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Pro and anti-gun rallies held at the State Capitol

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Pro and anti-gun rallies held at the State Capitol
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Some big names joined an estimated 3,000 people at the Empire State Plaza in Albany Tuesday to protest against the NY SAFE Act. At the same time, another rally was going on inside the State Capitol to ask lawmakers for stricter gun laws. Time Warner Cable News' Jon Dougherty reports.

NEW YORK STATE -- An estimated crowd of 3,000 protesters traveled to Albany Tuesday to protest the NY SAFE Act. It was passed in 2013 and created some of the toughest gun laws in the country.

Pro-gun advocates at Tuesday's rally were not happy with the law and said it is still unconstitutional and they want it repealed.

Brian Smith of Vorheesville said, "They are slowly eroding all of our rights actually not just the Second Amendment. This is about freedom and not just guns."

"We just want everyone to honor the oath that they swore," said Bill Cooper of New York Oath Keepers. "Obviously the SAFE Act, or the "unsafe act" as we like to call it, is an unconstitutional law."

The protestors were joined by several big names. 2010 gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, real estate mogul Donald Trump, and Republican candidate for Governor Rob Astorino all spoke to the crowd.

Though Trump has said he will not run for governor in 2014, many people in the crowd, including Paladino, urged Trump to reconsider entering the GOP primary against Astorino.

"You have the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. You have that right," Trump said with the crowd cheering. "They (lawmakers) want to take it away and they are taking it away slowly but surely."


At the same time the anti-SAFE Act rally was going on at the Empire State Plaza, across the street inside the New York State Capitol there was another rally supporting the NY SAFE Act.

One of the speakers was Oksana Dalunkin. Her 12-year old son was shot in the head while at a friend's house in New York City and died.

"We have a right to protect our children, this is our biggest job as a human being. I wouldn't wish this pain and grief on anybody," Dalunkin said.

Dalunkin said the two boys were playing with a gun that wasn't locked up properly. It's one of the issues anti-gun groups are still pushing for. They are urging lawmakers to introduce stricter gun regulations.

"We're not just looking back and celebrating what we've done so far but we recognize there are still things we can do to strengthen our laws," said State Legislators Against Illegal Guns (SLAIG) co-chair Brian Kavanagh.

The rallies were held nearly two weeks until another important NY SAFE Act deadline. On April 15 people will have to register their semi-automatic weapons. If they fail to do so they could face misdemeanor charges and have their guns confiscated.

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