Thousands attend gun show in Jacksonville after Biden orders gun control actions

Thousands of people from across the region flocked to the Jacksonville Fairgrounds for The North Florida Gun and Knife Show on Saturday. News4JAX reporter Zac Lashway stopped by to speak with the owner, a gun manufacturer and gun enthusiasts.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thousands of people attended the North Florida Gun and Knife Show over the weekend at the Duval County Fairgrounds.

The two-day event was held after President Joe Biden announced a half-dozen executive actions to combat gun violence. The president also called on Congress to pass legislation to reduce gun violence after recent mass shootings in Atlanta, Colorado and South Carolina.

“Anytime something comes out of Washington and they say the word ‘gun,’ everything goes up,” said Victor Bean, the owner of Southern Classic Gun and Knife Shows.

This weekend’s event attracted firstcomers and gun enthusiasts.

“Just a good selection of firearms, and today is my birthday, so maybe I will get myself a good birthday present,” Chris Carroll, who lives in Clay County, told News4Jax on Sunday.

Mike Chance, a Jacksonville resident, said he was looking forward to looking at ammunition.

“Well, it’s millions and millions of dollars’ worth of guns and ammo,” Bean said.

More than 283 vendors and 386 displays were at the show in Jacksonville, according to Bean.

“Everybody wants the self-defense right now, and the high-capacity mags, of course, they are talking about legislation right now,” Bean said. “We have the concealed weapons permit class here. It’s a one-stop shop. We do your electronic fingerprints with the state, your background check, the class, everything you need right here.”

Bean said they had 75 people go through the course this weekend, but at the last show in Jacksonville, they had 376 people take the course, 20% to 25% of whom were women.

Mike Cecala is with Spartac Manufacturing LLC. He said his company specializes in AR-15s.

“At the gun shows, most importantly, things are done the right way. Background checks are completed. The vendors are professional. We are a gun business,” Cecala said. “There are a lot of misconceptions out there that anybody can walk up to here and buy a gun. That’s just not true. We follow all the laws of the laws, with the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) and government, obviously.”

Bean said this weekend’s show attracted more than 6,500 people.

The North Florida Gun and Knife Show will be back in Jacksonville in July, according to Bean.

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