Here's a sampling of their statements
Each one printed verbatim. All received by WBEN.com printed here. To submit yours, mail firstname.lastname@example.org
NYS REPUBLICAN PARTY
The New York GOP today released the following statement in response to the passage of the SAFE ACT:
"Andrew Cuomo promised to be the most transparent governor in New York's history. But Cuomo's use of a Message of Necessity facilitated the rushed passage of the SAFE Act before New Yorkers had a chance to properly review a bill with serious ramifications for their 2nd Amendment rights.
"Senate Republicans deserve credit for including laudable measures in the SAFE Act like increased penalties for criminals who use guns, protection of the privacy of law-abiding gun owners and expanded treatment requirements for the mentally ill.
"However, in his rush to be the first governor in the Nation to pass any gun control legislation, Cuomo missed the opportunity to get gun policy right.
"Governor Cuomo might get his wish of making New York the most progressive state in the Nation. But as long as that's his focus, New York's real necessities, our unemployment crisis, crippling tax and regulatory regimes and worst-in-the-Nation business climate, will not get the attention they deserve."
ASSEMBLY MINORITY LEADER BRIAN M. KOLB (R,C,I-CANANDAIGUA)
“For an issue of this importance, and its impact on our Second Amendment rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution, the legislation that was passed today lacked sufficient public input and discussion to ensure that we provide meaningful protection for our children, families and communities.
Stakeholders from across the state – including law enforcement, school safety officials, firearms dealers, mental health professionals, business owners, criminal profilers, law abiding gun owners and the public at large - never had the opportunity to comment or make their voices heard regarding this critical issue.
That is why I could not support this legislation for the residents of New York State.
This discussion must not end here. It must continue with all parties coming to the table so we may hear their ideas on how to protect our children and families.”
NYS ASSEMBLYMAN RAY WALTER ( R- AMHERST)
Assemblyman Ray Walter (R,C,I-Amherst) cast his vote in opposition to legislation restricting all New Yorkers’ Second Amendment rights. The measure was rushed to a vote without sufficient time allowed to examine, research or publicly debate its merits.
“In the wake of recent violent tragedies, our focus should be on the safety of our families and communities, not political posturing and public relations” Walter explained. “As the father of two children, I understand the need to protect our communities and I will continue to strive for legislation that fosters safety and health for all New Yorkers. Today’s rushed vote and muzzled debate is a calculated public relations opportunity to grab headlines rather than protect kids. Hundreds of my constituents – law-abiding gun owners – have reached out to me to express their concerns about this legislation. These people were deprived of their voice in this debate.
“I support the reasonable aspects of this legislation that will stop criminals and individuals with a history of mental illness from obtaining weapons, but I remain in strong opposition to infringing upon the constitutional rights of law-abiding New Yorkers. The end result of this legislation could potentially turn law-abiding rifle owners into criminals. The reality is that so-called ‘Assault Weapon’ bans have been proven to be completely ineffective in reducing the murder rate and this legislation would have done nothing to prevent the tragedy in Newtown. Violence is a complex issue with no easy solution; it requires patience and rational discussion. This is merely an illusory reform.”
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN
ALBANY ‑ The following statement can be attributed to Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman regarding the passage of the NY SAFE Act by the State legislature:
"With the passage of this legislation, our state has taken decisive action to protect New Yorkers from gun violence. By expanding the state’s assault weapons ban, limiting high-capacity magazines and improving background checks, among other measures, the Legislature and Governor Cuomo deserve credit for putting the safety of our communities first. I look forward to continuing to work together with my colleagues in government and law enforcement as we seek to expand our efforts to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people."
ASSEMBLYMAN DAVID DiPIETRO (R- EAST AURORA)
I am a staunch defender of the Second Amendment of our United States Constitution and will make protecting the citizens of the 147th Assembly District a priority. I’m a member of the NRA; I’ve had articles published in the Shooter’s Committee on Political Education (SCOPE), and I’m a member of the Safari Club. I’ve aligned myself with organizations that will not allow the rights of New Yorkers to be infringed. This is something I take great pride in, and while I will listen to proposals brought to the Assembly floor, rest assured I will be a consistent voter for liberty and personal responsibility. This is why I voted ‘no’ on the gun control legislation presented during the opening days of session.
Personal responsibility is not only a core tenet of my own ideology but also a major pillar of the Republican Party. We cannot continue to cede responsibility to the government for the promise of safety. We must continue to safeguard our rights with the vigilance a free nation requires. To increase the role of government is to limit the freedom we enjoy every single day as Americans.
The Second Amendment exists to defend the rest of the Bill of Rights and our cherished Constitution. When you disarm law-abiding citizens, firearms only remain in the hands of criminals. We have seen how strict gun regulation has failed the people of Chicago. Through December 9, 2012, there were 487 murders in the city of Chicago. Virtually all of them were committed with guns.
In his recent State of the State address, Governor Cuomo discussed some of the most anti-Second Amendment proposals in the nation. The governor has used the emotions following the Sandy Hook and Webster tragedies to eat away at a fundamental right. I don’t believe in capitalizing on a tragedy, and I surely don’t believe in stripping the rights of all honest citizens based on the actions of a few evil men.
During my time in Albany, I want to assure everyone in the 147th District and the rest of New York that I will not vote to limit or restrict your Second Amendment rights. Part of the oath of office I took was to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and I believe that in order to fulfill that role I will vote to uphold the Second Amendment.
ASSEMBLYMAN JOSEPH GIGLIO ( R-GOWANDA)
“My prayers go out to the families of Newtown and Webster, as well as all victims of senseless violence. I agree that we must end these inhuman acts, but we must do so responsibly, with a balanced approach that does not unintentionally make criminals out of law-abiding New Yorkers.
The so-called New York SAFE Act does not do enough to enhance public safety and protect the most vulnerable in our society. Its 'debate' was rushed and confined exclusively to firearms, when a more comprehensive conversation – about mental health, violence in the media and family stability – would have been in order. Equally troubling, there have been neither public hearings nor a proper vetting of the law's murky details.
I cannot and will not support legislation that is rammed through the Assembly and that does not go far enough to protect families or address the root causes of the evil everyone in this chamber would like to end. This body can do so much better.”
ASSEMBLYWOMAN JANE CORWIN (R- CLARENCE)
“It is very clear that our state – and our nation – need to take a serious look in the mirror and start talking about the deep-rooted problems plaguing our society. The subjects are difficult: mental health, criminal justice, and yes, part of that conversation needs to include access to illegal weapons. Yet, in lieu of having that conversation, Governor Cuomo tossed ‘transparency,’ ‘accountability’ and ‘openness’ aside to pursue his own personal political 2016 aspirations,” said Corwin. “Like the majority of residents in the 144th District, and all across our state, I am deeply disappointed with the governor on this issue.”
In expressing her “no” vote on the bill, Assembly Bill 2388, Corwin stated multiple reasons why she felt she must vote against the bill. She said, “Obviously, we all want to protect our children. We want to keep guns out of the hands of the criminally insane and we want to keep these madmen out of our schools, neighborhoods and communities. Our number one priority as legislators is to ensure public safety; yet, when Albany had the chance to really have an open and honest conversation, lawmakers were bullied into passing a bill that not only fails to improve public safety but also swindles the people of our state in the 11th hour.
“There was no opportunity for the public to review or comment on the legislation, and, in fact, there was very little time given to lawmakers as well. The bill was negotiated in secret and unveiled to the media before given to legislators…to me that is not leadership, and I believe the people of our state deserve more than that,” said the Assemblywoman.
She continued, “Most disappointing is that, by freezing out a large portion of the State Legislature, the governor has also forgone his chance to hear the views of the people these legislators represent. He has missed an opportunity to create a better, more comprehensive bill by cherry-picking who he allows in the room. Had the governor chosen to be inclusive, open and transparent in this process, we could have provided the people of New York with meaningful legislation that addresses the serious problems of our society.
“Instead, we have a bill that does nothing to address illegal guns, while overreaching so far as to encroach on law-abiding residents’ constitutional rights. The mental health aspects of the bill resemble Swiss cheese, and the bill creates a bureaucratic mess that will drive up fees and do nothing to ensure public safety. For the people of New York, this was a missed opportunity. The governor let his own personal political agenda get in the way of doing what is right for our state and that is truly a failing indeed,” said Corwin.
THE BRADY CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE
The President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence today called the passage of major gun-related legislation in New York, “an historic moment that will save lives.”
“Governor Cuomo and the lawmakers in Albany have today shown tremendous leadership on the critical issue of gun violence. By making this a priority, the Governor has not only saved lives, but will hopefully inspire leaders in Washington also to take swift action,” said Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign. “The comprehensive package passed today in New York represents the kind of solutions that need to be implemented on the federal level. Many of these solutions, including universal background checks, have tremendous support from Americans across the country and across the political spectrum, including among gun owners and NRA members. The policies will have an immediate and widespread impact on gun violence, and when coupled with public health and safety education programs, will finally begin to address in a real way the epidemic of gun deaths in America. We thank Governor Cuomo for his bold leadership to prevent gun violence and for creating a model for the nation.”
The Brady Campaign has been working with the Vice President’s Task Force on Guns and has submitted a set of comprehensive recommendations.
A poll released yesterday by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press shows that the American people are overwhelmingly supportive of major changes to our gun laws. The poll showed that about 85% of those surveyed supported background checks for private gun sales and sales at gun shows. The poll also showed that four out of five Americans favor laws that would prevent the mentally ill from buying weapons.
NEW YORK CITY MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG
Governor Cuomo, Majority Coalition Leaders Skelos and Klein, and Speaker Silver have shown that it's possible to act quickly – and in a bipartisan fashion – to enact gun laws that will make our communities safer. The responsible and comprehensive gun reform bills the Governor signed into law today will help keep guns away from criminals and others who are already prohibited from purchasing them.
The bills will also strengthen the State’s tough but sensible restrictions against military-style weapons and high capacity magazines. The bi-partisan cooperation that produced these bills sets an example for Washington to follow, and it makes clear that the Senate’s new majority coalition is capable of working with the Assembly and delivering results for New York State.