Gun show takes extra measures

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Last month’s accidental discharge of a rifle at the Tupelo Gun & Knife Show won’t be repeated, show officials said.
The monthly event kicks off today at 5 p.m. at the Tupelo Furniture Market complex on Coley Road.
“We’ve never had something like that happen in the more than 20 years we’ve hosted the gun and knife show,” said Adam Cleveland, the market’s executive vice president. “But we’ve taken extra measures to make sure it will continue to be a safe and enjoyable event for exhibitors and attendees alike.”
At last month’s show, a bullet went through a wall in Building V of the market when a rifle was discharged accidentally. Fragments of the bullet struck a child, who was entering the show with his father, officials said. Another fragment grazed a man on the leg.
The child was taken by ambulance and the man drove himself to North Mississippi Medical Center. Neither injury was life-threatening, according to law enforcement. No names were released, and no charges have been filed.
Cleveland said the rifle was brought through the back of the building to an exhibitor’s booth, bypassing checks by officials mainly stationed at the entrance of the show.
“We always check every gun coming through the lobby to make sure they’re safe and secure,” he said.
Procedures will be reinforced that every gun is checked before it is shown on the exhibitor floor, he said.
“We’ve made sure we’ve spoken to all our vendors of the proper procedures and that they know what those procedures are,” Cleveland said.
Additional security will be on hand to double-check all weapons, he said.
The show draws 75 to 100 exhibitors to each show, and attracts thousands of attendees from Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama.
Guns and knives are traded, bought and sold, and appraisals also are conducted.
The show is open today from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $6. There is no charge for those under 12, who must be accompanied by a parent.
dennis.seid@journalinc.com