On Tuesday, hundreds of New York gun owners descended upon the state capitol building in Albany to push for the full repeal of the significantly flawed NY SAFE Act or as it’s also known the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act.
Along with their pro-Second Amendment signs and paraphernalia, the gun rights activists who attended the event brought with them 400,000 signed postcards from fellow gun owners addressed to state lawmakers iterating the message: scrap the SAFE Act or lose your job!
The event was organized by NY2A Grassroots Coalition, which is as the name implies and as their website states, “a coalition of grassroots organizations committed to defeating the NY SAFE Act and the legislators who voted for it!”
According to Lisa Donovan, one of NY2A’s leaders, the key to overturning the NY SAFE Act is getting gun owners to become more politically engaged so that lawmakers feel the pressure at the polls come 2014.
“We are going to vote out the people who did this to us,” Donovan told the crowd, as the Associated Press reported.
While she acknowledged that rolling back the law will be an uphill battle because around 60 percent of the state’s population hail from Bloomberg country aka New York City, which tends to favor gun control, she also explained to attendees that real change is possible because “elections depend on turnouts and people who actively work hard at the campaigns.”
On that note, she pointed to a map depicting all the upstate cities, counties and towns that have approved resolutions opposing the NY SAFE Act.
Donovan’s message certainly resonated with James R. Colloca, a gun owner from Oswego, who told the Associated Press that although he and his friend had already contacted their state representatives about the law, they’re “Not about to give up.”
“I don’t trust the government to do the right thing anymore,” Colloca added.
The NY SAFE Act was the brainchild of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the first comprehensive gun control bill passed in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT.
It put forth a number of inane measures that restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners, among them it broadened the definition of an ‘assault’ weapon (one cosmetic feature: barrel shroud, pistol grip; as opposed to two) and required registration of all the newly defined ‘assault’ weapons.
Additionally, the NY SAFE Act placed a ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and does not permit gun owners to load more than seven rounds in those ten round magazines. Moreover, there is no grandfather clause for magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, gun owners will either have to sell them out of state, destroy them or turn them over to state police.
This Albany rally is just one of many pro-gun/anti SAFE Act rallies that have occurred across the state since the law was passed in January. In fact there was one held last weekend in Rome, NY, at the Fort Stanwix National Monument.
While the fate of the NY SAFE Act is not clear, what is clear is that NY gun owners are not going to go down without a fight.