(WHITE PLAINS, NY) Newly Elected Westchester County Executive, George Latimer delivered on a promise from in his campaign, and signed an Executive Order prohibiting the sale of guns on Westchester County property, on his second day on the job, Tuesday.
Since October 2015, more than 4,500 people have signed a petition to ban gun shows at the Westchester County Center.
The Westchester Children’s Association (WCA) and National Black Law Enforcement organization, Blacks In Law Enforcement of America were among the many groups who publicly supported and called for a permanent ban on gun shows at the Westchester County Center or other County property.
But despite the public pushback, according to the petitioners, County Executive Rob Astorino has unfortunately decided to allow a new “Gun and Knife Show” to take place at the Westchester County Center on January 21-22, 2017.
When the County Legislators passed Act #9417, which prohibits participation in a gun show on County Property, passed Monday, January 9. 2017 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.
Astorino vetoed legislation Thursday, January 19, 2017 that would have banned gun shows on county-owned property. The veto comes two days before a gun and firearm show is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at The Westchester County Center. Astorino, a Republican, had pledged to veto the bill from before it was even passed by the county Board of Legislators on Jan. 9.
“There is no basis in law or fact to ban gun shows at the Westchester County Center,” Astorino said in his veto message to legislators.
In 1999, gun shows were banned at the Westchester County Center by former County Executive Andrew J. Spano in the wake of the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. That prohibition was later revoked by Astorino.
“Westchester County government should not be in the business of advancing the sale of weapons and other items often sold at gun shows – plain and simple,” Mr. Latimer shares with Black Westchester. “This is not a restriction on gun shows in the entire county, but rather just on public land.”
Text from the Executive Order states that “WHEREAS, reactional County facilities always serve our residents best when used for sporting events, concerts, trade shows, and educational opportunities for our youth. Gun shows are not what taxpayer financed property should be used for.”