In the wake of two recent mass shootings, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has voiced support for legislation intended to address gun violence, according to media reports.
Several area gun enthusiasts said such actions will not prevent killings such as those that took place in Colorado and Wisconsin. However, they would restrict Second Amendment rights, those interviewed said. They talked about the situation Wednesday at Losie's Gun Shop in Oneonta.
The Daily News recently reported that Sen. Michael Gianaris, D-Queens, is developing a comprehensive plan that would cap the number of firearms a person can buy to one per month, enact a 10-day waiting period, improve record-keeping on the sale of guns and close background-check loopholes.
Other measures considered by the Legislature include a ban on all assault weapons, a requirement for cartridge-case microstamping and the automatic yanking of gun permits for those involuntarily committed to mental hospitals.
Cuomo, a Democrat, said in the story, "I look forward to the next legislative session discussing all the legislative proposals and seeing if we can come up with a consensus package."
Store owner Jim Losie said to prevent future tragedies, existing gun laws need to be better enforced. In addition, if the media didn't provide notoriety for the shooters and death penalty laws were swiftly enforced, the "whack jobs" who commit these crimes would stop, he said.
"Every time you hear of a gun crime, the Democrats have to push through more laws," he said. In explaining the process of purchasing a firearm, people can't just walk into a store and buy a gun, Losie said. There is a form that needs to be filled out and a background check is made before the approval is provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives.
"The bad guys will always find a way to get a gun," he said. "Nobody blames the individual, they blame the gun."
East Meredith gun owner Dan Sheehan was at the store purchasing a bolt-action rifle for target shooting. There are enough laws on the books, he said. The only thing that needs to be addressed is a law that would better regulate private sales, but he did not see how that could be done effectively. He sells any guns he no longer wants back to gun-store owners, so he does not have to be concerned about what happens to them.
Losie said the only way such sales could be controlled is if the private gun seller were held liable for any crimes committed with the gun, but he didn't feel that would work. In a country of more than 314 million people, there are bound to be some incidents, he said, and that won't change by making it more difficult to own guns. It's an effort to take away Second Amendment rights, he said
Helping out at the store Wednesday was John Baranowski of Oneonta. The recent crimes were unfortunate, but they wouldn't have been stopped by more laws, he said, adding that officials need to enforce existing laws. The current effort, he said, is an attempt to take away gun rights from those who enjoy hunting and other legal uses.
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