Those opposing SAFE Act plan to rally this week
The fight over gun control returns to Albany this week. More than a month after the measure known as the SAFE Act was passed, opponents remain committed to getting it repealed and they are hoping to show strength in numbers at a rally planned for later this week. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman has the details.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- As state lawmakers return to Albany after an extended mid-winter vacation, they'll be greeted by yet another protest against Governor Andrew Cuomo's sweeping gun control legislation passed in January. Supporters hope Thursday's rally will draw as many as ten thousand people.
“It's to show the governor that there's a grassroots coalition that is growing to voice their opposition to this legislation,” said Tom King, President of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.
The anti-gun control rally is the third to be held in Albany since the law that updates the state's assault weapons ban and reduces the number of bullets in a magazine was approved. Some lawmakers are planning amendments to the law that clarifying exemptions for law enforcement, but advocates say that won't go far enough.
King said, “At this point, a small change isn't going to make enough difference in the law to make it appealing to the gun owners of New York State.”
Cuomo has defended the law as necessary in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting that killed 26 people, including 20 children. Cuomo has insisted that once New Yorkers understand that the law is merely closing loopholes, they will be more supportive.
“I think when people understand that's what the law is really about and it's not about taking their gun or a government intrusion on the Second Amendment, they'll feel better about it,” Cuomo said.
Nationally, the group led by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is planning a new TV ad campaign to spur Washington to act on gun control. A new ad released by Mayors Against Illegal Guns on Tuesday features retired generals and admirals supporting new gun laws.
Back in New York, organizers of Thursday's rally in Albany also say that National Rifle Association President David Keene will attend.