Local GOP, gun owners balk at some gun control measures passed by NY legislature

Feb 7, 2019

Central New York’s Republican state representatives and some local gun owners have reacted negatively to some of the new gun safety measures that passed the legislature last week. Republicans said they were left out of negotiations with the Democratic-controlled Assembly and Senate.

David Steinberg owns the Ra-Lin sporting goods department in Syracuse, which sells long guns and handguns. He said the new measure that expands the background check waiting period to buy a gun from three to 30 days, is a hardship on legal gun owners and is more work for him at the store.

"Instead of going out the door right away, I'm going to have to store it downstairs," Steinberg said. "I'm going to have to have a receipt for it, so I know whose it is. Keep track if I get a callback, if I don't get a callback. Keep in contact with the customer."

Steinberg said anytime new gun laws are enacted, which make it tougher on people, it takes cusetomers away. 

"They don’t buy the extra one," Steinberg said. "They maybe think more. They maybe said I don’t want my name attached to anything so I’m not going to do anything.”

Oswego County Republican Assemblyman Will Barclay said he voted against many of the bills because of a lack of input.

Read his full statement below.

"The Assembly majority again rushes through gun control legislation without appropriate public input and without a willingness to accept reasonable input from people who want to ensure that New Yorkers are safe but also worry about the infringement on people’s Second Amendment rights. Accordingly, I voted against many of these bills. That being said, I will continue to work with my colleagues in an attempt to improve these bills to ensure that they actually do what the sponsor claims they will and not penalize law-abiding gun owners."

Syracuse-area Democratic state Senator Rachel May, who voted for all of the gun safety measures, said the bill that bans teachers from carrying guns in schools brought a contentious debate on the Senate floor. Republicans argue it takes away the right of school boards to make their own choices.

“I can see a little room where people might say this is overly restrictive," May said. "But honestly, my belief is in a school setting, the fewer guns the better.” 

A few measures did receive some Republican support, like establishing gun buyback programs and a further restriction on bump stocks.