Gun shows draw more scrutiny - FOX 13 News

Gun shows draw more scrutiny

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A gun show in Orlando over the weekend attracted record crowds: 9,000 people attended on Saturday alone. Usually, 3,000 people come out to the show over the course of the entire weekend.

It's evidence that the gun control debate is intensifying once again, as the Obama administration promises stricter gun laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Gun sales are booming in the Bay Area, as well. Heath Schneider, owner of 5th Avenue Jewelry and Pawn in Port Richey, says it's hard to keep up with demand.

"The volume of what we've been selling in the past four weeks has just tripled," Schneider said.

From weapons to ammunition, he says demand has grown exponentially.

"We ordered a little over 7,000 rounds (last week) and we have about 1,500 rounds left and I can probably sell those today," Schneider said.

Whether to close the gun show loophole is one of the main issues being debated. In some states, people can buy weapons at gun shows without undergoing background checks.

In 1998, Florida voters decided that it should be up to individual counties to regulate gun shows. At the end of December, Pasco County Democratic Party Chairman Lynn Lindeman wrote a letter to county commissioners asking them to pass an ordinance that would require background checks and a three-day waiting period in order to purchase a gun at a gun show in the county.

"Pinellas County has passed this legislation. Hernando County has passed this. Hillsborough has passed this," said Lindeman. "We're sort of the loophole in the middle of all these counties."

Lindeman says an ordinance in Pasco would be one small step, but insists it's not about taking away people's guns.

"I don't want to see any children buried in Pasco County because our commissioners failed to close this loop hole," he said.

Commissioner Henry Wilson, who once proposed developing a gun range in Pasco County as a way to increase county revenues, says he is still researching Lindeman's proposal, but he's willing to have a discussion. Wilson also says that initially, he's hesitant because with every law comes further restrictions on people's freedoms.

The Pasco County Commission will meet Tuesday for the first time since receiving Lindeman's letter. The issue is not on the agenda, but Wilson says it may be discussed.

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