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Saratoga County

Gun show opens in Saratoga Springs

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Albany/HV: Gun show opens in Saratoga Springs
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The annual Saratoga gun show kicked off Saturday after a lot of controversy. Our Madeleine Rivera has more from Saratoga Springs.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Many pushed for its cancellation after the Newtown shooting, saying the timing is wrong. But thousands came to the gun show at the City Center on Saturday. Some showed support. Others voiced their opinions on gun control.

Show organizer David Petronis says so far, it's the busiest show he's seen.

"A lot of people are becoming polarized. There's never been protests before this year," said an attendee.

Protesters gathered in front of the City Center, holding 26 cardboard cutout angels representing the victims of the Newton massacre.

"We're demonstrating today in memory of their lives hoping that this terrible tragedy starts to change and the accessibility of assault weapons is greatly reduced," said Deirdre Ladd from the Saratogians for Gun Safety.

Some called for the annual show, which is in its 30th year, to be canceled all together.

In the end, Petronis agreed to a compromise. He told vendors that assault rifles like the AR-15, the gun believed to have been used in Newtown, would not be sold at this weekend's show.

"I just don't think this is the venue for assault weapons," said Ladd.

"You can't blame the gun. It's like blaming the spoon for getting fat," said a supporter.

And there are many who share his opinion. In the meantime, vendors say sales were booming.

"We've done easily 20 guns so far. New York State compliant guns," said Tim Douglas, a vendor.

Petronis says the high attendance shows support for our constitutional right to bear arms.

"There were so many people who came out to support. It's just hard for me to thank them," he said.

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