NORWICH – Gun enthusiasts and supporters of the Constitution and the Second Ammendment in particular will gather from noon to 3 p.m. in East Park Saturday to rally in protest of recent changes to New York State gun legislation following the Newtown, Conn. Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Jan. 15, the controversial New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (SAFE) strengthens the state’s existing assault weapons ban; limits the number of bullets allowed in a magazine; and fortifies rules that govern the mentally ill, which includes a requirement to report potentially harmful behavior, according to governor.ny.gov.
John and Jen Ballard, who organized Saturday’s rally, said they were disappointed when they could not attend a recent pro-gun rally in Albany, and thought it would be a good idea to hold a similar event here in Chenango County, to “take a stance here in our hometown.” The pair have posted more than 50 flyers across the county, as well as handing out copies to local businesses. John Ballard, who works for Precision Bluing in Greene, said he’s expecting a large turnout. The group’s Facebook events posting, Second Ammendment Protest (linked to the Support Our 2nd Ammendment Don’t Let Them Take It From Us Facebook page), boasts 224 people who are expected to attend. The rally will feature several guest speakers, including Assemblyman Clifford Crouch; Dave Francis, owner of Heading Due North; and Gilda Ward, of the Norwich Tea Party Patriots.