WBCSD approves gun show venue

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PRIEST RIVER — The upcoming spring gun show will see a couple of changes in the rules, as well as the addition of a free breakfast.

“Our insurance carrier upped the premiums, naturally, and there are a couple of things we have to do,” said Gary Lammers with Kaniksu Masonic Lodge No. 97, the organization that hosts the gun show twice a year.

The new rules, he said, include no black powder, though vendors can still have black powder firearms. In addition, no loose ammunition will be allowed.

“A lot of people buy ammunition through our vendors, but they can not have any loose ammunition on the tables,” he said.

Lammers made the announcement as he presented to the West Bonner County School District trustees during their February meeting. While he said he has made the presentation in excess of 20 times, he reminded the school board that when there are no kids at the school, the attorney general has stated that it is “just a building” and is therefore not required to be gun free.

The spring show is scheduled for March 31-April 1, and since it falls on Easter Sunday, Lammers said the lodge would like to offer a free pancake and egg breakfast to anyone who stops by Sunday morning. He ensured the trustees and school staff they would not need to use the kitchen or any other facilities, as the food would be cooked outside.

“And we hope that free breakfast will help our attendance on Sunday,” Lammers said.

Attendance on Sundays is typically 300-400 “at best,” he said, while Saturdays usually see around 600-700 patrons.

There will also be concessions sold by the Order of the Eastern Star throughout the show.

As usual, Lammers said, while vendors are allowed to sell other items, there must be three gun-related items on their table for sale. No loaded guns are allowed in the school, save for Lammers and on-duty law enforcement.

“If you have a concealed weapons permit, that’s great, but you have to take your gun out and put it in your car and not bring a loaded gun into the school,” Lammers said.

Money raised through the gunshow is used to help out local students and schools. The lodge provides two $750 scholarships each year, and this year purchased new shoes for students of Idaho Hill and Priest River elementaries. The group raised $1,790 for the school robotics class during a dinner and silent auction.

Priest River Junior High Principal Leoni Johnson said the lodge provides the junior high with $1,000 from each show, raised through a gun raffle. Lammers said they have provided more than $20,000 to the junior high over the years.

“And if the gun raffle fails to meet the threshold of $1,000, we make up the difference,” Lammers said.

Some of the things the junior high has used the funds for, Johnson said, include after school tutoring, school supplies, lighting upgrades and desk upgrades.

Leoni - And we used some of it in the fall to update some of our desks as well.

Following Lammers’ presentation, the board unanimously approved his request for use of the junior high.

Mary Malone can be reached by email at mmalone@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.

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