Tonawanda News

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January 17, 2013

Locals react to state's sweeping gun control legislation

Locals reactto state's sweeping legislation with skepticism


Tonawanda News — “The Senate began acting on the bill before the ink was even dry,” Schimminger said. “This is not the way a transparent government acts. ... The governor was very eager to get this passed before the president came out with his proposal.” 

And although he’s a part of the Democratic party, he didn’t view his vote as unusual, citing other Democrats who also voted no.

“I have long respected the rights embodied within the Second Amendment,” Schimminger said. “This bill affects every law abiding citizen with any firearm, from a pistol to a hunting rifle.” 

The law grandfathers in weapons that are now banned, but owners must register them within one year or provide proof they’ve been sold out of state.

Schimminger pointed to the nation’s “culture of violence” in movies and video games when questioned as to what needs to be corrected to prevent shootings.

“The legislation did not cover that,” he said. 

North Tonawanda Police Chief Randy Szukala also questioned the law’s ability to address society’s long-standing issue of violence.

“We as humans invent ways to hurt each other,” Szukala said. “All you’re doing with a law like this is putting a mandate on it rather than getting to the root of it.”

He said, however, that he is in favor of the provision requiring licensed gun owners and those with pistol permits to renew their license, a practice he said amounts to good sense.

“Coming up with something that proves you can still handle a firearm. That’s probably the best part that I can see,” he said.

The recent legislation has caused a spike in National Rifle Administration membership, as well as local group numbers, including Tonawanda Sportsmen’s Club.

Their outdoor shooting range in North Tonawanda was packed Wednesday night, and membership secretary Don LeDonne said his membership applications are “flying out the door.”

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