Anti-gun violence vigil held outside gun show

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Inside Century II Expo Hall today was a gun and knife show with more than 100 vendors selling firearms, knives and accessories.

Outside Century II, the Wichita Coalition Against Gun Violence held a vigil for those who have lost their lives in recent gun-related attacks.

Rev. Michael Poage  is co-director of the Coalition. He says there are many reasons he wanted to hold a vigil at Century II today.

"Well one reason are the three flags at half mast back here," Poage said. "That's been the scene too often - too many killings. Too many guns, too many killings."

One piece of legislation the Coalition would like to change is Kansas law regarding background checks for guns purchased at gun shows.

The law says background checks are not required for buying guns from an individual at a gun show.

Phil Journey, a local judge and gun hobbyist, has a booth in the gun show. He says the issue isn't with the guns, but rather the individuals.

"It's just a tool, you know, you can kill someone with a tool," Journey said.

Journey says that while not all vendors are federally licensed dealers, there are some at the show that do require background checks.

"Currently, if someone purchases a firearm here from a federally licensed dealer, they undergo the same background check that they would if they bought it in the store," he said. "They don't receive delivery of the item until they've cleared the background check."

Poage believes that background checks should be required across the board.

"A gun show is in a way the best place to buy guns because there's minimal, if any, tracking," he said.

According to Poage, the Coalition seeks more than anything, proper education and legislation  for stricter regulation on buying a gun.

"Which doesn't mean we're against guns, we're just against misuse of guns."

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