(WHITE PLAINS, NY) Act #9417, which prohibits participation in a gun show on County Property, passed Monday evening by a vote of 9 to 8. Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers), the original sponsor of the bill, was joined by his Democratic colleagues in the passage of this measure which was first proposed after the tragedy which took place at Sandy Hook.
“The passage of this Act is a victory for the taxpayers of Westchester County. As I have been saying since I first introduced this measure in 2010, the use of County owned facilities to host shows which promote weapons, as well as other various symbols of violence and hatred, is not what we as a County should be doing,” said Legislator Jenkins. “To profit from this is just not the business Westchester residents want to be in. I hope all of my colleagues as well as the County Executive see the support this Act has through those who have called, emailed, tweeted, Facebook posted, written, and attended here this evening and join in its passage and implementation,” added Jenkins.
“It was moving to witness the support this measure has, from the petition with over 5000 signatures to countless number of messages my colleagues and I received since the January gun and knife show was announced,” said Legislator Catherine Parker(D-Rye). “I was proud to be a part of this grassroots movement and vote yes on this important Act. Our County facilities are not intended to be used to invite dangerous weapons into our backyards,” continued Parker.
Democratic Members of the Board of Legislators were joined at a press conference Monday afternoon by Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, Paul Yanovsky from the Newtown Action Alliance, as well as numerous advocates to call on the successful implementation of the ban of gun shows on County property.
“I do not believe that County government should be promoting, encouraging, aiding and abetting the proliferation of guns in our community by using taxpayers’ buildings for guns shows,” said Legislator Lyndon Williams (D-Mount Vernon). “We must take a stand against the proliferation of guns in our community. These guns are not manufactured in our city. They are often purchased out-of-state at gun shops and gun shows with weak gun control laws and procedures. Westchester County should not be in the business of aiding and abetting the peddling of dangerous weapons,” concluded Williams.
In the wake the tragic shooting death of Shamoya McKenzie, 13, in Mount Vernon on New Years Eve, other groups were aso caling for a ban of the gun show at the County Center.
The Westchester Children’s Association called for the proposed a permanent ban on gun shows at the Westchester County Center or other County property, Wednesday, January 4th.
“We believe that allowing gun shows at the County Center is an inappropriate use of a public facility, and we urge Westchester County to permanently ban gun shows at county-owned facilities,” Cora Greenberg, Executive Director of Westchester Children’s Association tells Black Westchester Magazine. “Such a ban would honor the County’s commitment to Safer Communities and promote the health and safety of all our residents, especially children.”
Blacks in Law Enforcement of America (BLEA), a national organization of law enforcement officers of African decent also announced their support of the Gun Show ban.
“There have been multiple shootings in the major urban areas in Westchester County. To be consistent in the efforts of Public Safety and the memories of the victims killed by gunfire, all gun shows should be banned from the County Center,” BLEA wrote in their statement.
The Act will now be sent to the County Executive for his signature.
If you support a ban on gun shows at the County Center, take a moment to reach out to the County Executive and tell him not to veto the law passed on Monday night. Rally your friends, family, and neighbors and contact County Legislators. Tell them to vote to override the veto.
“I am encouraged by the large number of my fellow Westchester residents who turned out and spoke out against the horrific incidents of gun violence that is plaguing our communities, Legislator Williams tells BW. “If you have been sitting on the sidelines, it’s time to take action and get involved. We cannot continue to complain about these devastating circumstances in our communities but sit on the sidelines when there is an opportunity to make a difference. That sends the wrong message.”