SAUGERTIES, NY – The Father’s Day weekend gun show at the Kiwanis Ice Arena on June 18-19 has been cancelled, organizers said, in “considering recent events of gun violence” in New York State and nationwide.
The New East-Coast Arms Collectors Associates (NEACA) Saugerties Gun Show has been canceled “by mutual agreement between the city and the promoter,” according to a joint press release from city supervisor Fred Costello and the NEACA.
According to the statement, the decision was made after a meeting with Costello on Thursday morning.
“Given the recent events of gun violence, both here in New York, and the tragic event in Texas, continuing this gun show would have been irresponsible and insensitive to anyone who has recently lost loved ones. “NEACA President David Petronis said in a statement.
Petronis continued, “While this recent carnage was perpetrated by what appear to be deranged individuals who stood behind these guns and carried out these murders, I agree with Fred (Costello) and the Chief of Police that this may not be the best time to hold our NEACA Gun Show in Saugerties, especially while our country is still recovering from these tragic events.
Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra praised Petronis’ decision. “Timing is everything. Our nation is still healing from the events of the recent mass shootings. It’s the right thing to do,” he said.
The leader, who has described himself as both a supporter of the Second Amendment and gun shows, said Petronis would “take a lot of heat” for his decision. He supported Petronis’ statement that “Making money isn’t everything and it’s the responsible thing to do for us as a show promoter.”
Petronis said he had been contacted by “various citizens of this beautiful village of Saugerties about their concerns about holding our gun show here on Father’s Day weekend” and that even as a strong supporter of the second amendment right to bear arms, while he was not obligated to cancel the event, “at this time, I think canceling and possibly rescheduling our show to a later time or a somewhere else is the right thing to do.”
The organizer acknowledged that “feelings are intense and near breaking points about these senseless shootings” and said he “doesn’t want to be the catalyst for violence in this great little town.”
Costello said Petronis’ decision “speaks volumes about the integrity of Mr. Petronis and demonstrates his solemn respect for the families of those who have lost loved ones to recent gun violence here in New York and Texas. “.
Petronis has held gun shows at Saugerties for many years, and Sinagra said there have never been any problems at those shows.
At a city council meeting in March, the upcoming event, which would have taken place at the ice rink, next to the city’s youth soccer fields, across from a children’s playground and less than half a mile from a high school, was discussed, but ultimately removed from the agenda because a gun show does not require city approval.
Per Kiwanis Rink guidelines, opening dates can be booked by any organization.
At that meeting, however, former councilman John Schoonmaker said the city “really shouldn’t be having a gun show at our family recreation center. We have families coming in and out. Families will often use these fields and I don’t think it will be a good idea for the city to have guns going in and out, even though it is well regulated.
At that time, Costello agreed that discussions are needed regarding activities that some consider inappropriate for young people.
The show has always been carried out despite the objections of some residents who consider the location a poor choice in light of recent mass shootings.
“There were people who came to board meetings, especially after Sandy Hook, who were really opposed to having a gun show there,” Councilwoman Leeanne Thornton said in March. .