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Gun rights supporters rally in Buffalo

Photo by Mike Desmond

On a bitterly cold and snowy afternoon, gun rights supporters rallied Tuesday outside the Mahoney State Office Building in Buffalo to voice opposition to long gun registration rules which kicked in at midnight.

Not only were they waving signs and shouting against the law and Governor Cuomo, they were shredding assault weapon registration forms.

"We're not going to comply. We're not going to take this," said Tea Party activist Rus Thompson who was running the shredder using a portable generator.

"No public input whatsoever, no law enforcement input in this bill (the SAFE Act), it was passed in the middle of the night."           

Thompson and other activists say Albany isn't likely to repeal the SAFE Act and appear to be counting on the court system to throw out the law.

"We are trying to make public awareness our priority. The people that are assembled here are not criminals," said a protester only identified as Dave. 

"You and I can walk anywhere in a two block radius and purchase an illegal weapon from a criminal. There's nobody standing here who is a criminal, at least not yet. Once this law was passed, lot of these people, law-abiding citizens, hard-working people became criminals."

Many gun activists are counting on their support for other gubernatorial candidates to torpedo the Cuomo push for a second term, especially Upstate where gun issues are regarded very differently from Metro New York and the suburbs.

Senatorial candidate Gia DeGennaro Arnold was at the rally with her husband and year-and-a-half old daughter.

Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news
State Senate candidate Gia DeGennaro Arnold attended the rally with her husband and child.

"I think our Constitutional Second Amendment rights shouldn't be infringed on in any way. The SAFE Act   definitely goes past that and infringes entirely on our law-abiding rights to own firearms," said DeGennaro Arnold.