Updated 02/09/2013 06:38 PM
Gun supporters protest SAFE Act
Despite chilly weather and snow on the ground, people in Chenango County got out on Saturday to protest the New York SAFE Act. As our Elyse Mickalonis tells us, they think the state already had strict gun control laws and they think lawmakers should focus on other issues.
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NORWICH, N.Y. -- Nearly 100 people braved the cold and snow in Norwich to speak out against the New York SAFE Act.
"It’s fantastic in weather like this, the number of people who have showed up here in Chenango County,” said Bradd Vickers, NRA Recruiter and Chenango County Farm Bureau President.
Demonstrators say the legislation violates their Second Amendment rights. The bill was passed in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings in an effort to reduce gun violence, but people here say it was passed too soon.
"Passing a bill in the middle of the night that people don’t have a chance to understand is ridiculous,” said Mark Zieno, a Norwich resident.
"There's a lot more things we could do for school security, but to attack honest citizens that have already gone though all the procedures,” said Vickers. “It's not easy to get a handgun in New York State,. We have one of the toughest restrictions on guns as it is here. Also the assault weapons were already banned."
Protestors say most gun owners are responsible.
"There’s like 300 million guns circulating in the U.S. and 99 percent are owned by law abiding citizens, 90 percent of crimes committed are with illegal guns,” said Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch.
Zieno added, "We hear about these great big mass murders, but really, there’s very few people that are out doing those things. There’s many more people who are completely legal and following the law."
Protestors from all over New York State will head to the Capitol on Tuesday to raise their concerns.
The State Rifle and Pistol Association recently filed a notice of claim to overturn New York’s sweeping gun control law.