Gun Show Closure Impacts Local Economy

Jake Melder

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Gun Show Closure Impacts Local Economy

CREATED Sep. 19, 2013

"When people get hurt from a gun show that's a red flag and those types of situations we take seriously," said Bob Batista, director of Expo Idaho.

The accident this spring forced Expo Idaho to take a look at the precautions it takes for gun shows.

Gun shows have a higher risk of accidents so managers at Expo Idaho decided to raise the level of insurance coverage.

"It's like when you get in a wreck with a car,” said Batista. “Chances are your insurance is gonna go up depending upon the magnitude of the accident."

This increase made it too expensive for the show to go on.

Canceling the gun show means the organizer took a big financial hit.

"We lose sixty to seventy percent of the revenue from the gun show that goes to support the range,” said Arnold Barr, a former gun show organizer. “I’ll let you guess what has to go out to the range if we have to maintain to keep the range open."

Some local gun shops that had displays at the show say the cancellation's hurting them too.

"We probably lose about twenty to twenty-five percent of our sales for the month of September,” said Rep. Christy Perry (R – Nampa) who owns Buckhorn Gun and Pawn. “Which is significant for any business."

Expo Idaho says they had no choice but to increase the coverage.

"Really the whole just of this is to try and ensure that the people who come out to the gun show the people that hold the gun show and the people that promote the gun show all feel comfortable with what we're doing," said Batista.