KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Chilhowee Park hosts several gun shows a year, but after this year, they will no longer be allowed.
In September, Knoxville’s city council passed a resolution to ban gun shows at city-owned properties. There were mixed feelings about the resolution; some for, and some against.
At one of the last gun shows on Saturday, protesters gathered to demand that guns not be sold in their neighborhoods.
“We feel like it doesn’t make sense to have a gun show in a gun zone in a community that has dealt with so much gun violence,” said Lawrence Williams, organizer of the protest.
Organizers of gun shows in the area feel that the resolution was misguided.
“According to the U.S. Department of Justice, it says, among prisoners who possessed a firearm during their offense, only .08 percent obtained their firearm from a gun show. So 99.2 percent of guns used in crime do not come from here.” said Torin Kehrli, manager of the gun show.
Torin also feels that the lack of gun shows in the area will affect the city’s economy.
“We usually have about 90 to about 140 businesses set up in here, and each one of them gets a hotel room for the entire weekend, eats out every meal and goes to the bars and gets gas. So that will have a significant economic impact considering we do this show several times a year.” Torin said.
Michael Branam attends many gun shows, and he says he’s not happy with the resolution and would like to keep the gun shows in the city.
“I feel like they’re trying to take away our gun rights as US citizens. We’re not here to hurt anybody. We’re just here to do a hobby that we love.” Branam said.
There is one more gun show scheduled to take place at Chilhowee Park this year, then after that, there will be no more gun shows at that location.
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