Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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SAFE Act critics and proponents debate law

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: SAFE Act critics and proponents debate law
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The SAFE Act remains a polarizing issue as gun rights activists find more flaws in the law every day. Our Barry Wygel spoke with one gun shop owner who points out something he calls an absurdity in the law.

STATEWIDE -- Gun rights activists have said the SAFE Act does not make New York safer. Their latest point revolves around the so-called military style features on semi-automatic or automatic weapons.

"They did it by identifying certain features on the rifle," said Richard Sehlmeyer, who owns a gun shop in Warren County.

Certain things like pistol grips, or extended magazines define the gun as an assault weapon, causing the firearm to fall into a new category.

"There is no difference in the functionality of the rifle whatsoever. They are the same rifle, the only difference being the configuration of the pistol grip," said Sehlmeyer.

Gun control activists say the law is a step in the right direction, but it's not the final solution.

"Common sense gun control means simply trying to keep dangerous guns away from the wrong hands. Makes sense," said Joe Seeman, a gun control activist with moveon.org.

Gun rights activists say the law was clearly not written by a gun expert, and not only will not work, but it infringes upon their legal rights.

"They rammed it through, there is a lot of open-ended things, there is a lot of questions," said Sehlmeyer.

"You don't have to be a gun expert, certainly I am not one, to see that the bottom line is that for responsible gun owners, no one is coming to take their guns," said Seeman.

SAFE Act critics say they continue to fight the law, and advocate for repeal. Meanwhile, proponents say they will look at ways to improve it.

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