Anger at vendor selling toy guns at Airbourne

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A visitor to Airbourne has slammed a decision to allow a stallholder to sell mock guns at the family event.

Rebecca Knowles visited the air show last Friday (August 14) where she discovered the fake guns being sold to visitors.

Ms Knowles said she found it “completely distasteful”, especially so soon after this summer’s Tunisian beach massacre.

She said: “I visited the Eastbourne air show on Friday and thoroughly enjoyed the event.

“It was a great atmosphere, amazing aerial display and showcased Eastbourne’s beauty and uniqueness.

“However I found the decision to allow a promenade vendor to sell mock AK47 rifles and other ‘toy’ high powered guns completely distasteful in light of the recent Tunisian beach massacre, where 30 British people lost their lives.”

Ms Knowles has complained to Eastbourne Borough Council and is urging the local authority to vet vendors more closely in the future.

In a letter to EBC, Ms Knowles said: “Is this the best choice of product to peddle for a family fun day on a beach front?

“I found the stall offensive and distasteful and hope in the future you could make a conscious, more considered choice about who can sell at such an important event for Eastbourne, not just taking on who ever is willing to pay the pitch fee.”

But the council has defended the decision to allow the items to be sold at the event, pointing out toy military weapons are also available to buy from many high street stores.

Eastbourne Borough Council senior head of tourism and enterprise Phil Evans said: “Mock rifles and other toy military weapons are sold in many well-known high street shops such as Tesco, Poundland and Toys’R’Us, so we don’t feel that it is necessary to ban such items from being sold by traders at Airbourne.

“However, we are sorry if this may have caused offence to any other visitors as well as to R Knowles, who has passed on their thoughts to the Herald.”

* What do you think? We would love to hear your views - email eastbourne.herald@jpress.co.uk