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Some upstate counties call for repeal of state gun control law

oswego co leg.jpg
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Oswego County is the latest local government to push for a repeal of New York state's new gun control laws. Both lawmakers and residents say they are hoping their voices make a difference in Albany.

It was a unanimous vote by the Oswego County Legislature for the resolution calling to repeal the New York SAFE Act, in front of a standing room only crowd Thursday afternoon. Among those present, sportsman Rick McDermott, who doesn't think the act, which strengthens the state's gun control laws to make them the toughest in the nation, will do anything to stop gun crime among criminals.

"They don't abide by the laws you have today, they're not going  to abide by the laws you create now. You're only going to infringe on the honest law abiding american citizen," said McDermott.

Oswego is one of several counties that are asking the state to repeal the law, most of them small counties like Madison, Herkimer, Ulster, Lewis, Warren and Washington counties. Oswego Legislator Terry Wilbur hopes if all these small counties join together, it can make a difference.

"It isn't about the size of the county, it's about the size of the voice that comes from that county, and I think that if we chime in together, we can make  a difference on this thing," said Wilber.

Other counties also considering asking the state to repeal the law, include Jefferson, Monroe and Erie counties.

New York state became the first in the nation to beef up gun control laws since the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. in December. Gov. Andrew Cuomo called it "common sense" legislation, when he signed the bill into law a month ago.

Oswego County Sheriff Ruel Todd opposes the new law, which made it through the state Assembly and Senate in less than two days.  

"How can something that is thrown together, not read, not checked over, not allowed people to comment on, be of any value?" asked Todd.

Sportsman McDermott agrees, "this law was passed overnight, in the dark of night, with the governor claiming he had to act while he had the votes, he couldn't wait, cause if he had waited three days, he never would have been able to get this through," he said.

Cuomo said speed was of the essence in passing the law, so there wouldn't be a rush to buy guns. 

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.