Hundreds of protesters descended on the New York Capitol in Albany on Tuesday, and vowed to disobey the state's new gun control laws and to work for their repeal.
The new laws pushed through by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo just a few weeks after the Dec. 14 school shootings in Newtown, Conn., have already ignited a great deal of controversy, reports the Wall Street Journal
Cuomo's approval ratings, which at one point were more than 70 percent, have dropped, and he is now the target of harsh Republican attacks for moving too quickly on anti-gun legislation.
The gun rights protesters made that point in their demonstration at the Capitol, where they also made it clear that they felt "cheated" as well by some state GOP lawmakers who supported the new legislation.
“Our governor has seen fit to try and restrict the rights we get by our Constitution,” said Tracy Brundege, who attended the rally. “We're just not going to stand for it anymore.”
According to the Journal, the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association is also planning on Feb. 28 at the Capitol another rally that is expected to attract some 35,000 people. National Rifle Association President David Keene will be the event's keynote speaker.
Cuomo, meanwhile, defended the new firearms restrictions during a press conference, saying he's proud “that this state passed a common sense gun-control law that is reasonable, that is balanced, that does not affect hunters, does not affect sportsmen."
Republican Carl Paladina, who lost to Cuomo in 2010, was at the Capitol rally, where he criticized both the governor and the state Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos, who helped engineer the gun reform legislation to a quick vote. Paladino urged protesters to “bring Skelos to the woodshed" for working with Cuomo and the Democrats.
Asked to respond, a spokesman for Skelos said, "We're not going to comment on any statements from a failed former gubernatorial candidate looking to extend his 15 minutes of fame."
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