CHICAGO (CBS) — A DuPage County sportsman’s show where guns are sold has changed how it does business in the wake of tragedies like the school shooting in Florida.
On Sunday, many flocked to the Pioneer Valley Sportsman’s Show at the DuPage County Fairgrounds for very different reasons. CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross has more on what was not for sale, and the passion on display.
Much more than the road outside the DuPage County Fairgrounds separated two groups of people on Sunday, with those demanding tougher gun control laws on one side, and gun rights advocates on the other.
“We are here asking for sensible gun laws,” protester Jax West said. “They’re insulting us and trying to intimidate us.”
One man drove past gun control advocates at least twice, shouting “f*** you,” and extending his middle finger.
The Pioneer Valley Sportsman’s Association’s show includes a gun show. Unlike years past, there were no sales of bump stocks, no gun raffles, and no AR-15s or other assault-style semi-automatic rifles.
“Had it not been for this protest being scheduled, it would have been business as usual there,” West said.
Organizers said they condemn recent mass shootings, and endorse commonsense firearms legislation, while still protecting gun rights.
Bob Garza said he supports the show, and said he was disappointed in the changes this year. He said targeting a specific style of gun to ban or restrict sales isn’t the answer.
“Someone can be just as much of a lethal threat with a lot of other types of firearms,” he said. “Let’s just add another law. It’s a feel good measure.”
Garza said the answer is to “vigorously enforce existing gun laws.”
Organizers said attendance at the show was larger than average, due in part to the surrounding publicity. A spokesperson for the fairgrounds added changes in what guns and equipment can be sold there will continue at the next PVSA show in April.