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Fireworks seen over gun show

Should the annual gun show at the Nevada County Fairgrounds return this winter?

Expecting many responses to that question, Fair Board CEO Ed Scofield moved Tuesday night’s meeting to a larger venue – the Senior Center, adjacent to the board’s standard meeting room.

Last year’s permit meeting drew 20 to 25 people, most of them gun show opponents.



This year, Scofield expects a larger crowd, partly because the show organizer, Larry Urrutia, recently pleaded no contest to an infraction for allowing illegal gun sales at last year’s show, and because of the buzz surrounding the anti-gun documentary “Bowling for Columbine,” which showed in Nevada City.

Efforts to reach Urrutia, who seeks approval to hold his annual show, which he’s held for several years, were unsuccessful.




The show’s leading opponents, Nick and Amanda Wilcox, hope to stop the show, claiming such venues inherently lead to illegal firearms sales. Last year the board rejected that argument and voted 8-1 to grant Urrutia permission for another show.

This year the Wilcoxes plan to use Urrutia’s recent conviction stemming from last winter’s fairgrounds show as a point of contention. The Wilcoxes’ daughter, Laura, was among three people killed in the Jan. 10, 2001, shootings.

At last winter’s show, State Department of Justice agents spotted vendor John Crabtree selling two illegal firearms, assault rifles with grenade launchers, to a buyer while ignoring the 10-day waiting period, and the buyer exited the building with them, according to a DOJ report.

Further, Crabtree was unlicensed to sell such guns, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Crabtree pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor, Urrutia to a infraction, which is less serious than a misdemeanor. Both men were fined at sentencing.

Urrutia, after his arraignment in June, said stopping illegal gun sales was “asking a lot for a promoter and his security …”

The Wilcoxes counter that Urrutia had seven security people to watch 22 vendors and one exit.

Urrutia’s lawyer, Chuck Michel, said his client has since planned a better checking system.

`KNOW & GO

WHAT: Nevada County Fair Board meeting

WHEN: 7 p.m., Tuesday

WHERE: Senior Center at the fairgrounds

ON THE AGENDA: Discuss proposed contract with U.S. Gun Traders to hold a gun show on the fairgrounds Feb. 8 & 9.


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