Westchester County Executive George Latimer announced on Tuesday afternoon that the county would no longer allow the sale of guns on Westchester County property.
Latimer’s executive order, signed on his second day in office, means the Westchester County Center in White Plains will no longer host an annual gun and knife show, as it did last January.
At a press conference in the County Center, Latimer said the sale of guns may be appropriate in a private setting, but not at the County Center, which he described as a “showplace for family entertainment and for family programs and services.”
He cited the center’s role hosting games for the Westchester Knicks, and events such as an annual cheerleading competition, bridal exposition and Playland job fair.
“The bottom line is this center has always been a place for those types of family values,” Latimer said. “And I think former county exec Andy Spano rightfully understood that in the aftermath of what happened in Columbine, we needed to make the right kind of statement that certain kinds of things would not be appropriate here.”
Latimer’s reference was to Spano’s decision to ban gun shows on the property in 1999, after a school shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado left 12 students and a teacher dead.
Previous County Executive Robert Astorino rescinded that policy in 2010, but canceled a 2013 show following a 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Astorino vetoed legislation last year that would have banned gun shows on county property just before the county center hosted its first gun show since 2012. The two-day expo reportedly drew about 7,500 people over its two days.
Latimer encouraged the county Board of Legislators to pass legislation to make the ban permanent.