County Executive George Latimer signed into law a bill that prohibits the sale of guns on Westchester County property. This legislation, which was passed by the County Board, also codifies the Executive Order signed by Latimer during the first week of his administration.
“Plain and simple, Westchester should not – and will not – profit off the sale of guns in our facilities,” said Latimer. “We just announced that the WNBA’s New York Liberty will call the County Center home, the NBA G-League’s Westchester Knicks have proven that this facility is a dynamic arena for live events throughout the year, and recently we held another successful Toy & Train Show. We can find much better uses of our property that can generate just as much revenue. This is the right step for Westchester County, and I applaud the Board of Legislators for turning my revocable Executive Order into law.” Board Chairman Ben Boykin said, “It is so significant that County Executive George Latimer’s first Executive Order was to ban gun shows on county-owned property, and that the Board of Legislators first major piece of legislation in 2018 was to do the same. By codifying his Executive Order, and by putting this law on the books through his signing, we eliminate the threat of a future County Executive acting on his or her own. This progressive legislation points to the strength, and the possibilities of a board and County Executive working in tandem for the people of Westchester.”
Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins said, “I first introduced this bill as a legislator after the previous County Executive re-opened the County Center to gun shows, unfortunately our attempts at making it law were thwarted by his veto. But, today is a new day in Westchester County and I am so proud to stand here with County Executive Latimer and my former colleagues to sign this prohibition of gun shows into law. The County Center will once again be used for the family friendly events it was intended for.”
Legislator Virginia Perez, who tragically lost her brother to gun violence, said, “This is a special and emotional day for me, when it comes to gun violence I personally know the pain that families go through. The passage of this bill is so important because we do not want to promote a culture of guns and gun violence in our county and in our county facilities.”
Legislator Catherine Borgia said, “This is an exciting day. I know my former colleague and Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins worked hard on this issue from the time he first introduced it nearly a decade ago, and I am proud to be here with him today. The measure does nothing to impede on the Second Amendment, but rather represents the values for which this county stands. I want to thank the people of Westchester who made their voices heard to make this law a possibility.”
Majority Leader Catherine Parker said, “All 12 members of the Democratic Caucus believed whole-heartedly that this is good policy, and we are immensely proud to pass this legislation right out of the gate. Westchester County does not need to be in the business of promoting and profiting from the sale guns - and that is what this legislation stands for.”
In 1999, Gun shows were banned at the Westchester County Center by former County Executive Andrew J. Spano in the wake of the mass shooting at Columbine High School. That prohibition was later revoked by Latimer’s immediate predecessor.