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Glendale council moves to ban gun show

March 12, 2013|By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com
  • People gather for what may be the last gun show at the Glendale Civic on March 2, 2013.
People gather for what may be the last gun show at the Glendale… (Raul Roa / Times…)

The attorney for the operator of the Glendale Gun Show on Tuesday threatened legal action as the City Council introduced an ordinance to ban the event, and others like it, from city-owned property.

“This ordinance, in the way it’s drafted … will necessarily require litigation,” said Sean Brady to council members and the roughly 140 people packed inside City Hall.

PHOTOS: Gun show discussed at Glendale City Hall

Despite the threat, the ordinance, which must still come back for a final vote next week, had the support of the majority of council members. 

“This gun show being banned on Glendale city property won’t make any difference on anybody’s ability to purchase a gun,” said Councilwoman Laura Friedman. “I don’t believe that it’s the responsibility of this city to host that gun show, given how unpopular it is with many of our residents.”

After the killing of 27 people, including 20 first-graders, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Councilman Rafi Manoukian floated the idea of banning the gun show. 

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He had tried to have it banned in 2006, but could not get the necessary support from others on the dais. But that changed after the recent spate of deadly gun violence seemed to change the tide of public opinion locally. 

Councilmen Ara Najarian and Dave Weaver opposed the ordinance, calling it an emotional response.

“This is a kneejerk reaction. It’s an emotional reaction,” Najarian said.

The ordinance blocks the possession or sale of guns at all city parks and facilities, but exempts public right-of-ways, such as sidewalks and streets.

While the council began discussing the ban in January, it allowed the show's operator, Steve Friesen, to host one earlier this month. The event attracted thousands of shoppers, as well as dozens of protesters on both sides of the issue.

“The city of Glendale has a chance to stand up to the fear, manipulation and hastily crafted laws that deep down, we all know only harm law-abiding citizens,” Friesen said, referring to the increased focus on gun control after the Sandy Hook shooting.

While other gun show supporters echoed his sentiments, opponents said they were not ashamed to say they were partially motivated by fear.

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