GREENBURGH, N.Y. – Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner, who says he’s very disappointed that a gun show is likely to return to White Plains, is calling on the county to hold an amnesty buyback program on this same day ... at the same place.
Nine of the 17 members of the Westchester County Legislature voted this week to ban the controversial event, set for Saturday, Jan. 21 and Sunday, Jan. 22, at the County Center, according to lohud.com.
County Executive Rob Astorino, told cbslocal.com that gun ownership is a “constitutional right,” adding that the gun and knife show has been among the most popular at the county-owned property.
The Republican county chief has vowed to squash the ban, and there aren’t enough votes to overturn his veto, Feiner said.
The longtime Democratic supervisor said residents support a permanent ban on the show, citing an online petition Feiner claimed was signed by more than 5,425 people.
"Guns kill -- accidentally and intentionally. If people want to buy guns they should purchase the guns at private dealerships," Feiner said.
The show, which has been on a four-year hiatus, had been banned once before by Democratic County Executive Andrew Spano after the 1999 Columbine tragedy.
Astorino lifted the ban in 2010, but then canceled a show set for 2013, just a few months after a crazed gunman mowed down dozens of children and teachers in Newtown, Conn., according to lohud.com.
Citing two shootings that took place in Mount Vernon over the holidays and gun violence around the country in general, Feiner said Westchester shouldn’t be seen to be promoting guns.
He suggested that fees collected from vendors at the show be used to buy back guns from residents.
Some amnesty programs in the metropolitan area “have been very successful,” Feiner said.
Those that turn over weapons such as semi automatic pistols, revolvers, rifles, and shotguns generally get $200, he added.
He further suggested that if all the rooms at the center are taken up during the show, the county could set up a trailer outside.
Having a gun buyback on the same site as the gun show will send “a powerful message that the county is not advocating more guns,” Feiner said.