Schneiderman: Saratoga Arms Fair a 'Good Model'

Posted at: 08/24/2013 3:29 PM
Updated at: 08/24/2013 7:50 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

New York's Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman chats with dealers at a gun show in Saratoga Springs, Saturday. His tour of the Northeast Arms Fair comes less than two years after Schneiderman cracked down on sellers who didn't get background checks before guns changed hands.

At the time, Schneiderman ordered show organizers to take extra steps to make sure the events are safe. Things like extra security at the doors, a local police presence, and a tag that identifies guns as ‘sold’ and shows that background checks have been done.

"It's running well. They've got the NICS check system up. It's a good model for the rest of the country." Schneiderman said of Saturday’s local show.

But not everyone is thrilled with the shows at the City Center, no matter how safe they are. Susan Steer is opposed to gun shows at the taxpayer-supported arena and she questions the timing of this weekend's event, the busiest of the year when tens of thousands are in town for the Travers.

“I don't think it helps and I do think it takes away from what we have to offer in this beautiful city," says Steer.

The people who usually protest outside these shows say it didn't make sense to do it this weekend because it would’ve taken up more resources of the police department, which is already stretched too thin.

The show organizer says the protests are unnecessary because he's run a safe show here for 30 years. And he'd also prefer not to have the show on the busiest day of the year, but this is the weekend that was available.

“It's too bad we're running on Travers weekend because of the hotel situation and so many people in town, but to restrict us for a gun show, I think that's a little overboard," says Arms Fair Organizer David Petronis.

The next show is scheduled for October, a much quieter time in Saratoga Springs.