PLATTSBURGH — The two Republican candidates for the 21st Congressional District seat are getting heated over gun control.
Elise Stefanik and Matt Doheny traded barbs over who supports gun control in New York more.
Doheny started the fight when he issued a statement calling on Stefanik to sign the SCOPE pledge to repeal the NY-SAFE Act.
The pledge is a directive from the Shooter's Committee on Political Education, which was founded in 1965 by a group of firearms owners in western New York, to repeal the NY-SAFE Act.
The SAFE Act is legislation passed last year in New York strictly regulating gun and ammunition ownership. It has been controversial, with gun owners across the state holding rallies in support of repealing the legislation.
Doheny said Stefanik should stand up and sign a pledge to have the law repealed if she really is against it.
"The SAFE Act was passed in the dead of night with the assent of legislators like Elise who claim to be Second Amendment supporters," Doheny's news release said.
"Whether it's raising taxes or protecting our Second Amendment rights, there are too many legislators who say one thing and do another."
Stefanik, 29, responded to Doheny's claims that she is not opposed to the SAFE Act by noting that she has been to several rallies against the legislation — including one in Plattsburgh — since last year, while Doheny was nowhere to be found.
"As a card-carrying member of the NRA and a gun owner, I have been a huge supporter of protecting voters' Second Amendment rights," she said in a statement.
"This is not an issue I support only when it is convenient; I have fought and will continue to fight for gun owners' rights."
Doheny also made an issue of Stefanik's residency, saying she lives in Washington, D.C., and not Willsboro in Essex County, as she claims.