Spread this far and wide. FREEDOM!
Gun-Rights Advocates Rally in Albany Jan 19 2013 Demonstrators outside the Capitol in Albany on Saturday denounced recent legislation that gave New York some of the nation’s toughest restrictions on assault weapons and magazines. The rally was one of many held across the country by gun-rights advocates.
“This is an outrage against humanity, what we’re seeing,” said protester Robert Candea, of Warwick, who brought his family along.
Activists promoted the rallies in state capitals nationwide primarily via social media. They were held days after President Barack Obama unveiled a sweeping package of gun-control proposals in response to the Connecticut elementary school massacre last month.
New York’s law, enacted with little public debate, expanded the state’s assault-weapon ban and instituted background checks for buying ammunition. It passed with broad support in the legislature, but some lawmakers who opposed it vowed at Saturday’s rally that they would keep fighting.
“This battle is not over. It has just begun,” Republican Assemblyman Steven McLaughlin said.
“This was abuse of power by a man who wanted to be president but now never will,” he said of Cuomo.
“This week, representative democracy did not work,” said Republican Assemblyman Jim Tedisco.
Protester Sirell Fiel of Cambridge, who draped himself in an American flag for the rally, said he had owned guns for many years and hoped to attend more protests in the coming weeks. “I’m not going to stop until changes are made.”
Gun owners, however, said they are being unfairly targeted by the new law and were dismayed by the quick passage of it by lawmakers. The bill was adopted hours after it was printed.
“If they want to do something, then give it the people. If they want to do a referendum on casinos, why don’t they do one on gun control?” said Paul Jameson, 54, Saugerties, Ulster County. “This is absolutely crazy the way the governor has done this. It borders on illegal, and it takes away our rights.”
Other accused the Democratic governor of pushing for the law so he could build his national profile. He is considered a potential presidential candidate in 2016.
“We elected them to serve us. They are serving themselves,” said Eli Noseworthy, 69, of Long Island. “The governor is concerning himself with his aspirations to run for president, and that’s not right.”
The National Rifle Association has protested the new law, and lawsuits are expected against the state.
The rally was part of a national effort Saturday called Guns Across America and included rallies at state capitals to protest new laws and legislation.
“I don’t feel like I’m a criminal. In order to keep order, we need good guys with guns,” said Heather Johnson, 36, of Kirkville, Onondaga County.
Cuomo on Saturday said the law would save lives. A Siena College poll Thursday showed wide support for the governor and the gun-control measures.
The law puts a tighter ban on assault weapons and lowers the number of bullets allowed in a magazine from 10 to seven. It adds more stringent regulations on gun permitting and expands background checks for pistol sales.
At the New York state Capitol in Albany,
Thousands turned out for a chilly rally, where they chanted “We the People,” ”USA,” and “Freedom.” Many carried American flags and “Don’t Tread On Me” banners. The event took place four days after Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the nation’s toughest assault weapon and magazine restrictions.
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