Press-Republican

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January 16, 2013

North Country leaders nix gun law

(Continued)

And many people don’t have a problem with young people playing with violence-themed toys or video games, she said, noting that no toy guns or playthings of the sort are sent to the Nicaraguan children the Mission of Hope serves.

“I think anything that will foster protection for not only our young ... but all of our society is essential.”

Little applauded the portions of the bill that would require people with mental illness “who may post a threat to themselves or others” to get treatment. 

This is “not only important in light of the recent tragedies but is good public policy,” she said.

The law also increases penalties for illegal gun use, which, according to Little, accounts for 70 percent of all gun crimes. She was in favor of that part of the legislation, she said.

‘RESTRICTS RIGHTS’

A statement from Stec pointed to the “lack of time for both legislators and the public to read the particulars of the legislation.”

“The bill that passed the Assembly (Tuesday) is a slap in the face to legal, responsible gun owners,” he said. 

Stec supports certain parts of the legislation including the increased penalties for illegal firearm usage and measures to protect fire

responders.

“However, I cannot support a bill where large parts severely restrict the constitutional rights of our sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts and ignores overwhelming information that shows restricting access to firearms is not a solution to solving gun violence in our communities,” Stec said.

Following the tragedies in Newtown and Webster, he said, there must be a discussion about gun violence that addresses improved mental-health treatment and “the content of our popular culture.” 

But, he said, “it’s a disservice to victims of gun violence that the bill hastily presented (Tuesday) missed the mark and avoided that important discussion in favor of political theater.”

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