Surrey city council puts B.C. Rod and Gun Show on hold
Event organizers say safety is a top priority for the family-friendly hunting and fishing show
City councillors in Surrey, B.C., have put an upcoming hunting and fishing show on hold due to security concerns.
Surrey city council has yet to approve a permit for the second annual B.C. Rod and Gun Show, set to take place at the Cloverdale Fairground in mid-April.
"We want to ensure that this event is being held in a safe manner and that there are no illegal firearms that are going to be going through," said Coun. Dave Woods.
But council doesn't meet again until April 11, four days before the event is scheduled to take place.
The mayor and council had previously spoken in favour of the event, but this week Surrey RCMP said it needed more time to review the organizers' security plan.
Event manager Steve Badnash said the family-friendly show is geared towards hunters, fishermen and campers — not gangsters.
He said no one at the event can have access to any gun with out a police background check and and license.
"We will address any concerns the City of Surrey has as far as security is concerned," he said. "If they don't want handguns, that's not a problem."
There weren't many handguns at last year's event, said Badnash, and the only ones that were there were antiques locked up in cases.
Bednash believes part of the problem comes from having the word "gun" in the event name. He says if they could, they'd call it the B.C. Hunting Show, but the name has already been taken.
The two sides continue to talk.
With files from Deborah Goble