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Nearly 200 meet to oppose NY SAFE Act

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CROGHAN — Nearly 200 people gathered Tuesday evening at the Croghan Fire Hall for an organizational meeting of North Country Friends of the 2nd Amendment, a grassroots organization opposed to the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act.

Residents of Lewis, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties watched a presentation by organizer Patrick J. Morse, New Bremen, concerning specifics of the controversial gun-control law.

“If you don’t like the Constitution, you change the Constitution,” Mr. Morse said. “You don’t make unconstitutional laws.”

Those in attendance seemed well-versed in the law and had few questions, though Mr. Morse said not all New Yorkers are as familiar with the law. He said many he encountered thought it outlawed only machine guns, instead of guns used for hunting or recreation.

Educating those who do not understand the law will be assigned to one of six committees the group will form. The committees will meet in two weeks to discuss progress and strategies for upcoming events with the goal of getting the law repealed.

Lewis County Sheriff Michael P. Carpinelli received applause when he expressed his opposition for the law.

“We’ve gone back to tyranny,” he said. “You’re never going to have our deputies come to your home and take your guns away. It’s not our job.”

R. David Petteys, Lewis County coordinator for We the People of New York Inc., said pending lawsuits could overturn the law, which he called “an abomination.” He urged the group to stay connected.

“You’ve got the ball rolling; don’t quit,” Mr. Petteys said. Similar groups are forming around the state, he said.

The group is planning a rally in Lewis County in May.

For more information, call Mr. Morse at 317-4380.

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