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New safety standards for gun shows announced amidst local show this weekend

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Albany/HV: New safety standards for gun shows announced amidst local show this weekend
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Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says he's reached an agreement with 23 gun show operators, including one in Saratoga Springs, to implement new safety standards. As Erin Moran reports, while safety is a major concern for both gun show advocates and protesters, it's still hard to find common ground when it comes to this weekend's show.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- “I'm very proud to say that in New York, working collaboratively with gun show operators, we've developed a model set of procedures that now the overwhelming majority of gun shows are going to have in place,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

On Thursday, he announced new safety measures aimed at some gun shows across the state. They include a process that ensures all guns brought into a show by private sellers are tagged so that, when leaving the show, it can be determined if guns were sold and that a proper background check was performed.

“It essentially guarantees that no one who can't pass a background check can get a gun and get out of that gun show,” he said.

This weekend's gun show in Saratoga Springs is abiding by the new rules. This is the second show at the city center this year and the second time it's being met with protest.

“Saratogians for Gun Safety” say they'll be there to greet the nearly 3,000 people that are expected for the show.

“When you go into Saratoga Springs, a sign greets you saying 'Welcome to Saratoga Springs - Health, History and Horses.' Now that kind of image doesn't really fit with a gun show four times a year,” said Charlie Samuels, an organizer and founding member of Saratogians for Gun Safety.

The City Center says there's nothing wrong with hosting the gun show. And for law abiding gun owners, the show is not only a hobby, but a way of business.

“We're here to promote, invent and host legitimate legal activity within Saratoga Springs and this is one of those types of events,” said Mark Baker, President of the Saratoga Springs City Center Authority.

“The weekend, of course, we prepare all week for this particular show coming up and the dealers, they prepare months in advance for all the shows they attend,” said David Petronis, President of the New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates (NEACA), and organizer of this weekend’s gun show.

While it doesn't seem the two sides will find common ground any time soon, the City Center says Saratoga Springs may be the perfect city to handle the debate.

“Saratoga Springs is a unique community. We've always been open to very diverse and different points of view. We're all Saratogians. And at the end of the day, we all want what's best for our community. That doesn't mean we'll all see it from the same perspective,” said Baker.

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