Astorino vetoes gun show ban legislation

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Gun show on as scheduled this weekend at the County Center
in White Plains (file)

WHITE PLAINS – Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino announced on Friday that he has vetoed a measure passed by the county board of legislators that would have banned gun shows on any county property. The vote was nine to eight.
“The gun show satisfies all the requirements for its legal and safe operation [and] has historically been one of the best run and most well-attended events held at the [County Center],” Astorino wrote in his veto message.  He said he is balancing the “divergent views of its citizens by using facts and the law, as opposed to emotion.”
The gun show returns to the County Center this Saturday and Sunday.
Legislature Chairman Michael Kaplowitz, a Democrat,  said he was disappointed by the Republican exec’s veto. “The preference to not use the County Center to sell guns was expressed by a majority of the legislators and thousands of Westchester residents who signed a petition opposing the gun show.” Kaplowitz said there are “countless alternative venues in Westchester County to hold a sale such as this and ignoring the will of the majority of residents and legislators speaks to the political nature of this decision.”
The chairman said he will leave the option of overriding Astorino’s veto “on the table for the remainder of the legislative term in hopes that a sufficient number of my colleagues will choose to join the majority who voted to ban the gun shows and override the county executive’s veto.”
Kkaplowitz said he will also vote in favor of a proposed local law advanced by Republicans that would require all gun show operators at any site – public or private in the county – to adhere to the guidelines for gun show operations established by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
“The Republicans’ legislation which was offered as a good faith compromise to banning the gun shows will ensure that all future gun shows in Westchester County follow the highest standards for safety and accountability,” Kaplowitz said.