Owensboro lawyer questions use of Sportscenter for gun shows

Local News

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) In Owensboro, a lawyer wants city officials to stop gun shows from being held at the Sportscenter. But some say other laws prohibit them from taking action.

Gun shows have been held at the Sportscenter for many years.

“This is something that’s been going on in the Sportscenter for nearly 40 years,” says Owensboro City Attorney Steve Lynn.

“If the reason we are doing something is because it’s always been done this way, it’s generally not a great justification,” says Clay Wilkey, who believes the city should prohibit future shows from happening at the place they own. He says a federal law prohibits gun sales within 1,000 feet of a school, adding the Sportscenter is within that range of Owensboro Catholic High School.

“If the city is to be believed they made something less than $300 off the last gun show, why if we only stand to gain $300 off the last gun show, are we doing this,” Wilkey says.

Robert Alvey, whose company operates a gun show happening at the Sportscenter later this month, says he’s not surprised about the complaint, but it’s the first he’s heard one based on federal law. He adds he follows all federal and state laws regarding gun shows. Lynn says a state law prohibits cities and counties from making their own laws restricting sales or carrying firearms.

“They tell the cities and counties that the general assembly is the only body that will make any rules or prohibitions on firearms, that the cities and counties are unable to do that,” he says.

He also says he’s talked with ATF lawyers on the issue and was told they wouldn’t be violating federal law if requirements on keeping guns secure are met.

Wilkey also says he plans to get an opinion from the Kentucky Attorney General’s office on the matter.

Lynn adds if the ATF told them gun shows could not be held at the Sportscenter, they would comply with that request.

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(This story was originally published on September 11, 2019)

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