Glendale Mayor Frank Quintero cast the deciding vote March 12, at the city council meeting, which passed an ordinance by a 3-2 margin, banning gun sales and possession on city property.
The city will terminate its contract with the gun show at the Glendale Civic Auditorium.
City Attorney Michael Garcia said that city property users must obey the laws, and the gun show would be in violation of the new ordinance.
Council members said the ordinance will not affect anyone’s ability to purchase firearms or infringe on their rights in any way. There are 37 places to legally obtain guns in Glendale.
More than 30 people, including GCC Trustee Anthony Tartaglia, spoke on both sides of the issue before the decision. The principles of the gun show, local business owners, concerned citizens and representatives of the Coalition for a Better Glendale, all had a minute-and-a-half to present their opinions to the council.
“This isn’t about Second Amendment rights or selling illegal firearms,” Tartaglia said. “It’s about holding a gun show [across the street from] where 1,000 students are attending classes on a Saturday.” He also said that gun show attendees, although not leaving the show with guns, were seen walking across campus carrying boxes of ammunition.
Steve Friesen, owner of the Glendale Gun Show, urged the council to avoid, “hastily crafted laws that they know deep-down could hurt law-abiding citizens.” Friesen’s attorney, Sean Brady, spoke of possible lawsuits against the city.
Following Brady’s lead, Paul Payne, liaison to the executive vice president of the NRA, waved photocopies of checks written to the NRA from litigation victories in other similar cases.
Manoukian, the councilman who sponsored the ban and is running unopposed for city treasurer in April, Payne said, “It’s ironic that [Manoukian] might have to sign those checks when he is city treasurer.”
Dave Weaver, a 16-year veteran of the council, voted to send the proposal to the city attorney’s office on Jan. 22. After reviewing the ordinance, he said, “I cannot find a factual reason to pass [the ordinance].”
Councilman Ara Najarian agreed with Weaver, calling the ban a “knee-jerk reaction” to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, 2012.
Council member Laura Friedman said, “I don’t believe it’s the responsibility of the city to host that gun show.” Friedman said revenue from the shows, approximately $38,000 annually, could be recouped with different, more city-friendly events.
Manoukian, a proponent of the ordinance, brought a similar ban to the council in 2006, which failed to garner support.
“The gun show is held across from a community college, cata-cornered from an elementary school, north of a church and south of a park,” said Manoukian.
After hearing the opinions of council members, Quintero put the ordinance to a vote. With the council’s vote split, the tension in the room was palpable. Quintero, who had not stated his opinion before the vote, broke the tie with a decision to endorse the ban.
The ordinance is expected to go into effect on April 18.