Nashville fairgrounds gun show operator appealing judge’s decision
Weapon enthusiasts had their sights set on the latest and newest guns and gear at a big industry trade show this week in Las Vegas, following President Barack Obamas efforts to tighten gun regulations. Experts say sales are up exponentially. (Jan. 20). A longtime gun show operator at The Fairgrounds Nashville is appealing a judge’s July decision to dismiss a lawsuit against Metro that was filed in hopes of stopping a new policy that is poised to halt gun shows at the fairgrounds beginning in January.
Attorneys for plaintiff Bill Goodman’s Gun and Knife Shows, which has rented property at the fairgrounds for more than three decades, last month filed a notice of appeal to the Tennessee Court of Appeals.
The notice came after Davidson County Chancellor Carol McCoy on July 5 threw out the lawsuit, arguing that the Kentucky-based operator led by David Goodman lacked standing to bring the suit because his rights had not been violated.
The lawsuit followed the Metro Board of Fair Commissioners’ controversial vote last December to halt renting space for future gun shows at the city-owned fairgrounds until new unless new rules are in place for the events. The safety measures include gun background checks for people who purchase firearms at the fairgrounds.
Plaintiffs, who also include the Tennessee Firearms Association, had requested that the court order the Metro fair board to block off weekends next to year to save slots for guns shows without any restrictions.
Last Friday, Chancellor Bill Young — who took on the case following the retirement of McCoy — denied the plaintiffs’ motion to amend the order, therefore reaffirming McCoy’s earlier decision.
The new order means that the gun show policy remains intact for now, though the outcome in the court of appeals will decide the policy’s ultimate fate.
McCoy had ruled that the fair board was within its authority to adopt the policy, saying there is no right to contract with Metro.
“We are undoubtedly saving lives by ending the absurd practice of taxpayer-funded gun sales without appropriate background checks,” fair board commissioner Kenny Byrd, the fair board’s biggest proponent of the new policy, said in response to Young’s order.
Although the board in December adopted a new policy for future guns shows, the board agreed to still fulfill existing contracts. As a result, the fairgrounds has continued to host Goodman’s gun shows this year and will do so through the end of this year. Gun shows at the fairgrounds are set to cease beginning in 2017 if Goodman does not agree to new rules.