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Advocates call for repeal of gun ban

File photo/WBFO News
WNY Welcome Center on Alvin Rd., Grand Island

An effort is underway to get state officials to repeal a ban on concealed carry firearms in highway rest areas.

Inside the Western New York Welcome Center, just off the Thruway in Grand Island on Monday, attorney James Ostrowski said he found out about the concealed carry ban by accident.
"We want to let people know that it does exist so first of all they don't inadvertently get in trouble, get arrested. There's no clear penalty for the violation and if I don't know what it is, as a lawyer, I assume that citizens out there don't know either. So that's another kind of absurdity," Ostrowski said.

Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News
Steve Felano and James Ostrowski met with reporters about the gun ban inside the WNY Welcome Center.

The other reason for going public Ostrowski says is so citizens can urge state officials to get rid of "the unconstitutional ban on the right to bear arms." Steve Felano, a civil rights advocate with 2AWNYcom," said the legislature had no say in the rule and "the Department of Transportation has to go back to the drawing board."
"What they need to do is repeal this regulation and insert an exception to this that states that lawful concealed carriers can carry on state rest stop property," Felano said.  

The rule, he says, shows that the DOT does not care about the safety of motorists. Attempts to reach the DOT for comment were unsuccessful.