The ranks of the state Rifle & Pistol Association nearly doubled over the past year amid outrage to New York’s gun-control law, but the group doesn’t plan to hold major protest rallies this year.
Thomas King, the group’s president, said the membership increased from 24,000 to 41,000 over the last year, and the group has raised $200,000 for its lawsuit to overturn the controversial SAFE-Act.
King said the group isn’t planning to organize major rallies at the Capitol this year in opposition to the SAFE Act, as it did last year. Some rallies brought thousands of protestors to the Capitol.
He said the group is focused on the lawsuit and on education efforts to its current and prospective members. It will also be active during the election season this fall. It is the state arm of the National Rifle Association.
He said the group may participate in some rallies, but it won’t be the focus.
“My opinion is that the time for protests are over,” King said. “It’s a time to concentrate on overturning the legislation in the courts. That is where we will be putting most of our support.”
The group is taking their lawsuit to the federal appeals court after they won a partial victory on Dec. 24.
A federal judge ruled that the law is constitutional, but a provision that limited a magazine to seven bullets was not. The state is also appealing to overturn the magazine ruling.