Long-debated gun show pulls trigger on return to Saratoga Springs City Center

January 11, 2017 06:47 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - They've been happening here every year for 32 years. The gun shows run by Dave and Kathy Petronis were among the very first events at the City Center. So some were surprised late last year when Petronis was told there were no available dates for them.

Those opposed to holding gun shows in the city, including the local Democratic Committee, who'd urged the City Council to ban them, were thrilled.

However, Senator Kathy Marchione, an advocate for gun rights was up in arms. She gathered 2,500 signatures on a petition, urging the board that runs the City Center to reconsider. Wednesday, Marchione declared victory.

"I'm absolutely thrilled that they found a date, that they reconsidered their position," said Marchione, a Republican from Halfmoon and a gun owner.

The Saratoga Gun Show will take place Memorial Day Weekend.

"That's great. If we can get in there super-duper, I'm on it," said Petronis.

"It appears certainly by the press release by Senator Marchione that they're taking credit for using political forces and lobbying support of the NRA to force our City Center into putting the show back on," said Charles Brown, chairman of the city Democratic committee.

However, Ryan McMahon, the executive director of the City Center since the beginning of the year, says that's just not the case. McMahon says a group happened to cancel and the gun show jumped at the chance.

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"With live events, things change and we had an opening."

McMahon says the City Center is not opposed to hosting gun shows beyond the one in May.

"Our job is to book the space and drive business downtown. If we have open dates for legal businesses, we have open dates for legal businesses," he said.

Mayor Joanne Yepsen, a Democrat, says 1,500 residents have signed a petition saying they don't want gun shows at the City Center. The mayor says there are other places in town that could host them.


Mark Mulholland

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