Horry Co. Democrats to hold vigil outside Myrtle Beach Gun Show

Facebook image for the HCDP's vigil and demonstration at the gun show. (Source: HCDP on Facebook)
Facebook image for the HCDP's vigil and demonstration at the gun show. (Source: HCDP on Facebook)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) -  The Myrtle Beach Gun Show is scheduled to take place this weekend at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, and the Horry County Democratic Party is planning to hold a vigil for the victims of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida outside the event.

The Myrtle Beach Gun and Knife Show will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Horry County Democratic Party will be holding a "Gun Sense Memorial Vigil and Demonstration" at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Gun show organizer Mike Kent said the Myrtle Beach Gun Show is the largest in South Carolina, and he anticipates large crowds at the event.

"People do tend to think sometimes that maybe legislations forthcoming will take away their rights so they do tend to come out to gun shows," he said. "We've been doing this for a long, long time and we've weathered a number of shootings of various types, and it's not a situation that we feel would cause any good or any bad if we canceled our show. We've got long-term contracts with our buildings throughout the south and we've never had to cancel a show in 25 years. It's business as usual with us."

Kent says safety is his biggest priority this weekend.

"We check every single gun that comes in the door for seller trade," he said. "We have a police officer on duty who checks to make sure it's not loaded, ties it so cartridges cannot be inserted in it, but we're very, very big on safety at these shows.

Bennie Swans, with Horry County Democratic Party, said Sunday's event will not be a protest, but a vigil.

"I'm a veteran. I carry the scars with me today from gunshot wounds from Vietnam. I've seen the effects of automatic assault rifle weapons. I don't think that there's a need for that," said Swans. "I don't want to step on the Second Amendment. I think that people should have rights, but let's not get carried away. Let's not get ridiculous. Let us not place the lives of our law enforcement and children in continual jeopardy."

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