SAFE Act forum draws hundreds
Posted at: 04/03/2013 11:56 PM
| Updated at: 04/04/2013 6:24 AM
By: Joangel Concepcion | WHEC.com
They came in by the dozens and they came in with a lot of questions.
Gun owners from all over the area spoke to lawmakers directly about the New York State SAFE Act Wednesday night, many of them actually calling it the "un-SAFE" Act.
It's been almost three months since the new gun laws went into effect, but a lot of people still have serious questions.
Hundreds of men, women, gun shop owners and veterans, packed the Inn on the Lake in Canandaigua to try to get some answers.
News10NBC attended the educational gun forum, that actually felt more like a gun rally.
You could definitely feel the passion in the room Wednesday night, but you could also feel the confusion and the frustration.
Hundreds of people showed up in a big way, all to express their concerns to lawmakers face to face.
There was barely any standing room inside of the conference center. People lined up by the dozens for their chance to ask questions or voice their concerns.
Some officials on hand were Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, Ontario County Sheriff Phillip Povero and Tom King, President of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association. Each one was trying their best to answer some very difficult concerns about the SAFE Act.
Some of the questions addressed were the amount of bullets allowed in a magazine, whether or not antique guns will be considered illegal, the possibility of police in schools and who will be enforcing these laws, as well as will gun owners have to carry around documentation.
The forum also talked about mental health and background checks.
News10NBC asked Assemblyman Kolb what the message was Wednesday night.
“When you look at the specifics with the tragedy in Webster, the tragedy in Newton and Colorado, this law would not have prevented any one of those tragedies. If you got a criminal, illegal guns, a person with metal health issues, this law will not stop them. That's the point. This law focuses on law abiding gun owners, not criminals,” he said.
Even though the majority of this educational forum was full of Second Amendment advocates, a Siena poll from March shows voters support the state's new gun law, by a 61-percent to 35-percent margin and a 56-percent to 40-percent margin of voters oppose repealing the law.
News10NBC wanted to know how Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, felt about those who support the SAFE Act.
“We want something done too. We want criminals to be prosecuted and put in jail. If there are people with mental disabilities, we don't want them to have firearms either. There has to be something done with that. The NRA and the New York Rifle and Pistol Association for years have been saying that you know, we only want lawful and legal gun owners to have firearms. We still stand behind that,” said King.
April 15 is an important date to remember for gun owners. Ten round magazines can only be loaded with seven rounds and April 15 of next year all assault style weapons must be registered.