By Tom Precious
ALBANY – Two of Western New York’s Republican lawmakers disagree over the gun control legislation expected to hit the Senate’s floor tonight.
Sen. Mark Grisanti of Buffalo said he will vote in support of the gun package, while Sen. Patrick Gallivan of Elma said he will be joining most other upstate GOP lawmakers in voting against the bill.
The two, sitting together at a table outside the Senate chamber, spoke with a reporter shortly before 10 tonight as both houses were pressing to get the gun package to the floor tonight for a vote. It will easily pass the Assembly and should have no problem on the Senate floor.
“I don’t think it’s that hardcore of an infringement. Times have changed, Grisanti said of the need for the gun crackdown over the claims by gun owners that their Second Amendment rights are being violated. He said the changes pushed by lawmakers – including increased penalties for crimes committed with guns, money for schools to improve safety and trying to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill people – “outweigh the minimal of what some people call infringements.’’
Grisanti noted the final deal does not include microstamping to identify guns and precludes semi-automatic shotguns from the assault weapon definition if they hold fewer than seven bullets. “There are a lot of protections there that have been put in place,’’ he said of measures to protect gun owners.
But Gallivan, who represents a more rural district than Grisanti, said he backs increasing penalties for crimes involving guns. “But I remain very concerned about the intrusion on individual rights, the rights of law-abiding citizens. We now have more infringements on their rights when they haven’t done anything wrong,’’ he said in an interview.
“The intrusion on Second Amendment rights dealing with magazines and further restricting the type of weapon a law-abiding citizen can carry, there is not data to support that will make the streets safer,’’ Gallivan added.