Lawful firearms carry is the law of the land in most places for the 145th National Rifle Association’s Annual Meeting and Exhibits in Kentucky this week.
Billed as “Freedom’s Safest Place” with over 500,000 sq. ft. of gun and accessory displays and more than 830 exhibitors ranging from 1791 Gunleather to ZEV, most areas of the Kentucky Exposition Center, KFC Yum Center Arena, and Kentucky International Convention Center will permit firearm carry in accordance with state and local laws. As all three are state-owned facilities, none prohibits the lawful concealed or open carry of firearms.
With that being said, there are some exceptions to this overall policy.
“Firearms and knives will be prohibited in any areas temporarily under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Secret Service,” noted Catherine Mortensen, an NRA spokesperson, in an email to Guns.com.
As the presumptive Republican nominee for President, Donald Trump, is attending the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action’s Leadership Forum on Friday among a crowd of guest speakers, that event and possibly others would likely see Secret Service exclusion zones established.
In addition, under Kentucky law, concealed firearms are prohibited in areas where alcoholic beverages are dispensed for on-premises consumption, and loaded firearms are prohibited in any room where alcoholic beverages are being sold by the drink, which would place some events such as mixers and receptions off limits.
The Second Amendment organization defaults to the local law and had much the same policy in their annual meeting last year in Nashville despite some confusion. In 2015, media outlets and gun control groups played up the fact that exhibited firearms at vendor booths and in presentations were made non-operational for liability reasons into a larger ban on the carry of guns overall.
The NRA Annual Meeting runs through Sunday and is expected to draw over 70,000 attendees.