gun control

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) is hoping that officials can learn from the tragedy in Orlando, to prevent another such deadly terrorist shooting going forward.

Katko expects there to be plenty of conversation this week in Washington centering on what happened in an Orlando gay nightclub, when 29-year old Omar Mateen carried out the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Katko, who serves on the House Homeland Security Committee, says his biggest concern is the fact that Mateen was investigated more than once by the FBI, because of potential links to terrorism.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There are no federal laws that prevent the trafficking of illegal guns between states. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) wants to change that, and is finding support in central New York.

Tonya Dugan, of Phoenix, is the mom of a young child. And that’s what she says has pushed her to join the ranks of anti-gun activists.

“What spurred me to take action was when we started looking at pre-K for my son, and I found I was terrified to send him.”

governorandrewcuomo / flickr

President Barack Obama announced yesterday that he plans to tighten gun control measures using his executive authority. That move drew mixed reviews here in New York, a state with some of the toughest gun regulations in the country.

Some activists said government officials were infringing on their right to own and carry firearms, but others said New York should go even further to restrict access to guns and ammunition.

The shooting that changed the debate


On the morning after the shootings in San Bernardino, California, the sheriff in Ulster County, south of Albany, posted a status update on Facebook. His post was directed to licensed handgun owners. He urged them to carry their firearm, as long as they know how to use it. So far, the post as been shared over 33,000 times.

The next day, the sheriff of Lewis County shared that update too and said he agrees. 

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News


Republicans and Democrats in the New York state Senate both have victories to point to in last night’s election results.  

Following a landslide win, former Broome County Sheriff’s Deputy Fred Akshar became one of the two newest members of the State Senate.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has been somewhat reticent about speaking out on the national stage, has lately been talking about the issue of gun violence, saying it should be a key topic in Congress and in the 2016 campaigns.

Cuomo called in to the New York City cable news channel NY-1 to talk about a potential hurricane, which later veered away from the East Coast. But quickly, the conversation turned to the recent mass shooting in Oregon and what to do about gun violence.

Mitch Barrie / Flickr

Gun rights advocates are divided over a recent memorandum of understanding on the SAFE Act -- New York’s controversial gun law.

The memo came out late last week. It suspended the creation of a database of ammunition buyers until the technology and money are available to build it.

Dennis van Zuijlekom / via Flickr

The sheriff of Fulton County, which rests in the southern Adirondacks, is no fan of New York's fairly new gun control laws, but he  is causing a stir by telling residents there to ignore part them.

A provision of the SAFE ACT, passed in the early days of 2013, requires pistol owners to renew their permits every five years, beginning in 2018. But Fulton County is part of a pilot program to get people to register early. Sheriff Thomas Lorey says he signed up for the pilot program to know what it’s about.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Republican congressional candidate John Katko says he has no regrets about legally obtaining a gun to use for protection while he was a federal prosecutor in Syracuse.

He accuses political opponents of rehashing a 14-year-old story about  the theft of that gun, and its use in a robbery that ended with the shooting death of two men in Syracuse.

“Despite all the threats I’ve been through over 20 years, I still stuck with it, and went after the worst criminals, the most violence criminals in El Paso, in Puerto Rico and here in Syracuse," Katko said.

Cuomo: State talking to Remington about renovations

Aug 22, 2014
Ryan Delaney/WRVO

A round of layoffs at Remington Arms and the relocation of some of its manufacturing isn't about New York, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo was asked about layoffs at the century-old Mohawk Valley gun manufacturer while visiting the state fair Thursday.

Franklin gun shop

The Cortland County clerk’s office has backed out of a pilot run of a re-certification program for gun owners, part of the state’s stricter gun control laws, because it didn’t feel it was getting enough support from the state.

Under a provision of the January 2013 SAFE Act, current pistol permit holders must update their permits by 2018. That means verifying addresses and what weapons are owned.

Mike Saechang / Flickr

April 15, besides being tax day, is the first day that owners of semi-automatic weapons will be required to register their guns with the state police. 

The head of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, a gun owners and pro-Second Amendment rights group, says his members don’t like the new requirement that they register any assault weapons they own under the state’s gun control laws.  

Tom King says while he’s not advising gun owners about whether or not they should register, he says those that want to comply are finding the new rules hard to navigate.

Deadline for assault weapon registration nears

Apr 11, 2014
Mike Saechang / Flickr

There’s an April 15 deadline for owners of assault-style firearms to register them with the New York State Police, but there’s concern the provision of the SAFE Act gun control laws will be ignored.

After New York passed strict gun control laws in January 2013, sales of assault-style weapons became illegal. But for those who already owned guns with features like a pistol grip and removable magazine, they must register them by Tuesday.

Critics speak out against SAFE Act during Albany rally

Apr 2, 2014
Matt Ryan/New York Now

A pro-gun rights rally held at the state Capitol on Tuesday drew thousands of supporters and some big names to Albany.

Among those attending the anti-SAFE Act event was real estate developer and TV personality Donald Trump. Trump, who announced that he has a pistol permit, says the law takes away a person's Second Amendment right to bear arms.

$1.2 billion offer for Remington Arms on the table

Mar 13, 2014
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

There's a $1.2 billion offer on the table to purchase gun maker Remington Arms, and even though Remington's owner has been looking for a buyer, it reportedly isn't taking this one seriously.

Remington Arms is one of the nation's oldest and largest gun makers in the country. Its factory has been located in the small Mohawk Valley town of Ilion, N.Y. for two centuries. It employs about 1,300 people and reportedly earned about $1.2 billion in revenue to 2013.

Opponents of New York’s tough gun control law called the SAFE Act, continue to oppose the legislation more than a year after it was passed, with more rallies and court cases on the calendar. But attempts to engage Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a debate about the pros and cons of the legislation might be better spent in more low-key settings. One vocal opponent of the law met with the governor Tuesday in private quarters in Albany to talk about it.

Syracuse homicide rate at recent high in 2013

Feb 11, 2014
Tom Magnarelli / WRVO

The homicide rate in Syracuse was at a recent high in 2013. The city had 22 homicides in 2013, a 60 percent increase from the 13 homicides in 2012.

Sargent Tom Connellan, the public information officer for the Syracuse Police Department, said it is very difficult to predict a homicide.

"We can target gun violence, we can target a lot of other crimes, but sometimes these are just crimes of opportunity or crimes of passion. Some involved domestic related incidents. I don't want to trivialize any of these homicides because one is one too many," he said.

Ken Hawkins / Flickr

One year after the passage of the New York SAFE Act, sheriff’s departments across the state are still struggling to wrap their heads around the law, and some have gone so far as expressing personal opposition to the new laws.

Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn says there are facets of the law that make sense, but that there are many problems. These problems, according to many upstate New York sheriffs, could have been avoided if they'd been more involved from the start.

Zack Seward / WXXI

All 213 members of the state legislature are facing re-election later this year, as is New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. But Cuomo also has the challenge of balancing competing interests as he tries to win another term by a big margin.

News Briefs: Thursday, Oct. 31

Oct 31, 2013

Rochester gun manufacturer set to relocate to S.C.

The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association is lashing out against the state's controversial gun law, the New York Safe Act, following the departure of a Rochester gun manufacturer. American tactical imports is relocating its operations to South Carolina, where the company will invest nearly $3 million into new facilities.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The city of Syracuse is joining forces with a company that turns the remnants of guns and bullets into jewelry, and turns the profits towards helping reduce gun violence.

At a press conference in Syracuse Wednesday, Peter Thum, founder of Liberty United, showed off some of the jewelry that's been created from the remnants of melted-down guns and bullets confiscated by police -- some of them from Syracuse.



The shooting last year at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut just before Christmas and leaving little children dead looked for a moment like it would change gun laws. It didn't, expect in a couple of places. New York was one. That state quickly passed one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, but it was hugely controversial, especially in rural parts of the state.

Syracuse-area state Senator Dave Valesky says the bipartisan coalition that governs the New York Senate was successful this year.

Rally against NY SAFE Act draws crowd in Lewis County

Jun 17, 2013
Joanna Richards/WRVO

People climbed up the bleachers in the grandstand at the Lewis County Fairgrounds in Lowville on Saturday for a rally opposing the New York SAFE Act. More than 400 people turned out to condemn the controversial package of gun control measures passed by the state Legislature in January.

As the deadline for the "opt-out" portion of the New York SAFE Act passed Wednesday, the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department was still wading through thousands of forms from gun owners who don't want their pistol permit information available to the public.  

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The owner of the Remington Arms factory in upstate New York has finally made a statement about the state's strict gun control laws, calling them unconstitutional, nearly four months after their enactment.

The leader of the New York State Senate Republicans says he regrets the way gun control legislation was rapidly approved earlier this year, and he hopes what he now says was a mistake won't be repeated at the end of the session.

While universal background checks for gun buyers proved to be a death knell in the latest attempt to pass gun control legislation in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Charles Schumer is hoping a tightening up of current background checks is on the horizon.

It's known as the “three men in a room” style of decision making. For decades now, the governor and the two party's legislative leaders meet behind closed doors in the governor’s offices and decide key issues, like the contents of the state budget.

State Senate Republicans are confirming that a key provision of New York's recently approved gun control law, the New York SAFE Act, will be postponed.