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December 27, 2014
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Gun law protests continue; Cuomo considers amendment

New York State Senator John J. Bonacic speaks in Albany, NY at the rally against Governor Cuomo’s controversial gun control law outside of the New York State Capitol Building on February 28.
Contributed photo


ALBANY, NY — Senator John Bonacic was one of several lawmakers to address protesters outside the capital building on February 28 to show their opposition to the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (NY SAFE), which bans the sale of assault weapons.

Many counties and towns in New York have passed resolutions opposing the law, and buses from all over the state brought gun enthusiasts to the rally. Assemblyman Marc Butler, who serves Herkimer and Fulton counties, said he recently held an informational session about the new law that drew about 1,000 residents.

He said, “Governor Cuomo’s gun control law was an insult and a violation of the rights of all law-abiding gun owners. These men and women have the right to be heard by those in Albany, which is why we had this event.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo, meanwhile, is considering amending the law to ensure that movie and television producers will be able to use the banned assault weapons when making films and TV shows in the state. This brought a sharp response from Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, who also attended the rally. She said Cuomo’s proposed amendment “completely defeats his own argument for curbing the prevalent violence in our society.”

She said, “The governor is rewarding these purveyors of ‘culture’ in the aftermath of tragedies where one heinous crime in a theater was committed by a deranged lunatic dressed as a movie character who perpetrates untold amounts of violence—‘the Joker’ from ‘The Dark Knight’—and another was committed by the mentally ill perpetrator of the Sandy Hook shootings, who was known to regularly play hyper-violent video games, including one in which the objective is to shoot fleeing civilians in an airport.”

“The Dark Knight” reference is to the man charged with killing 12 people and wounding 58 in a theater in Aurora, CO in July 2012; James Holmes had dyed his hair to resemble the Joker character in the movie.

Meanwhile, towns in Sullivan County continue to pass resolutions condemning the law. The town of Lumberland, at its meeting on February 13, joined the towns of Fremont, Callicoon, Thompson, Deerpark, Delaware and Cochecton to pass a resolution condemning the law.

It’s not clear if any group will bring a challenge against the law in federal court, but U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said recently it’s not clear where the court might draw the line about which weapons would be protected by the Second Amendment and which would not. In response to a question about the matter in July 2012, Scalia said, “Obviously, the amendment does not apply to arms that cannot be hand-carried. It’s to ‘keep and bear.’ So, it doesn’t apply to cannons. But I suppose there are handheld rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes that will have to be—it will have to be decided.”