WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Democratic Caucus. January 3, 2017:
Democrats on the Legislation, Labor/Parks/Planning/Housing, and Public Safety & Social Services committees voted to recommend that the full Board of Legislators vote on ID# 9417, an act amending the Laws of Westchester County to prohibit participation in a gun show on County-owned property.
This Act was first proposed by Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) in 2010 and has since been sponsored by every member of the Democratic caucus.
“I, as do my Democratic colleagues on the Board, feel that the people’s best interests are not being served when we use our County facilities to host the sale of weapons used to kill,” said Jenkins. “This Act does not stop any of the sponsors of this show, which include the locally affiliated NRA chapter, to host this event down the street on private property. My proposal simply says that County parklands and facilities will not be used to host events that sell guns. It is not a business the County should be getting into and I am glad we took this first big step to making this the law of Westchester,” concluded Jenkins.
A ban on gun shows at the County Center, where one is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, was County policy from 1999-2010. County Executive Astorino lifted the ban upon taking office, and a gun show was held in 2012, but however a subsequent gun show was cancelled following the tragedy that took place in Sandy Hook. The plan for the 2017 show was only made public in the days during the pre-holiday lull even though the show had been scheduled for months.
“Law enforcement officials around the country have stated that gun shows are the ‘critical moment’ of custody when guns are transferred from the legal to illegal market,” said Legislator Ben Boykin (D-White Plains), Chair of the Committee on Public Safety & Social Services. “According to the ATF, 30% of guns involved in federal illegal gun trafficking investigations are connected in some way to gun shows. This could be through the use of a ‘straw man’ purchaser or a grey-market transaction set up as a result of contact made at a gun show. Bottom line, we as a County do not want to open ourselves up to more exposure to these dangerous weapons than we already are” finished Boykin.
“On New Year’s Eve, my community suffered another senseless act of gun violence. This time a 13-year-old eight grader became the victim of crossfire as she sat in the passenger seat of her mother’s car. It is time for us to take a strong stand against the proliferation of guns in our community. A strong message banning sales and distribution of guns at gun shows from the County Center and on any county-owned building is the first step. I thank the advocates for their support and encourage the community to have your voices heard on this issue before our vote next Monday,” said Legislator Lyndonn Williams of Mount Vernon