Assemblyman Tom Abinanti, D-Greenburgh, has introduced a bill (A. 456) that would ban gun shows on public property.
Abinanti introduced his bill after Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino authorized the first gun show at the Westchester County Center in four years. On Thursday, January 19, Astorino vetoed a Westchester County Legislature’s bill to ban gun shows at the County Center.
“Governments should not be encouraging more guns in our communities,” Abinanti said. “By hosting gun shows on public property, governments are putting their stamp of approval on bringing more guns into our communities. We should not be making it easier for gun sellers to display all types of weapons that might not otherwise be conveniently available in the average community.”
As a Westchester County legislator, Abinanti was an outspoken advocate for banning the Westchester County Center gun show. The ban had been place from 1998 until 2010 when Astorino lifted it and allowed gun shows until 2012. Astorino cancelled gun shows in 2013 after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and has now permitted this past weekend’s gun show as the first in four years.
According to the bill memo, “the state should not promote and support the sale of weapons.”
This legislation would make it illegal to promote or sell weapons on public property and prevent gun shows or other events to sell weapons from occurring on property owned by the state or any political subdivision of the state.
“Guns are not toys and should not be treated like toys,” said the assemblyman. “We should not present gun shows like toy shows, pet shows, children’s entertainment or basketball tournaments.”
Two larger gun shows are also held annually on public property — the New York State Arms Collectors Gun Show holds events at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany every January, and at the New York State Fairgrounds every April and September.
This bill has been introduced in two previous legislative sessions, never making it out of the Codes Committee.
There currently is no Senate sponsor for the legislation.