Milwaukee County amendment to permit gun show sparks debate

The debate to allow a Milwaukee County gun show is underway.

Milwaukee County's Parks, Energy and Environment Committee held a meeting Tuesday, March 16 to amend a county ordinance that does not allow firearms inside county complexes.

For years, the Milwaukee Gun Show has been held at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex in Franklin. If a gun show were to continue, the ordinance has to be amended.

"This event is held twice a year. It brings in at a revenue cost of $12,000 per event plus any monies that were brought in via the concessions," Milwaukee County Supervisor Patti Logsdon said.

Milwaukee County Sports Complex in Franklin

During Tuesday's meeting, those in favor of the resolution said past shows at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex have gone on without incident.

"This event proves that if approached respectively, it can be safe and enjoyed by all," said Logsdon.

Supervisors opposed to the resolution expressed their concerns.

"The whole point is, we don’t know if guns or ammunition purchased there have been used in suicides or shootings or mass shootings that have taken place in Milwaukee or other places," said Milwaukee County Supervisor Ryan Clancy.

"This gun show hosts mainly 85% to 95% sellers, which means that most of the transactions will not be supported with a background check," Milwaukee County Supervisor Liz Sumner said.

Sumner also said during the meeting that gun violence is a public health issue, and the county's mission is to become the healthiest county in Wisconsin by achieving racial equity.

"I don’t believe that hosting events that support guns and the use of guns, even if it’s in a safe manner, is working towards that mission," said Sumner.

"I don’t think it’s fair to associate gun violence with legal, proper, and responsible gun ownership," Milwaukee County Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez said.

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The resolution passed the committee. It is expected to head to the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors next week.

The events, hosted by Bob and Rocco Gun Shows, attract people from Madison, Fond du Lac and Illinois.

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