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Gun show in Florida attracts most attendees ever after deadly mass shooting at Parkland high school

A Florida Gun Show event attracted a record-breaking number of attendees over the weekend, organizers told WTSP-TV. Almost 7,000 came to the show at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa on Saturday. (Image source: WTSP-TV video screenshot)

A Florida Gun Show event attracted a record-breaking number of attendees over the weekend, organizers told WTSP-TV — almost 7,000 came to the show at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa on Saturday. More were expected Sunday, the station said.

Image source: WTSP-TV video screenshot

While the gun show's manager, George Fernandez, told the station he's never witnessed such a large crowd, he concerned about the recent push for addition gun-control legislation in the wake of the recent deadly mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school.

"Some of persons that are attending are afraid that further legislation might impact their gun ownership rights," Fernandez told WTSP.

Florida Gun Show manager George Fernandez (Image source: WTSP-TV video screenshot)

What gun-control measures are being considered?

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (Fla.) told the station he wants to close the so-called "gun-show loophole," which allows purchases at gun shows without background checks — as well as an assault weapons ban.

"When the NRA killed the law in 2004, the number of deaths as a result of assault weapons has grown up like a rocket taking off,” Nelson told WTSP.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (Image source: WTSP-TV video screenshot)

Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott's "action plan" to keep kids safe includes raising the legal age to buy a gun from 18 to 21, banning "bump stocks" and helping people who suffer from mental health issues, the station reported.

What does Fernandez have to say about possible legislation?

Fernandez told WTSP that about 95 percent of the vendors at the Tampa gun show are licensed dealers legally required to run background checks on buyers — and the remaining 5 percent of vendors are private citizens.

Image source: WTSP-TV video screenshot

Several Florida counties have passed ordinances requiring private citizens to run background checks on gun buyers also, the station said.

But Fernandez added to WTSP that tightening the gun-show loophole wouldn't have stopped the recent deadly mass shooting at Parkland, as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz passed a background check before buying an AR-15.

Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz (Image source: WTSP-TV video screenshot)

“This was a mental health issue," Fernandez also told the station. "This is someone that should have been identified from the beginning by law enforcement."

What did a dad protesting the gun show have to say?

"If you want to protect yourself, get yourself a revolver or how about learning how to fight,” Sergio Gonzalez told WTSP.

What is the Florida Gun Show doing next?

The company canceled next month's event in Fort Lauderdale after the mayor asked that the outfit show respect to the Parkland victims, but it will sponsor another Tampa show in late April or early June, the station said.

One last thing…
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