Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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February 18, 2013

Rally for gun rights

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

At a similar rally held Jan. 19 in Buffalo, gun-rights enthusiasts gathered in Niagara Square to just say no to New York's SAFE Act. That rally was organized by local Tea Party leader Rus Thompson.

"I was there," said retired Niagara Falls police officer Steven Baum. "We had almost 3,000 there."

Baum, who said he may attend Lockport's rally today, objects to Gov. Coumo's assertion that the SAFE Act "does not affect rifles and shotguns used by traditional hunters."

"I am a hunter and have been since I moved to Western NY from New York City," he said. "During that time I have used an AR-15 platform rifle to hunt both woodchuck and deer in rifle counties."

According to Baum,  AR-15 platform rifle is the most popular rifle used in coyote hunting in the whole country.

He complained about Cuomo's "hissy fit" and said, "The facts are that nothing the governor has proposed or passed as SAFE law has any impact on criminal activity."

Mongielo said he's hoping for a similar response and turnout in Niagara County. Those in attendance will be invited to join him and other opponents of the SAFE Act in signing on to a lawsuit that is being filed downstate on the grounds that the legislation is unlawful as it was approved by lawmakers who failed to follow the proper "due process." 

Today's rally will precede a meeting of the Niagara County Legislature, during which lawmakers are expected to consider a series of resolutions co-sponsored by Republican lawmakers that question elements of the state's new gun-control legislation. Tonight's legislature meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the county courthouse building. 

Bill Wolcott contributed to this story.

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