Concerned Orange residents may have tipped the scales that caused the applicants for a proposed gun show at the High Plains Community Center to withdraw their request. The event has been canceled and no guns or ammunition will be sold on the town-owned property.
Several members of the public attended the August meeting of the Board of Selectmen to voice their concerns about a vote made in July that gave permission to hold the gun show at the community center. They felt it was an inappropriate use of a facility regularly occupied by children.
The original vote passed, with Selectman Ken Lenz abstaining and Selectman Ralph Okenquist absent.
At the August meeting, several members of the public took the selectmen to task with words like “shame.” They also had an opportunity to ask American Legion Post 127 Commander Lewis Merritt questions.
Lenz said he intended to revisit the July vote with concerns he and Selectman Mitch Goldblatt had regarding the Stratford Gun Club’s promotion and involvement.
“I don’t know if my concerns alone coming before the board would have convinced the other selectmen to revisit the vote,” Lenz said about the public outcry. “We very rarely reconsider a vote.” The board decided to collect more information and revisit the issue at the September meeting and possibly revote. That proved a moot point when the application was withdrawn.