Sandy, UT. – The students and survivors of the February Parkland, Florida high school shooting have secured a new venue in Utah from which to hold their planned town hall style gun reform meeting. The student group announced on Thursday they would move their Saturday, July 14th, March for Our Lives meeting to a new location at the Mountain America Expo Center located in Sandy, UT. The move comes after the Larry H. Miller Group withdrew from the contract to host the event at it’s Megaplex Theatres. The Larry H. Miller Group said in a statement that the event was “escalating into a potentially contentious situation.”, and felt that additional security may be required. The release also stated that they continue to support “important and respectful dialogue on any issue that impacts our community.”
Since June, the Road to Change Tour has been visiting U.S. cities affected by gun violence in addition to places where the National Rifle Association has backed local politicians. The Parkland students will join with local organizers of the Utah branch of the March for Our Lives organization to lead the discussion at this weekends town hall.
On Wednesday, when the Larry H. Miller Group first withdrew their offer to host, the Students received an offer from The Utah Gun Exchange, to host the event at their headquarters. The students declined the offer, stating they wanted a gun-free location. The UGE group has been following behind the students, as they speak across the country, in a military-inspired armored vehicle. To this point, the back and fourth between the two groups on social media and in press releases has appeared amicable.
The Utah Gun exchange is also setting up a Freedom Rally event to be held at their Sandy facility prior to the July, 14th March For Our Lives town hall, the UGE group is then planning to attend the students town hall meeting. The UGE has asked that it’s supporters to be respectful to the Mountain America Expo Center grounds, to conduct themselves in a respectful and peaceful manner, and informed them that the event inside the Expo Center hall, itself, is gun free.