State Sen. Hugh Farley and Assemblyman Marc Butler, both Republicans representing Fulton County, strongly oppose Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed gun law, which was passed by the state Senate on Monday night and by the Assembly today.
"This is an infringement of Second Amendment rights," said Farley, who voted against the bill. "It takes law-abiding citizens and possibly makes them criminals."
He said he received more than 600 calls from people opposing the bill and only 15 in favor, and he is trying "to represent the people" who elected him.
Farley said Senate Republicans were able to change the bill so it excludes .22-caliber rifles and shotguns from the assault weapons ban.
"I will definitely oppose the bill," said Butler, whose chamber is taking up the issue today. "It is trampling on the Second Amendment rights of gun owners."
Butler said Cuomo is ramming through the legislation without public hearings and time for the legislators to read the bill closely.
"It is very undemocratic the way he did this," Butler said, noting the legislators got the bill late Monday night instead of the usual three-day notice because he said the governor believes the rush is necessary to deal with gun violence.
"This is about political expediency," Butler said. "We could have waited for what the federal government proposes."
Butler contends Remington Arms and associated businesses in the Mohawk Valley will be "devastated" by this legislation. He said many legislators don't even understand what an assault weapon is.
Democratic Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, who represents Montgomery County, did not respond to calls by press time.
Gloversville Mayor Dayton King reacted to the measure today.
In a written statement to The Leader-Herald, he said, "My police officers will NOT be coming to your door demanding your guns. I will not put them in that kind of danger. According to this new bill, that's what the governor will expect."
The mayor continued, "There are many law-abiding Americans (some veterans of war) in Gloversville, Fulton County and upstate New York who have purchased guns to defend their homes, NOT for hunting. It is a sad day when a governor who wants to be president uses the deaths of innocent children for his political gain.
"No child was saved with this gun law. Criminals will still be able to find guns. I'm in favor of stricter penalties for breaking the law, not increased restrictions or new laws. Today, the law goes from 10 bullets to seven, what is next?
"Last night's vote in the Senate chambers was taken when most of New York was asleep. The governor waived the three-day mandatory aging period on the bill. If we accept this, we should expect more of it."