ILION — Legislators, Remington Arms employees, union representatives and gun owners turned out for “The Shot Heard Around New York State” at Ilion Fish and Game Club on Saturday to mark the one year anniversary of the passing of the SAFE Act.
U. S. Rep. Richard Hanna, R-22 of Barneveld, said his presence there was more than just to protest the bill signed into legislation by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Jan. 15, 2013, but to show support for Remington Arms employees and their families.
“[The SAFE Act] is overreaching in many ways and it doesn’t get to the core of the problem, which is mentally ill or mentally deficient people having possession of firearms,” said Hanna during a telephone interview Monday. He said the law “doesn’t do enough about that, and it interferes with the legitimate rights of lawful gun owners.”
He said this includes hunters and those seeking protection.
Hanna also said the law also doesn’t take into consideration the 1,450 workers at Remington Arms and their families.
“It’s important Remington Arms knows that their representative in Washington supports them,” he said. “We want Remington to stay here.”
The Ilion Fish and Game Club, at 1276 Barringer Road, hosted the event. According to its website, over 100 people attended.
The Springville Field and Stream Club, in Erie County, promoted the event through their Facebook page asking for all sportsmen clubs around the state to participate by firing one “symbolic” shot at noon. Clubs and individuals from around the state and across the country posted pictures on their Facebook page showing their participation.
Fran Madore president of the United Mine Workers of America Local 717, said he’s been actively protesting the legislation since it was first signed since his union represents many Remington Arms employees.
“It definitely hurts our business,” said Madore, during a telephone interview Monday. “It’s made honest people into criminals.”
Madore, who attended Saturday’s event, said he objects to “everything” about the law.
“There’s not one good thing about it,” he said. “That SAFE Act doesn’t make sense to anyone who knows anything about guns. It’s strictly political.”
State Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, R/I/C-101 of New Hartford, said she was the first to submit a repeal to the SAFE Act, and that similar bills have also been submitted to the assembly.
“One thing about [the SAFE ACT] is it is aimed at legal gun ownership,” said Tenney, who also attended. “It’s an optics bill, rather than a gun control bill. “
Tenney said the legislation also interferes with the Second Amendment.
“With the governor, he said it doesn’t take ten bullets to kill a deer. But it’s not about hunting. It’s about the right to bear arms,” she said.
Page 2 of 2 - Hanna said one of his biggest problems with the SAFE Act was how it was handled.
“It was not in the democratic way,” he said. “It was shoved down the throats of legislators literally overnight. Had there been adequate opportunities to deliberate it, we wouldn’t have had this law.”
In the year since it has been enacted, the SAFE Act has seen legal challenges and, also resolutions from a majority of the 62 counties in the state, which declare their opposition to it.
Hanna said currently “there’s nothing moving in the [House of Representatives] to change the nature of gun control.”