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Skidmore grad returns to urge background checks for buying ammo

Mark Mulholland
Updated: October 17, 2019 12:09 AM
Created: October 16, 2019 05:54 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Fred Guttenberg, Skidmore College Class of '88, gets hate mail and posts because he's pushing for a federal background check to buy ammunition.

"I get a lot of pretty incredibly horrible stuff," Guttenberg said Wednesday during an interview at his alma mater.

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It seems some people view requiring a background check to purchase bullets as a slippery slope toward taking their guns away.

However, Guttenberg says he comes from a gun-owning family and has no desire to impact lawful gun owners.

"You have nothing to worry about," he said. "My hope is I'm going to keep your kid or someone you love, from being the next victim of gun violence."

Guttenberg knows the pain too well. His only daughter, Jaime, was 14 when she was killed in the Marjory Stoneman High School shooting in Florida.

"She was just a force of energy."

Not long before the shooting, Jaime and her brother Jesse visited Saratoga Springs and saw their dad's old stomping grounds. 

Guttenberg got a phone call from Jesse that afternoon who was inside the school hearing gunfire.

"The bullets he was hearing, they were coming from the third floor. They were the ones killing his sister."

So as Guttenberg lobbies Congress for a federal law requiring background checks to buy ammo, he's pushing individual states to do the same.

"These guns don't work without bullets and if you're someone who shouldn't be in possession of a gun, we're going to make it harder for you to get the bullets."

Guttenberg will be in Albany Thursday to meet with members of the Cuomo administration.


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