The idea of putting small numbers on the back of bullet casings has become a big theme in this election season's battles in districts around Ilion. Our Andrew Sorensen looks at the politics of microstamping and how it is generating friction between two Republican assembly candidates in the area.
ILION, N.Y. -- If you want to win the northern part of the 101st Assembly District, it doesn't hurt to have the workers at Remington Arms in Ilion on your side.
"We have 1068 union members that work here at this facility at Remington Arms," United Mine Workers Local 717 PAC Chairman Rusty Brown said.
To get Brown's seal of approval, you need to concentrate on jobs, a priority he says is compromised by something called microstamping.
"It was told to me that if microstamping were to come in and become law in New York State, that they would move the whole 1911 area out because they didn't want to go the extra money that it costs to actually do it," he said.
Microstamping is a process by which the firing pin of a gun leaves a small imprinted serial number on the casing of a bullet.
The UMWA recently endorsed 101st Assembly candidate Claudia Tenney for her opposition to microstamping legislation.
Her opponent Brian Maher says he shares the same view, heating things up between the two.
Tenney claims Maher's gun track record lost him the endorsement.
"Because he was a three year strong advocate in mayor Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns," said Tenney.
She also points to his "F" grade with the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association as meaning he is against all guns. But he disputes both claims.
"I'm here to tell my constituents that I will not lie to them, I will be genuine, that I am pro-second amendment, totally against microstamping," he said.
He claims that F comes from a mistake he made in signing a petition for Mayors Against Illegal Guns. He claims the organization then used his name to promote other anti-gun agendas he does not support and has since cut ties with the organization.
"I am 100 percent in support of the second amendment, 100 percent against microstamping and my opponent has constantly lied about my position," he claimed.
Brown says Maher's track record had no bearing on his decision, as he isn't familiar with the down state mayor or his positions. He says Tenney's long-time support is a major factor they look for in any candidate.
The winner of Thursday's primary will go on to face Herkimer County Democrat Dan Carter.