Second Amendment supporters are vowing to intensify their efforts in the upcoming months to repeal New York’s SAFE Act and remove from office lawmakers facing re-election in November who voted for the law.
Several opponents of the law say protests against SAFE will increase in the months ahead, and they will continue to be vocal in opposing the law.
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Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, the NRA’s affiliate in New York, said hundreds attended a recent rally in Warren County.
King said those who oppose SAFE are not backing down.
"This is one of their intrinsic rights, they are not going to let this go," said King. He said there has been "unprecedented support" opposing SAFE, and his 40,000 member strong group is committed to fighting SAFE.
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R., Batavia) also attended two rallies in the past two weeks and told the Free Beacon he continues to urge his constituents to fight the law, which was passed "under the cover of darkness" without debate, public input and any surveys, and in "secrecy."
"The SAFE Act is Governor Cuomo’s Obamacare," Hawley said. He explained that even after a year of its passage, the Cuomo Administration is "still not prepared" to enforce it, and "one year later, it is still not ready to go."
"It’s fairly typical, like Obamacare," Hawley said. "It’s ironic that it was exactly the same ending as Obamacare, how sad," he said.
"I’m for repeal for what I believe is an unconstitutional law," Hawley said.
"We’re viewed in upstate new York as relatively insignificant most of the time. We are not the enemy as Governor Cuomo has recently indicated," Hawley said, referring to the governor’s recent remarks on "extremists" not being welcome in New York.
Of the 62 total counties in the state, 52 have passed resolutions opposing the SAFE Act. In addition, more than 250 cities and towns also oppose it.
Budd Schroeder, chairman of the board of the Shooters Committee on Political Education, said his group is planning to intensify its anti-SAFE efforts. A statewide meeting of SCOPE directors is scheduled for February to "plan for the future," to ensure "people are aware of the injustices of the SAFE Act and the uselessness of the SAFE Act."
SCOPE has also approved 10 billboard ads in Albany.
Last week Governor Cuomo said, "Seventy percent of New Yorkers want intelligent gun control."
"Everyone wants intelligent gun control. The SAFE Act is stupid," said Schroeder. "Intelligent gun control" is "already on the books" on the federal, state and local level and has been "for ages."
"Criminals don’t obey them," he said.
A survey by NYRSPA also showed different numbers than Cuomo’s assertion.
"We’ve done a survey that shows 66 percent agree with us, that the Second Amendment is an unalienable right and an individual right versus a collective right," King said.
Cuomo’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Lisa Donovan, cofounder of the NY2A Grassroots Coalition, said many educational forums will be held in the upcoming months to "encourage people not to register their guns" and "not to comply with the law."
Her group is also alerting gun owners to options that will help them avoid being forced to register their guns, such as modifying them.
Her group also plans on continuing to protest at the governor’s public appearances.
"Any time Cuomo is making a public appearance, we show up." They were at Cuomo’s state of the state address earlier this month.
Another grassroots group, the OtherSideNY, uses Twitter to spread the word about the SAFE Act. Tom Ireland, the president of that group, said by email that Cuomo’s "intent was not to make New York safer but to capitalize on the Sandy Hook tragedy to enhance his popularity nationally for a potential Presidential run."
"Most people who opposed this law find it difficult to understand why their 2nd Amendment rights have been limited when they have done nothing wrong," Ireland said.
"It is our Second Amendment right being lessened and we will do everything in our power to ensure those who voted for the law will no longer be in office," King said. He predicted the legal battle of the law would land in the Supreme Court.
"If we can’t get rid of the law this year, we’ll do our best to get rid of the people who voted for it," Schroeder said.