Maryland County Bans Gun Shows, Will Ask Questions Later

Prince George's County of Maryland has taken a bold step in its quest to limit gun violence: it is banning gun shows. Like not enough gun shots, the real effect may be in the gun show ban's symbolism.

While Congress slogs along at its typical slothly speed toward attempting some sort of gun legislation, one Marlyland County took matters into its own hands: Prince George’s County has banned gun shows.

"Right now, it's in everyone's advantage to put this on hold until we find out what's really going on," Prince George’s County Parks and Planning Commission's Anita Pesses explained, referring to the uncertainty around legislation being considered both federally and statewide.

While it's true that starting from zero may make it easier for Prince George's County to instate new gun laws if and when they are passed, Pesses' tone undercuts the drama of the ban. Gun shows have received more attention lately, as a way for gun buyers to avoid background checks (though some reports dispute this).

One gun show, the Silverado Gun Show, planned for this weekend, was cancelled by the ban. Gun enthusiasts were upset by the move.

"It's just a knee jerk reaction to the tragedies that have occurred," Jack Donald, a local gun seller opined. While it's true that the Sandy Hook tragedy brought gun issues to the forefront, America as a whole sees about one Sandy Hook tragedy's worth of gun-related deaths every day.

Pesses says the ban isn't intended to stop lawful gun buyers.

"It's really whether or not the county wants to participate in hosting gun shows on public property on taxpayer facilities," she said.

As much as Pesses, and Prince George's County as a whole tries to downplay the gun show ban, it is a major step that other left-leaning counties will consider taking, and having one county take the plunge makes it more likely for others to do so.

One final note: in researching this story, I only found coverage skewed toward "gun freedom" advocates. I don't know whether or not Prince George's County's gun ban will help or hurt or neither, but I salute them for trying something bold, because America's gun problem is not a few isolated tragedies, it is a daily war happening on our streets.

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