Orlando gun show may be canceled because of George Zimmerman

Event space learns organizers invited Zimmerman to be featured guest

Published On: Mar 06 2014 10:44:04 PM EST   Updated On: Mar 07 2014 09:43:35 AM EST
Zimmerman gun show
ORLANDO, Fla. -

A local gun show with about 100 vendors may be canceled after the event space learned the organizers had invited George Zimmerman to be a featured guest.

The sign outside The Majestic at 801 North John Young Parkway implies this weekend's gun show is still on. Organizers for "The New Orlando Gun Show" told Local 6 The Majestic canceled their event late Thursday.

"We've had discussions with The Majestic and they decided to cancel the event because George Zimmerman was making an appearance," said Mike Piwowarski, who organized the gun show.

The gun show organizers recently posted on their Facebook page a picture posing with Zimmerman, but the online comments that followed the picture sparked a controversial debate. It's exactly that kind of polarizing debate that caused The Majestic to shy away from allowing Zimmerman at the event.

A Twitter account that Zimmerman has used before tweeted, "another company bowing to threats of being labeled racist. Americans, give them your opinion."

"The New Orlando Gun Show" organizers said they have had a year-long contract with The Majestic, but only recently asked Zimmerman to be the featured guest. Promotions for his attendance created controversy.

"The event center asked us to do a few things when they found out Mr. Zimmerman was present; pull down posts, pull down announcement that he was going to be there. We did all of that when they asked us to do it. They rescheduled the event. Then they later went on to cancel it again, after we complied with all of their requests," said Piwowarski.

If the show remains canceled, Piwowarski and about 100 gun dealers could stand to lose thousands of dollars, which is why gun show organizers plan to go to court tomorrow to try to keep the event running. Piwowarski said his contract said nothing about who can and cannot attend.

Local 6 called and emailed managers at The Majestic but no one has replied.