ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It appears gun shows are no longer allowed at Expo New Mexico, organizers of a recent show say their access was denied at the last minute. They say they were told by Expo officials that gun shows are no longer allowed at any state facility.
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For the past 40 years, the New Mexico Gun Collectors Association has hosted a gun show at the state fairgrounds but this year’s show, which was supposed to happen last weekend was canceled. Along with the upcoming Rocky Mountain Gun Show that was scheduled for the third weekend in November, KRQE News 13 asked Expo why the events were canceled.
“So this was a shock that they just called and said there is no longer gun shows allowed at state fairgrounds,” said Kaurosh Haroni, promoter for the Rocky Mountain Gun Show.
In a statement, they said there were no gun shows currently on the calendar adding that the state-run venue promoted the values of safe family fun so who determines what is family-friendly? Earlier this week, the Expo hosted a Cypress Hill concert that has what some people would call offensive and violent lyrics.
“They have a rap concert two days before with a group that is kind of notorious with gang association,” said Joaquin Romero, spokesperson for the Republican Leadership.
The sudden gun show cancellations have caught the attention of Senator Greg Schmedes. He says he’s been told there’s a directive from the governor’s office that gun shows are no longer allowed at state-run facilities. “This has nothing to do with COVID-19, this has nothing to do with fairs and shows in general… it’s specific to gun shows,” Sen. Schmedes said.
News 13 asked the governor’s office for a response on that supposed directive, they say there’s no policy to respond to and it’s their understanding no events were canceled because no events were scheduled.
Emails between another gun show organizer and officials at the Albuquerque Convention Center show that the AZ Radio Gun Show that was scheduled for September 11 and 12, have also been turned away. The email stating: “Given the current climate and the nature of your event we will not be able to host this event at this time.”
News 13 reached out to the Convention Center about the cancellation but was told nothing had been scheduled or canceled. The AZ Radio Gun Show that was supposed to be hosted at the Convention Center has since been moved to the Rio Rancho Convention Center. Sen. Schmedes says his office is currently looking into whether or not it is legal to pick and chose who can use a public facility.