. Can We Keep Guns Out of Meetings? | Meetings & Conventions

Can We Keep Guns Out of Meetings?

Planners, hotels and destinations seek a smart approach in a patchwork of policies.


Scene:   The Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown L.A., where a conference on international law is underway. Judges from all over the world are among the attendees. A woman approaches the registration desk to buy a pass for the day's program. No alarm bells go off: Her demeanor is professional; she is well-dressed and carrying a briefjcase. On-site registrations are not unusual for this event.

But soon her behavior becomes suspect: She is asking a lot of questions and seems overly interested in the identities of the other attendees, especially those in the judiciary. The registration staff calls security, and the would-be delegate starts to get unnerved.

Then it unravels: Security finds a loaded gun in her briefcase. Her intent was to kill one of the judges inside, according to a meetings industry consultant who was present. Police arrive and the would-be assailant is quickly arrested.

This incident, which took place more than 10 years ago, unfolded in the best way possible. Alert staff members, who had been trained for just such a scenario, sensed trouble and acted on their instincts; a tragic killing was averted. Learn what power planners and facilities have to guard against such incidents by reading more at our Northstar Meetings Group website.