Sportsplex bows out as host of gun collectors' May event
HALFMOON A sports complex in Halfmoon will no longer host a gun show.
Sportsplex of Halfmoon owner John Daniels said the facility is trying to emphasize the family recreation aspect of the facility, which is why they’ve turned down the opportunity to host the New East Coast Arms Collectors Associates in the middle of May. The forum had hosted three gun shows organized by the NECAC.
The Sportsplex of Halfmoon is a 76,000-square-foot facility that advertises events and programs for “everyone in your family.” The main area is the size of a football field with a synthetic turf that covers most of the first floor.
“It was nothing to do with the gun show,” Daniels said on Wednesday. “It’s not necessarily that it doesn’t fit in,” he said, stressing the decision didn’t relate to gun rights. “It’s not what we’re doing.”
The show will be held at the Lake George Forum on May 17, 18 and 19, according to NEACA President David Petronis.
In an email on Wednesday, he said his group tried to convince the Sportsplex operators that they should stay there. “Seeing that they were the ones who sought out a gun show for their off season and we obliged by producing three of them there,” Petronis said.
He said the gun show fit in with the family theme before the Newtown, Conn., shooting.
Daniels said recent high-profile shootings didn’t affect the decision to stop hosting a gun show. “It’s been an ongoing discussion,” he said. The Sportsplex will continue to host home shows, kids expos and children consignment sales.
The new home for the NEACA in Lake George will be a 30,000-square-foot facility, which is enough room for about 350 tables, 8-feet long.
“We are moving to where we are wanted,” Petronis said.
The most recent NEACA show in Saratoga Springs, Jan. 11-13 at the city’s City Center, drew a crowd of protesters and supporters. It was one of the biggest gun shows ever at the location.
Gun-control advocates have already announced plans to protest again at this weekend’s gun show in Saratoga Springs. Information can be found at www.neaca.com/GunShows.html.