Rod and gun show ‘waiting for rubber stamp’ from Surrey city hall

Organizers say they'll jump through any hoop the city wants in order to obtain permit.

Members of the Thunderbirds club in a quick-draw demo at last year’s BC Rod and Gun Show in Cloverdale.

CLOVERDALE — Organizers of the BC Rod and Gun Show say they are still “waiting for the rubber stamp” from city hall.

Last week, the city shot down a permit for the second annual event, set for April 15 to 17 at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.

The matter was sent back to staff in order to receive “missing information.”

Council requested a detailed event security plan, to be reviewed and approved by the RCMP, and a breakdown of what items will be sold in terms of the kinds of firearms and ammunition.

“We want a complete review,” Hepner told the Now last week. “Quite honestly, to be frank, when I heard ‘Rod and Gun Show’ I took it to be an outdoors show and didn’t realize there would actually be handguns at the show.

“Quite frankly, I don’t think that’s a necessary part of the show in Surrey at all.”

The next council meeting is set for April 11, and seeing as the show is set to begin just four days later, Hepner said, “my guess is we’ll have to postpone that show. I don’t think they can meet any of the requirements they need to meet in advance.”

On Tuesday morning, when the Now asked where the show stands, show manager Steven Bednash remarked, “Nothing to tell you.”

“We have not heard back from the RCMP, though they have everything. We’re told (Thursday) they’re meeting.

“We don’t foresee an issue,” he added. “We’re just waiting for the rubber stamp right now.”

The inaugural 2015 BC Rod and Gun Show drew about 8,500 people, according to its website.

“We didn’t have one incident last year,” said Bednash, noting they had a large security presence and even closed-circuit cameras.

“We’re serious about safety.”

Bednash emphasized that the show will get gun transactions off the street, into a safe environment, with police in attendance.

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