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Nevada County Fairgrounds board votes down gun show

It wasn’t arguments or ideology that led the Nevada County Fairgrounds to vote down a gun show at its Main Street Center.

Instead it was overflowing trash cans and improperly stacked tables from the last gun show held at the fairgrounds, CEO Patrick Eidman said.

The fairgrounds board voted 5-to-1 at its Tuesday meeting to deny an application by Guy Meyers to hold a gun show on March 30 and 31. Director Jim Franks opposed, Eidman said.

“Based on contract performance issues, they ultimately declined or denied his facility rental application,” Eidman said.

Contacted Wednesday, Meyers said he couldn’t speak until today because of time constraints.

According to Eidman, workers took seven hours to clean the facility after the 2017 gun show. Additionally, trash bins were overfilled and tables not stacked properly. A $323 bill issued in April 2017 wasn’t paid until March 2018. County officials said permitting for food vendors wasn’t filed.

People on both sides of the issue spoke during public comment.

One of them was Amanda Wilcox, whose daughter Laura and two others were fatally shot in 2001. A gun show happened in Nevada County about three weeks after their deaths. Another followed in 2002. Then they stopped for 15 years.

“I attended the gun show two years ago,” Wilcox said. “I could tell people were having a good time. And I wondered, did my daughter’s killer, Scott Thorpe, have a good time, too? Did he get any of the 12 guns found in his home at the gun show?”

Wilcox said supporters and opponents spoke before they heard about the issues that concerned the fairgrounds board. The board then voted, not on ideology, but on issues with the 2017 show.

“The whole thing just makes me sad,” Wilcox said. “I’m sad that people are so far apart on this issue. We’re friends and neighbors.”

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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