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New York State Exposed: Pushing to get SAFE Act repealed

Updated: 11/07/2013 11:31 PM

Created: 11/07/2013 10:37 PM

By: Amanda Ciavarri

All day we have been showing you the real impact that the New York SAFE Act has on our area. The law was passed back in January.

Governor Cuomo says it gives New York the toughest gun laws in the country. He says it's about safety, others say it is unconstitutional.

I spoke to New York Revolution, an organization dedicated to protecting your rights. They are not opposed to stopping gun violence, but they say the SAFE Act isn't the way to do it.

New York Revolution and gun owners across the state say the SAFE Act is making law abiding citizens into criminals.

Fred Calcagno deals with the SAFE Act everyday as a gun seller and owner.

"It is a big fraud, that's what it is. So many people call it the unsafe act because the only people who are safer are the criminals who are out to break into your house," said Calcagno.

And that isn't sitting well with groups like New York Revolution.

Gia Arnold is the groups Orleans County leader.

"We believe the SAFE Act is very unconstitutional and all it does is punishes law abiding, tax paying citizens. Property people have already purchased, paid taxes on, legally purchased with a background check is now illegal," said Arnold.

The group is now pushing to get the safe act repealed, and they aren't alone. 52 counties in New York are opposing the SAFE Act, and 10 are not.

Governor Cuomo's main reason for the SAFE Act has been safety. But, is it working?

A study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that looked at gun violence says gun restrictions don't necessarily prevent violence. The study suggests better policing and targeting certain areas, works.

We wanted to hear from the governor himself. Does he think the SAFE Act is working?

Back in September I began e-mailing back and forth with his office, requesting an interview, but was denied.

The day after the election, News10NBC found out Governor Cuomo would be in Binghamton, so we made the drive. And We asked him the question.

Amanda Ciavarri: How is the safe act improving safety in upstate New York?

Governor Cuomo: Well reasonable gun control, and keeping the guns out of the hands of criminals and mentally ill people is the first step, and that's what the SAFE Act is all about. Second amendment rights, yes, but not for criminals and not people who are mentally ill.

We wanted numbers, concrete evidence to show you one way or another, if the SAFE Act is working.

But, those concrete numbers are hard to come by.

The Rochester Police Department did release new crime stats last month, which show shootings, are up from this time last year. Local Assemblyman, Bill Nojay says the SAFE Act was a "knee jerk" reaction by Governor Cuomo after tragedies around the country and right in our backyard.

"If we wanted to do something to prevent West Webster, the answer is not tougher gun laws, it is tougher laws with manslaughter and murders so they stay behind bars," said Nojay.

Right now there are about 4 or 5 lawsuits working their way through the legal system trying to get the SAFE Act deemed unconstitutional, and it could take years before a decision is made.