Gun owners face a number of new restrictions under the New York SAFE Act. The new law was passed just two weeks ago. Law enforcement officials visited the Southern Tier Tuesday to help answer questions about the law. Our Melissa Kakareka tells us whether or not the meeting was enough to satisfy everyone's concerns.
ENDWELL, N.Y. - It was standing room only inside the Endwell Fire Hall Tuesday as the public gathered to hear more information about the New York SAFE Act. Members of the New York State Police were joined by local law enforcement officials to answer questions about the new law.
"People think their weapons are going to be taken away by the police or the state and we wanted to assure them that any weapon that is legally owned today is still legally owned, they might be subject to more restrictions and permits and things of that nature," said NYSP Deputy Superintendent Kevin Gagan.
Officials answered a variety of questions such as what classifies as an assault weapon and what the new permitting process for guns and ammunition requires. Some who attended say the informational meeting was helpful.
"There is still a few unanswered questions at this point, but I feel a little more informed than I did previously," said Vestal resident Mike Neilson.
Many other people took the opportunity to express their issues with the law itself, in what turned into a heated and emotional forum at many points.
"This law must be repealed, if and when we do do extended gun control, it must be done properly with debate and acceptable. This law is not acceptable. It was bullied through and it was implemented," said Endwell resident Al Belardinelli.
The meeting was one of many being held around the state by the New York State Police and the Division of Criminal Justice Services to help people better understand the SAFE Act. Officials say they are hopeful that the information they presented can help people move past the debate.
" I think once they can get past the effect it's having on them and see the broader picture, I think most of them are realizing that this an appropriate direction to move in," said James Sherman of the NYSP Pistol Permit Bureau.
But even with the informational meeting, some people say they are still concerned about the new law, as well as their Second Amendment rights.