Press-Republican

Local News

January 16, 2013

North Country leaders nix gun law

(Continued)

But Peter Visconti, president of the Plattsburgh Rod and Gun Club, said that’s not the case.

“It still goes way too far,” he said. “It affects 22-caliber target rifles.”

Cuomo had previously said the law wouldn’t impact hunters and sportsmen, but it clearly poses increased and unnecessary restrictions on them, Visconti said.

“A lot of local people are upset about this.”

’PRICEY BACKGROUND CHECKS’

Visconti takes part in shooting competitions, including the Empire State Games, and the new law will make it more difficult and more expensive for him to practice, he said.

Also, he said, buying a gun is going to be more pricey now, too. Background-check fees at dealers add up, he said.

Something as simple as taking a Boy Scout troop out for a target practice could come at a large financial cost, he said.

“I’m very upset. I’m disappointed in anyone that voted for this,” Visconti said.

’WON’T END VIOLENCE’

Sister Debbie Blow of Plattsburgh is one local resident who is in favor of stricter gun laws, such as the one signed into law Tuesday.

However, she said, “I think it’s very difficult, because it’s such a multi-faceted issue.”

Blow, a Dominican Sister of Hope who is executive director of Plattsburgh-based humanitarian aid group North Country Mission of Hope, learned something important early in her religious studies, she said.

“There’s never been a weapon created that wasn’t ultimately used.”

While she supports stricter gun laws, they won’t solve the problem of gun violence, Blow said.

“We are appalled at what happens in our theaters and our schools, but it doesn’t start there. Unfortunately, it ends there.”

’SERVICES LACKING’

Lawmakers have not not adequately addressed the kind of severe mental illness in the United States that can be associated with such violence, Blow said, or provided the needed services.

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