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Protesters take aim at gun-control law [photo gallery]

Gun advocates and state legislators call for end of SAFE Act

Thousands of Second Amendment advocates rally against the NY SAFE Act at the Capitol Thursday, Feb. 28.

Thousands of Second Amendment advocates rally against the NY SAFE Act at the Capitol Thursday, Feb. 28. Photo by John Purcell.

— NRA President David Keene, who traveled to Albany for the rally, also said the protest was about constitutional rights and aimed his comments at Cuomo.

“There are lot of people in this country that remember Andrew Cuomo. He is like a bad penny who keeps turning up,” Keene said.

Keene, along with fellow speakers, admonished Cuomo for saying “You don’t need 10 bullets to kill a deer” and said the Second Amendment “doesn’t simply apply to squirrel hunting.”

Keene said the NRA is a diverse group of citizens believing in the second amendment. He said members not only stand up for their rights, but also support people who stand with them and “work to get rid of those in public office who do not.”

Several protesters wore Ulster County stickers. George Amedore, R-Rotterdam, narrowly lost his state senate race to Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, in part in Ulster. Tkaczyk didn’t take office until after the SAFE Act vote due to litigation over ballots, but said she supported the strengthened gun laws.

Amedore said opponents of the SAFE Act have “spoke the truth,” but it “fell on deaf ears.” Amedore said it is time for advocates to be united and hold accountable all lawmakers who were in favor of the “unconstitutional” legislation.

“We cannot allow our fury to diminish,” Amedore said. “I call upon you to stoke the ember and keep the flame of freedom and liberty alive in each and every one of us to fight this terrible act.”

Assemblyman Steven McLaughlin, R-Melrose, along with other speakers, called out the governor on how the bill was passed, by using a message of necessity to avoid the standard waiting period for a bill to be passed.

“This bill was passed under cover of darkness in a cowardly move,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin previously apologized after saying Hitler and Mussolini would be proud of how the governor railed through the new gun laws. He said he used “a poor analogy” and called Cuomo to apologize.

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