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Syracuse rally protests NY SAFE Act

Hundreds of people from across the state turned out to Syracuse's Inner Harbor Saturday with one thing on their mind - the New York SAFE Act. The rally is the latest of several calling on the state to repeal the SAFE Act, which was the first gun control act passed after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Onondaga County Republican Party Chairman Tom Dadey started things off, getting the flag-waving crowd riled up.

"We're all here for a reason, today, aren't we folks? What's that reason?  Freedom, individual liberty," said Dadey, with the crowd responding.

A series of speakers then criticized the politicians who championed the New York SAFE Act.  Most of the ire was aimed at Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with the attendees chanting the refrain, "Cuomo's gotta go."

Sil Johnson of Fulton was among those at the rally angry with the way the governor has handled the gun control issue.

"Governor Cuomo said the people who are opposed to his law are extremists. I'm a law abiding citizen, I pay my taxes, I work, I raise my family. I'm not an extremist. I love my country and I have the right to defend myself and my family," said Johnson.

The rally was organized in part by a group called Turn Albany Upside Down, which is affiliated with businessman Carl Paladino, who ran against Cuomo for governor three years ago. Republican and Conservative party officials also used the event to urge people to register to vote.

Saturday's rally comes in advance of a March on Albany that's being planned for next month.   

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.