The question of gun shows and gun sales was decided this morning in Saratoga Springs. City council members held a special meeting at 11 am, and voted to ban gun & ammunition sales from city owned properties, including the City Center.
Saratoga Mayor Meg Kelly says she's gotten numerous calls from people in the wake of the Florida school shootings who are concerned about the show.
The organizer of a long-running gun show, Dave Petronis, told WGY News that he hoped the shows wouldn't come to an end. Petronis has hosted more than 100 shows at the City Center over the past 30-plus years. His next event is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend. Because the contract is already signed, the Memorial Day weekend event will proceed as scheduled.
Mass shootings have brought increased scrutiny around gun sales in general. Petronis was told in April 2016 there would be no openings at the Center in 2017, but after a petition drive, the city found some open dates.
Prior to today's vote, a public comment period was held. Some people supported the ban, saying they couldn't believe the City of Saratoga had been allowing the sale to go on for so long. Others expressed concerns about the ban. They said the gun show has never created a problem and that lawful gun owners have Constitutional rights to the legal purchase of guns.
At least one member of the public took issue with the scheduling of the vote on a Friday at 11 am. He said if the city wanted to ban the gun show it should first pass a resolution, then allow for debate and ultimately put the ban to a public vote. He said at the very least the council should have voted during a regularly scheduled meeting.
Immediately preceding the vote, a council member said that the ban impacts "city-owned" property, indicating that if a private venue wanted to host a gun show and sale it could conceivably be done. The vote to ban gun shows at city owned property was unanimous.
Petronis says he will look for other facilities in the area, saying "If Saratoga doesn't want this, he knows other people who do."
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