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Wayne Post
  • Local legislators split on gun vote

  • The tough gun control provisions passed late Monday by the state Senate left two senators representing part of the Finger Lakes region on separate sides of the aisle.

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  • The tough gun control provisions passed late Monday by the state Senate left two senators representing part of the Finger Lakes region on separate sides of the aisle.
    State Sen. Ted O’Brien, D-Irondequoit, voted for the measure that passed the Senate 43-18 on the strength of support from Democrats, many of whom previously sponsored the bills that were once blocked by Republicans.
    Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette, voted no. Issuing a brief statement after the vote that took place following closed-door sessions, Nozzolio said: “The new law that was just enacted establishes vast changes, and was rushed through the state Legislature without the public having the opportunity or adequate time to review. The legislation addresses a number of important issues, but fails to provide effective solutions that prevent violent crime in our communities.”
    O’Brien and Nozzolio both represent a portion of Ontario County, O’Brien a portion of the western half and Nozzolio the eastern half.
    O’Brien has expressed his support previously for tougher gun laws following Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent State of the State that included such proposals.
    O’Brien, who was one of 43 senators to vote yes, issued a statement this morning: “The Senate passed a bipartisan overhaul of state gun laws late last evening. This legislation features a balanced approach that preserves Second Amendment rights while increasing restrictions on assault weapons. It also has provisions to take away licenses from individuals with mental illness who, in the opinion of mental health professionals, would pose a danger to themselves or others should they possess guns.”
    O’Brien said the new bill includes “changes that are responsive to the Christmas Eve tragedy in Webster, N.Y. The murder of firefighters and EMTs will now be considered an A1 felony, the most serious classification of crime in New York State.
    “In addition, the crime of acting as a ‘straw purchaser,’ or buying weapons with the intention of illegally transferring them to other people who cannot legally buy the weapons themselves, has been upgraded from a misdemeanor to a felony. I consider these portions to be some of the most important aspects of the bill,” O’Brien said. “Those who would kill a first responder going about their duties and risking their personal well-being to keep others safe are guilty of a horrendous crime,” he said.
     
     
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