All 450 vendor tables at this weekend’s New York State Arms Collectors Association Inc. gun show have been rented and show organizers are bracing for a large crowd.
“We’ve sold out all the tables,” said Sandy Ackerman Klinger, manager of the annual gun show to be held today and Sunday in the Empire State Plaza’s convention center.
Some gun shows in other parts of the state have been canceled over the past month in response to the shooting of 20 elementary school children and six educators Dec. 14 in Newtown, Conn.
But a firearms show held Jan. 12 and 13 at the Saratoga Springs City Center attracted the largest crowd the long-running show had ever recorded. The Saratoga show, which was staged by the New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates Inc., also attracted demonstrators on both sites of the gun control debate.
Some Saratoga Springs residents said they didn’t want a gun show to be held in the city so soon after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, but the show went on without any major incidents or arrests.
Military-style assault rifles, like the one used in the Newtown massacre, were not sold at the Saratoga show out of respect for the victims and they will not be sold at this weekend’s gun show in Albany — they are now illegal under the state’s new gun control law.
The state Attorney General’s Office announced Friday that the organizers of the Albany gun show have signed an agreement to follow “Model Gun Show Procedures” at the show.
The model procedures were developed by the AG’s office to promote uniform gun show operations across the state. The new procedures require that all guns brought into the show by private sellers be tagged so that the show operator can determine if the guns were sold and if the required criminal background check was performed.
The Endicott-based New York Arms Collectors Association Inc. also holds a major gun show in April at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.
Klinger said Friday she has signed the AG’s agreement. “We are all on the same page,” she said.
She said her organization has been hosting the shows in Albany for the past 30 years with between 4,000 and 5,000 people attending each show.
Heather Groll, a spokeswoman for the state Office of General Services with responsibility for the Empire State Plaza, said she was not aware of any organizations filing permits to demonstrate at the show.
People parking in state parking lots at the Empire State Plaza must show photo identification when they enter the parking area.
The gun show will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and free for children under 12 if accompanied by an adult.
All firearms sales require an NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) background check and must be conducted only through the dealers present.
“No private sales, trades or barters of any firearms are permitted on state property,” according to the show organizers.
“Gun violence is an epidemic and my office is working with gun show operators to create simple guidelines to ensure that these deadly weapons don’t make it into the hands of felons, terrorists, the dangerously mentally ill, and others who could not pass a background check,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement about his new model gun show procedures.