Florida Gun Show goes on in Pembroke Pines despite opposition

After mass shootings, some in Pembroke Pines fear 'gun show loophole'

By Janine Stanwood - Anchor/Reporter, Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. - A gun show is coming to Pembroke Pines, but some residents and commissioners said they don't want it after the recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. 

Opponents said they are concerned about the "gun show loophole" -- private gun sales that happen at some shows that don't require background checks.

The show is scheduled for Saturday at the Charles F. Dodge City Center.

"We built a civic center at the request of the residents of Pembroke Pines so that they would have a family-friendly place to go," Pembroke Pines Commissioner Angelo Castillo said.

Khaled Akkawi, organizer of the Florida Gun Show, said this won't stop the event from happening this weekend. 

"I've been doing it for 40 years and we've never had an incident," he told Local 10 News reporter Janine Stanwood.

Akkawi said his sellers are licensed dealers who adhere to regulations that require background checks and waiting periods. 

"Unless you have a Florida concealed carry permit, you can't take it home with you," he said. "You have to go through the five-day waiting period and the background check."

After the 2018 Valentine's Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fort Lauderdale residents protested against a Florida Gun Show event. City leaders in Fort Lauderdale are now in a battle to ban gun shows for good.

"Nothing that goes on at the gun show is different than what goes on at the 40 or 50 gun stores in Broward County," Akkawi said.

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