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Ulster County gun supporters rally against NY SAFE Act

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Albany/HV: Ulster County gun supporters rally against NY SAFE Act
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Hundreds of Second Amendment advocates in Ulster County packed into a firehouse in Accord to protest the state's new gun laws. Our Eva McKend has more.

ACCORD, N.Y. -- It was no ordinary breakfast and people weren't necessarily there for the food.

"I don't eat pancakes, but I do believe in the Second Amendment," said Ulster County resident Robert Oaks as he helped stir eggs in the kitchen.

Gerry Fornino, an advocate with the Ulster County Friends of the Constitution, and his 10-year-old daughter, Lenny, came with a mission in mind. They aimed to drum up support among gun enthusiasts in Ulster County and to construct a plan to push back against what they describe as national and local anti-gun efforts.

"You are telling people that the personal ownership of their property that they’ve had for many, many years is now going to be simply illegal to possess when, in fact, these people have done nothing to commit any type of criminal act," said Fornino.

Gun supporters at the rally said the NY SAFE Act, recently signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, doesn’t offer practical solutions to the issue of gun violence.

"Part of the problem with this new activity that’s happening, this new swell of 'anti-gunism,' is that it’s restricting the amount of ammunition available. You have to train with firearms which means you have to shoot rounds on a range to be safe and as a trainer, I have a problem because I can’t do that with students. Education is the key for safety with all things," said Ken Cooper.

"There are positive things that we can do to stop gun violence, like investing in more mental health services and enforcing the gun laws that we already have instead of making new ones. The people here, and I’m 100 percent with them, think that more gun laws don’t necessarily make more law abiders. It makes ordinary citizens like all of these great people here into criminals,” said Republican Ulster County Legislator Ken Ronk.

Some members of the local legislature put forth a resolution calling for additional gun laws, a move that didn't sit well with the people in the room on Sunday. They say they will add that to the list of measures they will vocally oppose.

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