INDIANAPOLIS — About 14 hours after a mass shooting left eight people dead and others injured at a FedEx facility on the southwest side, firearms enthusiasts stood in a long line to get inside the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show.
Some folks who attended said they were shocked and saddened by the senseless killings at the warehouse located 20 miles from where the gun and knife show was being held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Gun control was on the mind of Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett Friday. He said during a news conference that it’s time to find ways to “stop this cycle of violence that’s driven by readily accessible guns and I certainly intend to lead in that regard.”
But those who spoke to WRTV outside of the gun show said it would be unfair to punish them for the acts of criminals.
“It’s not the legal gun owners, it’s the illegal gun owners,” said Lionel Crittenden, 31, Indianapolis. “If you can stop bringing in the (illegal) guns, we wouldn’t have any issues.”
Crittenden said he is not opposed to more strict background checks before someone is allowed to purchase a firearm.
“I think they could be more strenuous with the background checks,” Crittenden said. “You shouldn’t be able to just come and get it right away.”
Bryce Staker, 24, Greenwood, agreed that background checks are a “good idea.”
“You don’t want any regular Joe off the street getting a firearm,” Staker said. “If they can pass a background check, if they are mentally stable, then sure, they should get a firearm.”
David McCullough, 48, Indianapolis, said he believes there should be no limits on gun ownership.
“I think crazy people will do crazy things and responsible people will be responsible,” said David McCullough, 48, Indianapolis. “You can’t judge a whole population upon one man’s actions.”
Organizers call this "the largest gun and knife show east of the Mississippi," but WRTV could not go in to verify the claim. They have a strict policy barring pictures and videos inside the showroom. All interviews took place in the parking lot or on the sidewalk at the Fair Grounds.
Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @vicryc.