Created: 10/07/2013 11:47 PM WNYT.com
By: Dan Levy
BRUNSWICK - Ten months after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the New York SAFE Act into law, Capital Region gun owners on Monday night showed they still have plenty of anger stockpiled against it.
Since its passage in January, several legal challenges to the Safe Act have been filed, and Monday evening was an opportunity to brief those gun owners about the progress of those law suits.
Energized by the issue, and eager for action, the standing room only crowd at the Brunswick Center Fire House became a statement in and of itself concerning the SAFE Act, according to Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R - Melrose).
"What encourages me the most is ten months later, you can see a packed house," McLaughlin says. "These people are still just as angry as the day it was passed. They're not going to calm down. They want this law repealed and they're not going to stop until that happens."
Billed as a forum on Second Amendment rights, hosted by the Brunswick Sportsman's Club, each speaker set his or her sites on shooting down either the logistics or the constitutionality of the New York SAFE Act.
"Never in my 38 years of law enforcement, until recently, have we been asked to go after honest, law-abiding, good citizens," said Rensselaer County Sheriff Jack Mahar.
"You've made us the most liberal, strictest gun law state in the union," Asserted Deb Busch, an Albany County legislator, "You've decimated anything our forefathers have fought for."
"We need to show them that our gun culture is to be cherished," said Skylar Delango, president of the University at Albany Young Americans for Liberty group. "It is not to be seen as an existentialist threat to the security of our fellow citizens."
"I live alone. I'm in the middle of the woods in Sullivan County and (having a gun) makes me feel safe," said Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D - Sullivan County).
Mindful that the state assembly is overwhelmingly controlled by democrats, and that repeal is virtually impossible, the passionate protestors are banking on a lawsuit, which has already cost more than $300,000.
"They're projecting this gets to the Supreme Court," said Tom King, of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, "It's going to be $750,000 to a million dollars."
As much as the event was informational, there was also a political element to it. People were urged to make sure they register to vote, and to make sure their family and friends do the same.