Saratoga Arms Fair to go on as scheduled, 3 groups obtain permits to be outside
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.-- Despite requests for it to be canceled, this weekend's Saratoga Arms Fair will go on as scheduled.
One of the biggest modifications is an agreement between the city council and the gun show's organizers to not have any assault rifles that are similar to the weapons used in the Sandy Hook shootings.
But people on both sides of the gun control debate say that alone won't solve the issue.
Between 80 and 90 sellers are setting up Friday night, in preparation for this weekend's arms show at which thousands of people are expected to show up for. But the show almost didn't go on. Many people petitioned the city to cancel it after the Sandy Hook shooting.
"It's also our right, as a legitimate company to have our gun show here," says David Petronis, the president of the New East Coast Arms Collectors. "We bring a lot of money into Saratoga Springs and have scheduled this for the past year and we weren't about to cancel it."
Petronis says he does have three more scheduled gun shows this year.
"Our next show is coming up in March," he says. "So what's going to happen in March after this particular show? Is the city council going to make some permanent resolution? I have no idea what their plans are."
Three individual groups have obtained permits from the city to be oustide of the city center Saturday and Sunday. But Linda LeTendre, a member of the Saratoga Peace Alliance, says not everyone will be protesting.
"We are holding a silent vigil in memory of people who have been killed by guns, in hopes of bringing some healing to people on both sides and all sides of the issue," says LeTendre.
An issue that LeTendre admits, there is no easy answer to. She says neither ignoring the issue or banning gun shows entirely is the change people are looking for.
"We are looking to bring people together on some type of common ground to address how do we work together to end gun violence," she says.
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