Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 16, 2013

Local lawmakers, gun enthusiasts speak out on Safe Act

Local lawmakers, gun enthusiasts speak out on Safe Act

Niagara Gazette — While there may not have been any public hearings or opportunity for public discourse prior to Tuesday’s approval of the nation’s toughest gun restrictions, Sen. George Maziarz said he heard plenty from local residents.

“I have had close to 1,000 calls from residents in my district and many from first-responders who are also responsible gun owners,” the senator said in a relase. “They strongly urged me to vote no. Thus, in spite of some of the good in this bill, I could not support this package.

“The vast majority of gun owners in our state are law-abiding and conscientious. This is especially true of my constituents, who are always vigilant when it comes to protecting their Second Amendment rights. Concerned about the gun control debates taking place in Albany and Washington, they have been very vocal over the past week.”

Assemblyman John Ceretto said he was troubled by Albany leader’s closed-door meetings resulting in the passage of a hastily crafted gun-control bill.

Russell Petrie, chairman of the Niagara County chapter of the Shooters Committee on Public Education, or SCOPE NY, said he believes state lawmakers are getting “carried away” when it comes to such things as classifying various firearms as “assault” rifles and believes the implementation of things like a statewide registry for those who own certain weapons will only serve to further regulate gun owners who follow the rules as they exist today.

“It’s not going to solve anything,” said Petrie, whose organization is based in Lockport but consists of members from across Niagara County. “All you are doing is taking more away from the law-abiding citizens. If you outlaw guns, only outlaws are going to have guns. That’s the reality of it. They are still going to get them no matter what.” 

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