SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – You won’t find any gun shows at the Saratoga Springs City Center anymore, after local officials voted to ban them on city properties Friday morning.
The city center has hosted gun shows for years, but not without some controversy especially in the wake of several mass shootings across the country.
The latest massacre in Florida, initiating a call for action against gun shows in the city.
Gun shows or the sale and display of modern firearms and ammunition are banned from the City Center and any other city property in Saratoga Springs.
The measure passed unanimously at a special council meeting just days after it got the mark of approval from the City Center Authority.
Mayor Meg Kelly called this a beginning in making the city a safer place.
“It is merely one step in a larger effort to address safety of employees and residents of city facilities,” Kelly said.
It was met with both supporters and critics during a brief public comment period.
“What we’re asking people to do is to stop the easy access and this is one way to start,” said a resident in favor.
“The Second Amendment has been interpreted by the Supreme Court as an individual right. It’s the only amendment that says shall not be infringed,” said a resident who is opposed.
“We do not want to bring instruments of death and terror into the center of who we are,” said a resident in favor.
“You’re going in the wrong direction. This is a man’s livelihood,” said a resident who is opposed.
Council members responded by making it clear, they’re not banning gun shows from the city entirely; they just have to be held at private venues.
So, they don’t feel they’re infringing anyone’s rights.
“I am also of the belief from talking with our city attorney over a regular basis over the last several years that the city has a right to do what it pleases with their property,” said Michele Madigan, city council member.
Where does this leave David Petronis? He has organized more than 100 gun shows at the City Center for 34 years, as New East Coast Arms Collectors President.
“There is nothing 20,000 square feet that’s what the City Center is, in the area that is as easy to get into and utilize as the center,” Petronis said.
While he’s disappointed, the place has almost become a home for him and he’d still like to maintain a presence there in one way or another, even if he has to reframe his show.
“We feel that we have definitely were a factor in producing what Saratoga Springs is today,” Petronis aid.
Petronis currently has a gun show scheduled at the City Center in May.
The ban won’t go into effect until after that.