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Gun Show In Fort Myers One Week After Vegas

Two people enter the Lee Civic Center to attend a gun show hosted a week after the Las Vegas shooting.
Quincy J. Walters
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Hundreds of people flocked to a gun show in Fort Myers this past weekend. Sunday also marked a week since the largest recorded mass shooting in modern U.S. history, where 58 people were shot and killed at a music festival in Las Vegas. 

At the entrance of the Lee Civic Center, people walked out of the weekend-long event hosted by Florida Gun Shows with ammunition, shotguns and funnel cakes.

Jennifer Hendry came out with a shotgun on her shoulder. 

"A 20 gauge," said Hendry. "And it’s camouflaged and that’s what we’re looking for."

She said she wanted the gun for hunting. It’s duck season next month.

Hendry said Las Vegas was on her mind.

“There needs to be some regulation, but you know, people are going to kill people no matter what," she said. "Whether it’s with a knife or a gun.”

Jose Gomez walked out of the Civic Center after buying 1,000 rounds of AK-47 ammo to shoot in his backyard.

"That's messed up what happened in Vegas," said Gomez. "But what are tougher gun laws going to do? They'll just prevent good people from being able to protect themselves."

Two security guards tell me to leave the gun show. 

"It’s not public," one said. "It belongs to the promoter. So, unless you go through them you have to leave."

Scott Mongeon helps manage the gun show. Over the phone, he said his heart is heavy with what happened in Vegas, but the venue was booked two to three years in advance.

He said the show must go on.

"With this line of work, we do 44 gun shows a year. So, it’s not like it’s a snow day ‘oh. We gotta take the weekend off'," said Mongeon.  "It wasn’t because we’re heartless people."

Mongeon said not as many people turned out this weekend as he’d hoped. The next gun show in Fort Myers will be in December. 

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Quincy Walters is a reporter and backup host for WGCU.