Gun shows and the sale of firearms and ammunition are officially prohibited on city property in Saratoga Springs, according to a measure that passed unanimously at a special council meeting on March 9. The vote, which was in response to the increase in school shootings nationwide—and specifically, the devastating shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School—took place just days after its approval from the City Center Authority and ensures that this year’s New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates (NEACA) Gun Show at the Saratoga Springs City Center will be the last of its kind.
“The time is now for a change,” Mayor Meg Kelly says of the special council’s decision. “The lives of our children have forever changed and as a public servant, a mother and a community advocate, we must set the example for creating action. Our children are speaking very clearly to us, and it is our job to empower them to help enact change.”
Of course, not everyone agrees with the ban. “The liberals are on a role with their same old anti-gun rhetoric repackaged through the mouths of children since the horrible school shooting in Florida,” wrote David Petronis, President of NEACA, in a recent prepared statement. “The rhetoric and the marches, the rallies and the petitions, are expected because we all know the anti’s will never let a tragedy go to waste.”
But Mayor Kelly maintains that the city’s actions are intended to keep the children of Saratoga, and the rest of the US, safe in school. “Large-scale policy changes are produced by local-level actions; our local-level action is banning the sale of ammunition and firearms on city owned property. This is the first step to providing action to our children’s and community members’ expressed concerns,” she says. “We, as adults and community leaders, must show our children that you can make change, and that we are listening and we stand beside them in their mission to make a difference. This is only the beginning of change.”