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Gun Rights Rally In Albany Targets Cuomo, Features Trump, Astorino

(WBEN/AP) Gun rights activists plan a rally at the state Capitol featuring one candidate who ran for governor of New York State, and another that considered a race and declined. 

Buffalo's Carl Paladino who ran in 2010, and celebrity developer Donald Trump who is the subject of a Paladino-led draft movement, will share the podium at a large scale rally against the NYS Safe Act, the state's gun restriction law passed in early 2013.  

WBEN EXTRA: Hear Donald Trump, with John Zach & Susan Rose on the WBEN Liveline with talks of Gun Rallies, The White House and Possibly Investing in a Buffalo Bills Ownership Group   LISTEN HERE 

Related Story: Grand Island School Board Protest over NRA T-Shirt.   Read More on Protest |  Hear GI Gun Activist Rus Thompson  on the WBEN Liveline

Activists are seeking a repeal of the law that outlawed the sales of some popular guns like the AR-15 and placed a range of new restrictions and registration requirements on gun ownership in New York.

Paladino and SCOPE, The WNY-based Shooters Committee on Political Education were heavily involved in a similar rally in early February last year. [ SEE A 2013 PHOTO ALBUM  ]

This year's event  comes approx. 2 weeks after Trump announced he would not seek the Republican nomination for governor, prompting Paladino to launch a draft Trump movement and invite him to speak at today's rally. .

"Starting April first you are going to see very clearly that the people of New York still want Donald Trump to be their candidate," Paladino said.


"We will never convert the 22% rabid anti-gunners, we don’t have to convert the 32% avid pro gunners but we must convert a sizable portion of the 46% of those somewhere in between if we want to retain our 2nd Amendment Rights long term. "

-- Tom King, NYS Rifle and Pistol Assoc.

The New York Daily News reports that Tom King, the head of the state's Rifle and Pistol Association, and a member of the NRA National Board, will not participate in today's rally and is throwing a small dash of cold water on the event .

"King said he fears that the ugliness that has popped up at the rallies is actually hurting the pro-gun cause. He also said it's time to stop the rallies, arguing that they won't result in a repeal of the SAFE Act. He wants to instead focus on trying to get the law struck down in the court," writes the NY Daily News's Ken Lovett.

READ King's Letter to Gun Owners Here 


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New York Daily News Albany Bureau Chief Ken Lovett  
The SAFE Act championed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been criticized as unconstitutional by some gun rights activists, and has been pointed to increasingly in recent months as a chink in the armor of an otherwise unbeatable governor running for re-election.

"I've said to everybody, How is it possible that you don't register all these people. Because a lot of these gun owners are not even registered to vote. And you know, if they voted the Republicans would win in a landslide," Trump said in a March 12 speech to the Syracuse area GOP .

In a WBEN interview Tuesday morning, Trump said the gun issue remains a crucial one for Republicans in NYS. When asked about Paladino's effort to try and draft him to run Trump told WBEN's John Zach and Susan Rose "It doesn't look like that's going to happen." 
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 A Siena College Poll of registered voters taken March 16-20 shows that New Yorkers  strongly support the NY SAFE Act a year after its passage, by a two-to-one majority. But it also points to strong upstate opposition to it and a slight dip in Cuomo's popularity

On gun control, opposition to the SAFE Act seems to be concentrated among Republicans (54 percent oppose- 39 in favor), Conservatives (51 percent oppose- 41 percent in favor ) and upstaters (52 percent oppose-45 percent in favor) , according to Pollster Steve Greenberg.

"While overall, New Yorkers support the SAFE Act by a two-to-one margin, there are some stark differences based on partisanship and geography. Three-quarters of Democrats and a majority of independents support the law, while a majority of Republicans oppose it. The law is supported by more than three-quarters of New York City voters and almost two-thirds of downstate suburban voters, while a slim majority of upstaters oppose it,” Greenberg said in a prepared statement  . “While a majority of men and white voters support the gun law, even stronger majorities of women, black and Latino voters support it.”

Cuomo's rating is down slightlly in that poll, but he still leads Rob Astorino, the only declared Republican candidate for governor, by 35 points.  Astorino will also speak at the rally.



From The New York Daily News, Here's the letter NYS Rifle & Pistol Assoc. Pres sent to approx. 1000 gun rights activists in advance of today's rally.

Gun Owners of New York State

There is some discussion and finger pointing going on regarding the New York State Rifle & Pistol Associations (NYSRPA) decision not to be directly involved in anymore large rally’s; and rather than you hearing by rumor our reasons I thought I’d address the situation directly. The NYSRPA Board of Directors has decided that our time, efforts and assets are better utilized in the following ways:

  •  Funding the SAFE Act Law Suit to overturn this terrible law
  •  Registering voters
  •  Educating non voters on the importance of their vote and getting them to the polls
  •  Participating in small localized forums around the state where the message can be better heard
  •  Supporting our local groups to have their voices heard
  •  Supporting local grass root boots on the ground efforts

After much discussion this decision was reached for the following reasons:

  •  Since the large rally of February 28, 2013 ensuing rallies have dwindled in size. Not because gun owners have lost interest but because we all work and it is expensive to take a day off, pay to come to Albany and still be ignored by the downstate liberal politicians.
  •  The Legislators already know we are disturbed, don’t care and will not repeal the SAFE Act just because we fill West Park
  •  We are preaching to the choir. We have seen the same groups and the same people at every rally
  •  The rally on April 1, 2014 includes Frackers, Right to Lifers and Land Owner Rights Groups. All worthy issues but not 2nd Amendment issues! We are a single issue advocacy group and our message becomes compromised with these other groups included.
  •  Our voices are becoming more contentious and threatening

There have been many studies and surveys done regarding the population demographics of the people of this country and state our research tells us New York State is divided in this manner (Numbers rounded)

Rabidly Anti-Gun 22% Somewhere in between 46% Avidly Pro Gun 32%

Fellow gun owners I submit this to you for your consideration. We will never convert the 22% rabid anti-gunners, we don’t have to convert the 32% avid pro gunners but we must convert a sizable portion of the 46% of those somewhere in between if we want to retain our 2nd Amendment Rights long term. These are the soccer moms, the guys who say I’ve never shot a gun but would like to try it and the people worried about their safety. How do we do that? Not by standing on stage screaming obscenities at Cuomo and certainly at large rallies where people stand on stage, pound their chest and tell the attendees to prepare for war. That frightens the very people we want to attract to our side, the people who will insure 2nd Amendment Rights for our grandchildren.

Many people ask “Why don’t you cooperate or work with other groups”? We do work with other groups! Ask the Westchester County Firearms Owners Association, SAFE on Long Island, various County Conservation Federations throughout the state and of course the NRA. However; we will not work with any group that we feel will be detrimental to our efforts to restore 2nd Amendment freedoms to New York State. We do not make threats, we do not tell people to prepare for war nor do we sell bumper stickers that proclaim “BALLOTS or BULLETS”. We don’t buy billboards we spend our money where it does the most good in the courts.

Speaking of the courts here is the latest information on our SAFE Act lawsuit: This is a tentative schedule of the appeals process: Appellant briefs and their replies should be done by mid-August 2014. There may be a CAMP Conference in this case as they are common in the 2nd Circuit and are aimed at pre-appeal resolution. Oral arguments in the 2nd Circuit are generally scheduled approximately three months after the briefing is completed.

In case you haven’t heard your NYSRPA is now the largest NRA State Association in the Nation with over 41,000 members. Thank you for your help in achieving that position.

Tom King

Cogito ergo sum ​​armati 
[Trans: I think, therefore I am]

04/01/2014 6:47AM
Do Gun Rallies Matter?
Please enter your comments below.
04/01/2014 8:39AM
Inner city urban gangs thank you for your efforts.
And yes WBEN listeners that was a dog whistle just like you hear on this station every day. Your advocacy of increased gun proliferation and the resulting increase in death and violence is duly noted.
04/01/2014 9:09AM
Prince Andrew does not care
Andrew Cuomo and company rammed this travesty of a law through to show his position as a "leader".... Andrew Cuomo does not care about anyone's Rights because he is just a petty dictator in all reality. The election this Fall will give him another term in office to further stick his agenda up our collective backsides......
04/01/2014 1:05PM
Constitutionally Offensive
Regardless of where one stands on these second amendment and civil rights issues, we as New Yorkers and Americans must deem this ill-conceived law as constitutionally offensive. The rallies should continue as long as they are well attended. They are an important and peaceful way for citizens to show their displeasure with government, this or any law passed under suspicious circumstances.
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