The Nation’s Gun Show was set to have its event on November 20, 21, and 22. But due to an executive order issued by the governor of Virginia and a block from the state’s attorney general, the show is now canceled. The Nation’s Gun Show released a statement on November 18 expressing their disappointment in the cancelation and explaining this huge loss – losses that cannot be recovered – that businesses and vendors now face because of the cancelation only a few days before the event.
In their statement, The Nation’s Gun Show explained that they want to be open just like the Walmart that is across the street. They stated that they have taken all of the necessary precautions to keep visitors safe from the coronavirus and feel that they have gone above and beyond the necessary measures.
“We, the exhibitors, building staff and public have been very vigilant and gone above and beyond the state required COVID-19 safety measures. We have already had two shows with no known spread of COVID to exhibitors, staff or public. We are in a building more than 50,000 Sq. Ft. larger than the Walmart across the parking lot which remains open. We operate as a similar business model only temporarily in retail commercial business.”
They stated that they have filed a lawsuit in Fairfax County to get an injunction granted from the judge to allow the show to continue. The Nation’s Gun Show explained that legal fees are estimated to cost $35,000. They further explained the kind of losses that these businesses and vendors will face because of the shut down.
“The show takes months to put together and it is too late a notice for most of these businesses to recoup their losses. It will cause irreparable damage to all involved from the building, auxiliary businesses, the exhibitors, the promoter, the hotel, convenience stores, restaurants, and the strip mall. Exhibitors have significant investments in inventory, as do restaurants and convenience stores, much of which cannot be recouped. Please donate to the GoFundMe below to help us fight to protect these businesses.”
On November 19 The Nation’s Gun Show gave an update of the situation. Attorney General Mark Herring sent out a press release responding to the lawsuit. He claimed the event would be a super spreader. The statement went on to explain how their numbers of attendees compares to the number of shoppers that enter Walmart each day. That number is approximately the same and the event center where the show was scheduled to take place is far bigger than the Walmart, with broader aisles which would allow for social distancing. They said,
“Late yesterday Attorney General Mark Herring sent out a press release in response to the lawsuit that we filed in Fairfax county to allow us to open this weekend. He claims that we will be a super spreader, that we have a blatant disregard for the Covid virus, and that we could cause damage to the community. We are simply asking to be open like the Walmart is right across the parking lot from us and other Walmarts all over the state.”
The statement from the Nation’s Gun Show continued, “We just want to be able to operate on the same business model that Walmart is. We are arguing that we be classified as business retail under brick and mortar, and not entertainment and amusement. They are taking a broad brush across the state and labeling all event centers this way. Many people and businesses have been damaged and deemed nonessential. The Nation’s Gun Show is a place where like-minded people can get together to buy, sell and trade firearms, train and learn how to use them safely, which is protected by the 2nd amendment in the United States Constitution as well as the Virginia Constitution. We here at Showmasters still believe in the Constitution.
“We are bigger and better able to social distance. We limit our occupancy, everyone wears a mask and follows the COVID REQUIREMENTS. We have also had two shows already and have not been a super spreader. All we ask is that we are allowed to operate on the same type of business model and at the same level as the Walmart across the road. We are not entertainment and amusement. We will have at our show roughly the same number of people that will be going through any average Walmart in the state of Virginia and across the country every weekend.”
The Nation’s Gun Show took this to court and unfortunately lost after the Attorney General and Governor stepped in. The Fairfax County Health Department had originally given the go ahead for the event to continue. The AG and Gov. decided that all similar venues will be closed because too many people are at risk of being exposed to the virus. The Attorney General bragged in a tweet: