UPDATE: Local reaction to New York Safe Act
1/15/2013 (Updated 11:16:51 PM)Within an hour of its passage by both houses, Governor Cuomo signs the nation's toughest gun control legislation.
New York is now the first state in the country to tighten gun restrictions since the Newtown school shooting in December.
Governor Cuomo signed the NY Safe Act Bill late this afternoon soon after passage by the State Assembly, and following last night's passage by the Senate.
The act includes measures that would limit the maximum number of rounds a magazine could hold to seven, down from ten, and require background checks for all gun sales, even private person-to-person sales.
Every state legislator from the Southern Tier voted no on the bill.
"This bill attempts to make changes to New York's gun laws, to our criminal justice system, and to our mental health laws as well," said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell. "And I had a very difficult time making the types of sweeping changes to all of these systems in one bill."
"This legislation basically is an imposition on a lot of law-abiding people and businesses," said Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, R-Guilford. "So it's really just a feel-good bill basically for political gain to say we're the first state in the nation to ban some of these weapons."
Lupardo says she likes many parts of the bill but had a problem with the process, specifically the lack of public comment. According to Crouch, the law also includes a provision that requires people to re-register their pistol permit every five years or face a misdemeanor charge.
State Senator Tom Libous voted no on the bill last night. In a statement he said, "while parts of the bill make sense, other parts violate our constitutional rights and limit individuals from protecting themselves and their families."
Meanwhile back in Binghamton many still have painful memories of the 2009 shooting at the American Civic Association.
Three years later, a memorial is under construction to remember the 13 victims. But with school violence an overwhelming concern following the massacre in Connecticut, Maura Kammerman, Binghamton's Board of Education President, says the new law is a step in the right direction.
"Anything that limits the number of rounds in a gun, or who's holding the guns, I think it's going to make our schools safer," she said.
While the New York Safe Act hopes to prevent events like the Sandy Hook and ACA shootings from happening, not everyone in the area thinks it would be effective.
"I think everybody should have the opportunity to protect themselves," said Kenneth Konkowski of Binghamton. "I've lived in all five of the (New York City) burroughs, I've never had problems like I've had here in Binghamton. It's really bad here, it opened my eyes to how bad society is getting."
Fox 40 reached out for reaction from the ACA, but were told they could not comment until reviewing the legislation. We'll have more from them on Wednesday.
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