Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Glendale Takes Swipe At Gun Shows

Aaron Liu |
January 23, 2013 | 1:32 a.m. PST

Senior News Editor

Gun advocate Mike Collins speaks to the Glendale City Council. (Neon Tommy)
Gun advocate Mike Collins speaks to the Glendale City Council. (Neon Tommy)

In response to a series of mass shootings across the United States, the city of Glendale has announced that it will bar gun shows from using city property for their events.

City Council members voted 4-1 on Tuesday to draft an ordinance that would prevent the Glendale Gun Show, the only gun show in Los Angeles County, from using the Glendale Civic Auditorium. They noted that the move had little do with safety and was more of a symbolic gesture against gun violence.

"We have got to stop killing in this country," said Mayor Tom Quintero. "Is there no end to it? I think we have to do something -- this is a very small step, but I think we have to do something."

A show in March will continue as planned.

Gun advocates and opponents packed the city council meeting to voice their concerns to the council. City officials sat through 63 speeches before they made their decision.

The speakers ranged from gun advocates wearing t-shirts and carrying flags to educators at Glendale Community College who were worried that the firearms sale across the street could put them in jeopardy of gun violence.

68-year-old Gordon Gooner conducts handgun safety tests at the Glendale show. He took the podium to voice his support for the event. 

"The Glendale Gun Show has had an outstanding reputation," Gooner told the council. "There have been no shooting issues, and I have been doing the show for 20 years."

Spectators watch the city council meeting unfold from the lobby. (Neon Tommy)
Spectators watch the city council meeting unfold from the lobby. (Neon Tommy)
Gooner said that while attendees at the Glendale show can purchase guns at the show, they must pass a safety test and a background check before they can pick up their purchases at a different location days later.

Steve Ryfle told the council that he supported the ban because it was "our opportunity to set the tone, to set an example, and to lead."

"No one is proposing to curtail the right to own a gun in Glendale," said Ryfle, who described himself as a gun owner, a parent and a long-time resident of Glendale. "This is about the kind of city that we want our city to be." He disagreed with previous speakers that show was a "cash cow" for the city. 

"[$50,000] is a small fee for Glendale to sell out its reputation to the NRA," said Ryfle. 

Council members said the move was by no means a ban on such events outright, and that the decades-old gun show could still use private property to host their event.

Reach Aaron Liu here.



 

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