Saratoga Springs Gun Show winds down quietly

September 03, 2017 06:46 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Springs Gun Show wound down on Sunday with no large crowd outside the Saratoga Springs City Center protesting its presence.

Organizer David Petronis says he was quite surprised.

"The City Center checked with city hall and they said nobody applied for any protesting permits or anything," Petronis said.

But the event was not just a gun show. Visitors also found rare knife collections and some historical items like armor from the 17th century.

Or John Wayne's personal handguns, a set of Smith and Wesson revolvers with gold and silver grips and rubies complete with a western style rig.

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The special items were just on display. They are expected to fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars during an auction by Milestone Auctions in January.

But in the background, controversy was brewing -- not about the guns but about some other memorabilia.

"We were going to have some Confederate uniforms here," Petronis said. "But the consigner decided that it wasn't going to be a good idea because maybe they would be destroyed in some way."

That might have been true, especially in light of what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. Organizers said they erred on the side of caution. It was much the same with a documented 1929 Adolf Hitler custom desk and chair. It’s also part of the auction that's expected to draw a ton of money.

"It was captured when the U.S. won the war in 1945," said Dave Stewart of Milestone Auctions. "[It was] kept in the U.S. Theater offices until the 1990's."

"We're not glorifying Nazism," Petronis said. "We were going to use the desk as the end of Nazism."

But a good idea, they say, to keep it out of the show.


WNYT Staff

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