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Gun Owners And Dealers Not the Only Ones Unhappy

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Rochester: Gun Owners And Dealers Not the Only Ones Unhappy
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Many gun owners are already reacting unfavorably to the new anti-gun legislation. They're not the only ones with concerns.

At American Sportsman in East Rochester, it's been non-stop.

"Only the small guns currently stop at seven capacity,” said Fred Calcagno, owner.

Gun owners with questions.

"Who knows what's gonna happen?”

Many which Calcagno, a longtime gun dealer, can't answer.

"People are interested in buying things, I have had a lot of people come in to sell things."

Calcagno says most of his customers share a similar thought regarding New York's tough new gun legislation.

"It's disgusting. I love New York State. It's a beautiful place, a great place to live. If my kids didn't live, settle here, I would look for a state that didn't impinge on my freedoms."

Intended to prevent attacks like a shooting massacre in Connecticut and a deadly ambush of firefighters in West Webster, the gun shop owner says instead, the bill would impact honest gun owners the most.

"I don't think it's going to affect the criminal element one little bit. Someone with an illegal gun is not going to be concerned that his magazine is more illegal. He's out to do harm."

Calcagno says New York's gun laws, with strict background checks, are already among the toughest in the nation. He's surprised how quickly the legislation was passed, with little chance for public input.

"It's typical New York State, back room dealing. If it was done out in the open and gun owners had at least a little input into it, maybe they wouldn't have affected honest people and the innocent people as much as they are."

The legislation also tackles the issue of gun ownership and mental illness, making provisions to take licenses away from people with mental illness who might pose a danger to themselves or others.

"We're seriously concerned that this is a solution that doesn't actually fit the problem,” said Bruce Darling, Center for Disability Rights.

Last week, the Center for Disability Rights voiced worry about what it says are misconceptions about the mentally disabled.

"The assumption that anyone who has committed a violent crime must have a psychiatric disability is just plain wrong."

Darling, the CEO, says people with mental disabilities are no more likely to commit crime than anyone else. He worries the bill might have a chilling effect on those who wish to seek treatment for a disorder, but could become afraid to out of fear of repercussion.

"It actually scapegoats people with disabilities. I think one of our biggest concerns is that this is fear-based policy making, built on stereotypes and misconceptions of people with psychiatric disabilities,” Darling said.

Calcagno says honest gun owners too face repercussions, and concern that their rights, and their weapons, could be taken away.

"Our government is attacking us, and that's what's happening,” Calcagno said.

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