Local News

Ag Department adopts new rules for gun shows after shooting

Posted February 19, 2013 12:27 p.m. EST
Updated February 19, 2013 1:12 p.m. EST

— A shooting at a gun show at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds last month has prompted the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt new regulations for such shows, officials said Tuesday.

Investigators said Gary Lynn Wilson, 36, of Wilmington, brought a 12-gauge shotgun to sell at the Dixie Gun and Knife Show on Jan. 19, but the weapon went off when Wilson removed it from its case at a security checkpoint.

Three people who were hit by shotgun pellets were treated and released from a local hospital the same day.

No charges were filed against Wilson in the case.

Beginning with the Capital City Gun Show at the State Fairgrounds this weekend, people who bring firearms to sell at gun shows at the fairgrounds or the Western N.C. Agricultural Center in Fletcher will have to park in a designated area and use a separate entrance.

Previously, there was a separate line for gun show visitors with firearms, but it was next to one for other attendees.

Under the new rules, firearms cannot be in cases. Also, the weapon’s action must be open, and all magazines, bullets or shells removed when show visitors leave their vehicles.

As with past shows, security officers will continue to examine firearms at the entrance and secure them with straps.

The Agriculture Department also intends to place a special emphasis on ensuring that no gun sales occur in parking lots, Chief of Police Joel Keith said.

"These new steps will enhance the protective measures already in place for gun shows that are held at the State Fairgrounds and Western N.C. Ag Center,” Keith said in a statement.