D.S. Arms was given the boot at the Wizard World Comic-Con, after show management gave into pressures from online bloggers and a few uneducated anti-gun individuals.
The gun manufacturer purchased the booth space months prior to the event, only to find out 40 minutes before it started that they were “disinvited.”
— Chicago oGoing (@ChicagooGoing) August 16, 2016
— Chicagoist (@Chicagoist) August 19, 2016
D.S. Arms released the following statement, which summarizes the whole ordeal:
“STATEMENT FROM D.S. ARMS
Re: Wizard World, Comic Con, Rosemont IL.
We know firearms and personal protection is a divisive issue. Due to pressures from online bloggers and a few uneducated antigun individuals along with unknown forces behind the scenes – we were denied access to our booth area for this event. We had already set up our booth display Wednesday the day before the start of the show in our contracted for booth space. We arrived Thursday with all of our equipment for the show and were met there by show staff and security. They stated they would not let us complete the setup of our display and wouldn’t let us know a reason why, however, the reason slipped out of one show officials mouth, “you are a gun dealer”. While a company like Wizard World may be able to decide who it wants at its shows – it cannot without serious consequences decide to break the contract that they made with us. We were approved multiple times over a period of months to do this show by the show management at Wizard World. They publically flip-flopped 4 times concerning our attendance after pressure from online bloggers. Only the day before they had confirmed with us that our attendance was still authorized. Then to add insult to injury, Wizard World “disinvited” us in person at 2:20 PM, literally only 40 minutes before the show was to start at 3:00 PM. Admittedly, we offer for sale both replica and real firearms. We are also a licensed manufacturer and importer of legal firearms. However, due to our agreement with Wizard World and most importantly to remain in compliance with federal and state laws, we could not sell any real firearms at the Comic Con show, regardless of the misinformation peddled by the online bloggers. The truth is that we never intended to sell firearms at the show – and Wizard World knew this. A large amount of effort and expense on our part went into this event. Due to breach of contract on the show’s side we regret that you could not see what we had to display there. We are certain our booth would have been the most popular one in the entire show besides actual celebrities. We view this as another attack on all of our 1st and 2nd Amendment rights. These types of underhanded attacks will continue until the silent majority breaks its silence. Until then we will continue to fight the good fight – alone if necessary! Your friends at D.S. Arms.”
— Mark LeBien (@marklebien) August 19, 2016
It’s pretty clear cut to see what happened here. The show staff received an overwhelming outpouring of cries and concerns from bloggers and anti-gun individuals about there being a gun dealer at the show, so they decided to exclude them from the event. You can look at this any way you want, but we consider this an attack on 1st and 2nd Amendment rights.