Gun Owners Rally in Downtown Buffalo

7:35 PM, Jan 20, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - A rally in support of lawful gun owners and the Second Amendment drew several hundred people to Niagara Square Saturday.

Several groups including, SCOPE, Tea New York and others hosted the rally in front of Buffalo City Hall that started at noon.

The gathering was planned in conjunction with a nationwide Gun Appreciation Day.

The event transformed into a protest rally after Governor Cuomo pushed the NY SAFE Act through the state legislature on Tuesday.

"The shot was the command of someone in authority to seize the arms of innocent people and we have heard that shot again," said Lenny Roberto, a member of the Buffalo Tea Party.

Carol Girdlestone, a Tonawanda resident said, "I do believe that there should be some type of gun control, but I think they're doing it all the wrong way."

Many protestors we heard from say the law will do little to stop illegal use of guns, which they say should be the focus.  The NY SAFE ACT increases restrictions on assault rifles, it requires background checks for private sales of ammunition, in addition to requiring that pistol permit holders renew their permits every five years.

"The first thing that everybody looks at is the magazines, the background checks is another whole thing, re-registering everything every five years, you need to go through the process once," said Rus Thompson, an organizer of the rally and a leader of Tea New York.

John and Connie Peracciny of Lockport felt it was important to bring their two children here.

"The core of our family is just doing things together and to teach them the Constitution and our amendment rights and to carry that tradition onto their kid's kids," John Peracciny said.

Two On Your Side's Jeff Preval was there for the rally and spoke to Republican Assemblymember David DiPietro, who voted against the NY SAFE ACT.

DiPietro said he hopes something legitimate will happen as a result of the rally and that, "I'm going to have a petition and I know others are carrying petitions and I hope to take it to the doorstep and hand it directly to Andrew Cuomo."

The protestors hope all lawmakers in Albany debate the law this week, realize the problems they see in it and repeal it.

Meantime, protesters brought American flags, signs and banners, some of which could've been potentially offensive to passersby.

WGRZ-TV understands some of the signs in the crowd might be offensive to some viewers. Preval asked DiPietro about them and he said some of the signs against President Obama and Gov. Cuomo were over the top.     

Many people at the rally continued the conversation at a forum at the Statler Saturday afternoon. DiPietro says he's looking for 100,000 signatures over the next couple weeks to fill the petition.

The governor's office on Friday launched a website,, that could help answer questions about which guns and magazines are legal, when each provision in the law takes effect and how to register assault weapons that are grandfathered in under the law.


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