Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 17, 2013

NRA: NY's quick gun law passage nixed opposition

Niagara Gazette — ALBANY — The National Rifle Association said the secretive negotiations and lightning-fast passage of New York's tough new gun control laws squelched the powerful gun lobby's ability to mount opposition.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he had to engineer quick enactment to prevent a counterproductive buying spree of now-outlawed guns.

The legislation was negotiated over the weekend, introduced on the first day of the 2013 legislative session and signed into law the next day.

The NRA, which has thwarted such restrictions nationwide, had members working the phones but didn't have enough time to coordinate a public rally. The gun-rights group and some New York lawmakers say the rushed legislation also undermined public input and meaningful debate.

"They did slide this through in the middle of the night," said Tom King, president of the New York Rifle & Pistol Association, the state's NRA affiliate. "There was no negotiation with any pro-gun group. Up until 10 o'clock in the evening of the day of the vote, they were telling me there was no agreement."

The group annually sponsors "Sportsmen's Day" where hundreds of hunters and other gun owners crowd statehouse hallways to urge their legislators to support gun rights. There was no chance to mount a similar event this week, since it would require a designated Capitol space, permits, legislative sponsorship and arranging for buses and city parking fees, King said.

"It takes longer than two days to do that," he said.

King said his group asked members to call legislators ahead of the legislative session when they knew it would be coming up as an issue.

"We urged our members to call rather than email. It's awful easy to delete emails, but you have to answer the phone," King said. "That's something we do any time there's any kind of threat to Second Amendment rights."

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