September 21st and 22nd.
Owensboro City Attorney, Steve Lynn, says he talked to federal officials about this act.
“The Owensboro Catholic High School is within one thousand feet of the Sportscenter, but since bringing that to our attention, we’ve had discussions with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and I am confident that the gun show can go on,” says Lynn.
Lynn says there are several exceptions to the 1,000-foot restriction. One exception includes someone whose property is separate from the school zone and who is a neighbor of the school. Another exception applies to city property.
“Though it’s not a city event, it is on city property,” says Lynn. He says they can’t just cancel the gun shows because there is a state statute in place, prohibiting local governments from getting in the way of a purchase, sale, or possession of firearms.
With all the mass shootings happening around the country, Wilkey says we shouldn’t leave it to chance.
“Whatever money the city makes cannot possibly be worth the potential blowback if something were to happen,” says Wilkey.