Tonawanda News

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January 15, 2013

Local gun enthusiasts skeptical of legislation

Tonawanda News — New gun control legislation may sound impressive to some, but Dennis Deasy isn’t convinced it will stop the type of shooting violence it is intended to prevent. 

Deasy, who has owned and operated the Niagara Gun Range on Niagara Falls Boulevard in the Town of Wheatfield for the past 17 years, views the state move to impose stiffer gun laws as more of a public relations stunt than a comprehensive approach to improving public safety. 

“Hopefully, they’ll sit back for a few minutes, stop getting so excited, let their blood pressure come down a few points and start looking at this rationally,” said Deasy, whose business sells firearms and ammunition and offers an indoor firing range and training. “If you are going to pass a law, pass a law that makes sense, pass a law that is going to be effective.” 

The Associated Press reported Monday evening that state lawmakers in Albany had reached an agreement on a bill that would broaden the state’s definition of banned assault weapons, increase penalties for criminals committing crimes with guns and implementing a statewide registry for assault rifle owners. Part of the effort reportedly involves a reduction in the maximum capacity of an ammunition magazine from 10 rounds to seven. 

Deasy pointed to communities in other parts of the country - including President Barack Obama’s own hometown Chicago, Ill. — as places where gun laws have been strengthened, but the violence has continued. 

“The bottom line is the criminals are going to get their hands on the guns,” Deasy said. “It’s going to create a situation that’s worse.” 

Deasy’s recommendation: expand programs for the mentally ill and mandate reporting of questionable statements and behaviors by mental health professionals who are dealing with individuals who may be more likely to use a gun to commit mass murder. He also believes more should be done to limit the violence young people often encounter in the media, video games in particular. 

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