City leaders on Tuesday night decided to allow a March gun show slated for the Glendale Civic Center to go on as planned while the city attorney conducts further research into possibly banning the events from being held on municipal property.
The next gun show at the Glendale Civic Auditorium is set for March 2-3. Gun shows are also slated in Glendale during August and November.
Held at the Civic Auditorium since 1992, the Glendale Gun Shows have generated about $158,000 in revenue during the last three years. According to a city report, the events, if allowed to go on, will likely bring in another $57,000 to the venue in 2013.
Councilmember Rafi Manoukian introduced the motion to ban gun shows on city property after the Newtown, Conn., shooting. Manoukian tried to pass a similar ban in 2006.
"This is not a discussion about gun ownership or possession of guns," said Manoukian. "It is not a discussion of banning gun shows. It is a discussion about a gun show across the street from Glendale Community College."
The well-attended meeting began at 6 p.m. After hearing from some 60 speakers, the City Council made its decision shortly before 10 p.m.
"I sit here and listen to bigots that don’t want to give us our First Amendment right," said Bruce Boyer, who opposes the ban. "Oh, we can’t allow them to have a gun show. Well, if you tell us that we can’t have a gun show, who’s next? No photography show?"
"The issue is not about gun ownership rights or the constitution as the NRA wants you to believe," said Zanku Armenian, a supporter of the ban. "I’m not speaking against gun ownership today. This is about the rights of a community to determine what is appropriate for their neighborhood and city."
In a 4 to 1 vote, the City Council decided to direct the city attorney to research options for an ordinance that would ban gun sales on city-owned property. Gun sales will still be allowed on private property.
The council discussed several options, which included terminating the gun show’s rental agreement, temporarily banning the possession or sale of firearms and ammunition at city-owned property, or allowing already-scheduled gun shows to operate through the end of the year before enforcing the ban, according to Tuesday's City Council agenda.