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Saratoga Gun Show Schedule Cutback

Gun shows have caused concerns and triggered protests in Saratoga Springs. But the events have been pared back for the coming year...

In the wake of last December's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, gun safety advocates have grown increasingly concerned with Saratoga Springs City Center's continuing to host gun shows.

Saratoga City Center President Mark Baker recently issued contracts for New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates of Mechanicville to lease the public facility for two gun shows in January and March. Baker was unavailable for comment, but told the Times Union that the facility is heavily booked with conventions and conferences, which has precluded additional bookings for the gun show.

NEACA President David Petronis  emphasizes he is not paring back the schedule. He plans to run the shows when availabilities emerge.  NEACA has been holding the gun shows at the City Center for 30 years. Susan Steer is one of the founding members of Saratogians For Gun Safety: she's been leading the call to ban gun shows from happening in Spa City limits, explaining she believes they do not fit the community's character. Steer says that although she is disappointed the City Center will host more gun shows, the group remains motivated and strong in its opposition.  Steer says she is still waiting to see proof that NEACA is properly insured to hold gun shows.

David Petronis says any venue, as a matter of policy, has to have insurance.  Petronis adds that this weekend's NEACA's Clifton Park Arms Fair at the SportsPlex of Halfmoon has been moved to the Lake George Forum after SportsPlex officials deemed the event inappropriate for a family-friendly facility.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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