You won’t find any gun shows in Saratoga Springs after this weekend when a measure to ban them on city properties goes into effect.

The City Council passed it back in March to a group of supporters and critics.

It’s not the storybook ending David Petronis hoped for, after 34 years of bringing gun shows to the Saratoga Springs City Center.

“I feel that it’s a terrible ending. We should still be allowed to be here,” Petronis, President of New East Coast Arms Collectors, said. “We’ve made a lot of friends, a lot of money up here, brought in a lot of money to Saratoga.”

From the time he staged the first trade show at the center in 1984 to now, he’s organized more than 100 gun shows there. It’s become an annual tradition for thousands of people every year.

However, over the years they never went on without controversy – one time with plans to display Hitler artifacts.
“It was just becoming this constant sort of barrage media affair circus,” City Commissioner of Finance, Michele Madigan said.

She said between this, mass shootings across the country, and the community’s reaction, they had no choice.

“This one was pretty clear cut,” Madigan said.

While some were cheering, others think it’s an infringement on their rights.

“There’s too much gun violence in this world and I think that, that show promotes it,” Carol Squillacioti of Saratoga Springs said.

“We believe in the Second Amendment and we just think New York is just trying to unarm its citizens,” William Minner of Albany said.

It’s not just visitors who were upset, but dealers like Paul Ackermann, who rely on shows for a living.

“The loss of this show will probably put about a 10 percent dent in my show business, my show revenue for the entire year,” Ackermann said.

But, he’ll find new spots, as will Petronis, because he’s not leaving the business anytime soon.

“Things change. Life goes on,” Petronis said. “I’ll be wheeled out on some stretcher from a gun show and that’s in my blood, and that’s the way it’ll be.”

The gun show continues Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Saratoga Springs City Center. Once that’s over, the ban will go into effect. Antique shows will still be allowed on city properties, but gun shows will have to be held at private venues.