Westchester County Executive George Latimer, a Democrat, has signed a bill into law that would prevent gun shows from being held on county-owned property.
The approval comes just after the Westchester County Board of Legislators, BOL, passed the bill in a 12-5 vote on Feb. 5. With his signature, county officials have officially codified an existing executive order to ban gun shows on county property that Latimer made earlier this year just days into his new role as county executive.
“There is quite a debate in society at large about the roles of guns and the role that guns have played in the violent deaths of individuals,” Latimer said during a press conference. “So to me, it’s very logical to say, as was said by [former County Executive] Andy Spano almost 20 years ago, that this type of show is not appropriate in this type of facility.”
Gun shows on county-owned property were previously banned after the shooting that took place at Colorado’s Columbine High School in 1999, in which 13 people were killed by two students. After the incident, Spano, a Democrat, issued an executive order banning gun shows.
In 2010, former County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, lifted Spano’s executive order, which allowed for gun shows to be held on Westchester property once again. A show was scheduled to occur at the county center in 2013, but was cancelled after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in 2012.
Last year, the BOL passed legislation in a 9-8 vote banning gun shows on county-owned property; however, the bill failed to capture a supermajority approval and was vetoed by Astorino.
The vote was sparked by a gun show that occurred at the county center in January 2017.
With the BOL’s bill becoming a law, current and future county executive can no longer lift the ban without the local Legislature’s vote of approval.