Local/State

New rules apply for NC State Fairgrounds gun show

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A weekend gun show at the N.C. State Fairgrounds is the first test of new rules put in place after an accidental shooting last month.

The Capital City Gun Show began Saturday.

Attendees who came out told ABC11 they immediately noticed the changes over previous events, but most said they didn't mind.

"My wife and daughter came with me and I actually think it's pretty good. It's a very minimal risk in the first place of anything happening," offered gun show visitor Joshua Bell.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said visitors with guns must park in designated areas and use a separate entrance. The guns must be out of their cases with ammunition removed.

Security officers will continue to examine the guns and secure them with straps as they have in the past. Police are also working to prevent sales in parking lots.

If anything, Bell said the extra precautions made him feel that much safer. Plus, he found an unexpected bonus.

"I actually like it. It was a lot smoother getting through the door. It was less jumbled. And with the second entrance, I got in a lot faster than I would have if I hadn't brought a firearm," he explained.

A security guard and two other people were hurt at the fairgrounds on Jan. 19 after a shotgun went off as it was being checked at the show's entrance. The owner was planning to sell it at the show.

"There was a firearm discharged and it happened while they were trying to get it out of the case, and so they're trying to prevent that, another similar scenario," said gun show promoter Annette Elliott.

Elliot's company handles 90 gun shows a year and she said that what happened last month is very rare, but now there are even more precautions in place just to be on the safe side.

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(Copyright ©2014 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved - The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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