It was a smaller, less vocal group, but One Million Moms For Gun Control held a press conference today inside the Capitol as gun-rights advocates held a larger, more boisterous rally outside.
“The polls show that I am one of the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers who believe that keeping our state safe from gun violence means looking to the laws to help us do so,” said Kim Russell, a victim of gun violence and a founding member of the group.
The group, with about 75 supporters in attendance, praised Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s courage for signing the gun-control measure into law Jan. 15. They said it would save lives.
“Andrew Cuomo has given us hope. The New York Legislature has acted with courage,” said Robyn Ringler, who lives in the Albany area and was a nurse in Washington D.C. after Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981. “We need to support them to the end. We cannot let this landmark package of gun laws get diluted down.”
Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, D-Manhattan, a sponsor of the NY-SAFE Act, said lawmakers would not vote in favor of a repeal of the law sought by opponents.
“Most people in our country recognize that firearms, whatever their value as protection, are also very dangerous instruments and reasonable regulation ought to be in place to make sure that we minimize gun violence,” he said. He added, “We know that a majority of people are with us, a majority of people are supportive of this.”
Cuomo said during a visit to Poughkeepsie that the gun-control law was needed.
“I understand the politics of it, but I’m very proud that this state passed a comprehensive, common sense gun-control law that is reasonable, that is balanced, that does not affect hunters, does not affect sportmen,” Cuomo told reporters. “It’s about keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, about keeping the guns out of the hands of criminals. And that everybody should be able to agree on.”