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Milwaukee County Board Nixes Gun Shows At Sports Complex, Reduces Marijuana Possession Fines To $1

Gun Display Stands. Pistols for sale in the store.
Lutsenko Oleksandr
The Milwaukee County Board will not move forward with a proposal to bring gun shows back to the Milwaukee county Sports Complex in Franklin.

The Milwaukee County Board has decided not to allow gun shows to continue at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex in Franklin, after all. The Board voted 13-3 Thursday to reject a proposal to revive the shows, which had been held biannually for years.

The shows came to a halt in 2020 when County Parks officials reminded organizers of an ordinance that forbids dangerous weapons in county buildings.

The Board passed the ordinance in 2012 when Wisconsin adopted concealed carry laws. A couple of supervisors then introduced an amendment to make an exception for the gun shows.

One person who voted to reject the amendment was Supervisor Liz Sumner, whose district covers parts of the county’s northern suburbs. She said allowing the gun shows to continue would send the wrong message, given recent events in Boulder and Atlanta.

“In the wake of two mass shootings in one week’s time, just a month after a workplace shooting in Oconomowoc, and in light of the reasons I have stated here, I urge you to consider the impact of your decision on the future families and residents of not only Milwaukee County but also Wisconsin and surrounding states. Please reject the proposal to allow gun shows and gun sales on county grounds,” said Sumner.

Supervisor Patti Logsdon represents parts of Milwaukee County’s southern suburbs and was the author of the resolution. She urged the Board to approve the gun shows, citing the money the shows have made for the county.

“We have had this gun show event held at Milwaukee County Sports Complex for decades with hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue brought in and generated for the parks. Only when in response to a change in gun law in Madison did Milwaukee County update their ordinance and at that time it was discovered there was an oversight, that we did not write this resolution with a gun show in mind to continue,” said Logsdon.

The County Board also voted nearly unanimously Thursday to reduce fines for possessing 25 grams or less of marijuana to no more than $1. Supervisors in favor of the measure argued it helps address racial and economic disparities in the county.

Marti was a reporter with WUWM from 1999 to 2021.
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