January 23, 2013

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Gun rights advocates overwhelm Ulster County Legislature session

KINGSTON – Hundreds of Second Amendment supporters came out Tuesday night to the Ulster County Legislature meeting, to protest a resolution being considered by the Law Enforcement and Public Safety Committee. The proposal, which appears to have little support among legislators, sought to request Congress and the President to respond to December's Sandy Hook shootings with unspecified legislation for further gun control.

So many members of the public attended, that the meeting room overflowed into the 6th floor corridor of the Ulster County Office Building in Kingston, filling the corridor tight with people from end to end. Fifty members of the public expressed their concerns during 2 ½ hours of public comment.

Only part of the huge crowd that turned out was able to get into the legislative chamber

James Morgan said moral decay is the real problem.

"We have leaders who disobey laws; we have a governor wannabe president who breaks a law in order to pass a law," Morgan said, citing "politicians who don't play by the rules,”

Jason Anson told legislators how he and his daughter wept together over stricter gun laws passed this month, and signed by Governor Cuomo, giving New York the toughest state-level gun laws in the nation.

"Let me keep my daughter safe,” Anson said. “Gun bans are an easy way to calm uneducated fearful people. No logical argument can be made that they truly stop any sort of crime," he maintained.

Many speakers decried the slashing of mental health funding, arguing that psychological screening and treatment are the only viable option to prevent further mass murder tragedies. Many also reiterated that the Second Amendment is uncompromising regarding the right to keep and bear arms.

When asked who would actually vote for the proposed resolution, only legislator David Donaldson raised his hand. The proposal will be sent back to committee, where it is now expected to be voted down. 

The new gun laws passed this month reduce the number of bullets which can legally be kept loaded in a magazine to seven, and forces renewals of handgun permits statewide every five years. Critics noted that the law refers to "clips" instead of "magazines," underscoring the ignorance of legislators who drafted the bill.


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