Written by: JESSICA Bakeman
ALBANY — Thousands of gun-rights supporters filled West Capitol Park on Thursday to protest the state’s gun-control law, chanting for a repeal and shouting for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to step down.
The protesters waved signs reading: “Cuomo — Take the criminals’ guns; leave mine alone,” “Cuomo, Kiss My AR’s!” and “Say no to Comrade Cuomo.”
“Not all aspects of the law are bad, but some of them don’t make sense. I don’t feel that the governor can even explain them,” said Heidi Hayes, 32, of Stone Ridge, Ulster County.
Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, Otsego County, said he would like to see a full repeal of the law, which was signed on Jan. 15. He said that is unlikely, though, and will hope an expected lawsuit to toss the measure will be successful.
“I think the best opportunity to make some changes in the bill, to make it more reasonable and workable in terms of law-abiding gun owners in New York. But the ultimate answer is the court challenge,” he said.
Protesters traveled in about 100 buses from all over the state for the noon protest outside the Capitol where they railed against the gun-control law. It bans assault weapons and limits the number of bullets in a magazine to seven. It also bolsters permitting requirements for gun owners.
Some protesters said they disapproved of how the law was passed; it was introduced, approved by both chambers and signed by the governor in less than 24 hours. Some posters likened the Democratic governor to Adolf Hitler and called him a tyrant.
Thursday’s rally was the third by gun-rights supporters since the law was adopted, and it was the largest. An estimated 5,000 New Yorkers attended, State Police said.
“Every citizen in this state should be here,” said Ronald Lambertson, 45, of Wawarsing, Ulster County, while waiting in line to enter the Capitol on Thursday morning. “If we’re not here, there is a good chance that we can lose our guns. We’re making a stand. We’re showing Albany that they woke a sleeping giant.”…
A number of Republican lawmakers who voted against the bill drew a huge response from the crowd.
Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, Putnam County, said gun-rights supporters were rallying to guarantee the rights of future generations.
“If we lose this fight, we will have lost this country,” said Ball. “I will fight with you till hell freezes over, and I will fight with you on the ice.”
Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette, Seneca County, criticized comments Cuomo made in his State of the State address in January.
In a comment that has become a rallying point for opponents of the new gun laws, Cuomo said then: “You don’t need 10 bullets to kill a deer.”
Nozzolio responded Thursday: “We do not have a constitutional right to deer hunt. We have a constitutional right to bear arms, and that’s what this is all about.” (ARTICLE)