WNYT.com

The gun show goes on in Saratoga Springs

Posted at: 01/11/2013 11:43 PM
Updated at: 01/11/2013 11:44 PM
By: Lily Jamali

As gun dealers laid out their wares at the Saratoga Springs City Center, no sign of the controversial AR-15, restricted from this show out of respect for victims of the Newtown shootings.

"If they'd told me i couldn't sell my parts at this show, I would have gone to Maryland," said David Coleman who sells parts for the AR-15, but not the guns themselves.

That's where a competing gun show is taking place this weekend.

A group of protesters who wanted the show cancelled made angels representing each of the 26 Newtown victims.

But with gun control in the spotlight, dealers say they expect double or even triple the business they'd normally do.

Four-thousand people are expected to attend this weekend's gun show.

"A non-lodged guests to an event averages about $87 a day that they'll spend in the community. It produces a pretty significant dollar value all of which is taxable," said Mark Baker, President of the Saratoga Springs City Center. Baker added that each one makes a sizeable contribution to businesses in town, including money spent outside the City Center, at restaurants and shops in town.

And, there's those from out of town.

"There's quite a few people staying over. I was talking with this guy about restaurants. It would be a shame not to have that continue on," said gun enthusiast Bill Dudek.

Gun show organizers say they're not concerned that the protests will bring about an end to the show.

"We go to where we're wanted. I still think Saratoga Springs City Council wants us here. Otherwise, they might have done more about the resolution. Hotels, gas stations, and restaurants all want us here. After 30 years, i hope we continue to be here," said David Petronis, President of the New East Coast Arms Collectors.