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Crowd Attends Town Board Meeting To Protest Gun Show In Hudson Valley

Glock 45 pistol.
Glock 45 pistol. Photo Credit: Photo by Jay Rembert on Unsplash

More than 175 people attended a board meeting to protest an application by an event producer to host a gun show in the Hudson Valley.

The meeting took place in Ulster County on Wednesday, June 15 in the town of Saugerties.

The NEACA Gun Show was scheduled to be held in Ulster County on Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19 in Saugerties but was canceled last week by mutual agreement between the town and the promoter, David Petronis, said Fred Costello, Saugerties town supervisor.

But on Sunday, June 12, Petronis, angry over what he said in a statement was "political" maneuverings stated he planned to "hopefully," hold the show anyway and pushed for the town board to vote in favor of hosting the event despite the agreement to cancel.

On Wednesday, after listening to more than 35 speakers and residents who overwhelming opposed the show, the town board voted three to one to uphold the cancelation agreement, with one member abstaining from the vote, said Costello.

One of the main sticking points was the need to pay for on-duty police officers to be at the show in the event of protests, he added.

The town plans to review its facilities rental agreement policy for possible revisions so that the event holder is responsible for the cost of security,  not the town or taxpayers, Costello said. 

Police Chief Joseph Sinagra said last week that with recent mass shootings, especially the massacre of small children in Uvalde, Texas, now was not the time to hold a gun show.

Costello agreed and said he was happy with the outcome.

"We put our children first, Costello said. "We will do that now, and in the future."

In a letter to the town board, Petronis wrote: "We will see tonight if this Board wants to honor their contract or dishonor our Second Amendment to please a few anti-gun loud voices. Whatever the personal choices of each board member the silent voices of Americans will be heard in November."

On Thursday, Petronis said during an interview he was unhappy with the outcome of the vote, and felt "it (the vote) didn't do the town justice."

He isn't sure if he will host events in the town in the future: "I'm not sure they want us there," he added.

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