In a 12-5 vote on Feb. 5, the Westchester County Board of Legislators, BOL, passed a law banning gun shows on county-owned property, codifying an executive order signed earlier this year by County Executive George Latimer, a Democrat.
The vote was split down party lines, as the BOL’s five Republican county legislators voted against the bill, which will not impact gun shows on properties that the county doesn’t own.
Earlier this year, Latimer signed an executive order on Jan. 2 banning gun shows on county property, fulfilling one of his promises during his campaign against former County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican.
The former senator signed the executive order just one day into his new role as county executive.
The BOL passed a similar ban on gun shows last year while Republicans made up a majority of the legislature. At the time, the bill was approved in a 9-8 vote, with all Democrats voting in favor of the policy in order to block a gun show that was to be held at the Westchester County Center. However, Astorino vetoed the bill and the gun show was held on the county property anyway last year.
Gun shows on county property were previously banned after a shooting that was orchestrated at Colorado’s Columbine High School in 1999, in which 13 people were killed by two students of the school. Around that time, former County Executive Andy Spano, a Democrat, issued the executive order banning gun shows.
In 2010, Astorino lifted the ban on gun shows with the intention of allowing them to be held at the County Center. A show that was scheduled for 2013 at the county center was cancelled after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in 2012.
With the BOL passing the legislation, the law will now become permanent, meaning current and future county executives cannot change the gun show policy without the vote of the local Legislature.