Paladino leads gun advocate rally in Albany

ALBANY -- Former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino criticized Long Island's Republican Senate delegation for supporting Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's gun control bill during a gun rights rally on Tuesday.

Paladino, a Buffalo Republican who lost to Cuomo in 2010, was the featured speaker at a demonstration that attracted about 600 gun advocates to the State Capitol lawn. The rally supported the repeal of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, which bans high capacity magazines and requires ammunition dealers to do background checks.

In his remarks, Paladino singled out state Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and other Long Island state senators, referring to them as "RINOs" -- Republicans in name only. Skelos and seven of his eight fellow Long Island senators voted for the SAFE Act.

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Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who said he opposed the measure, did not vote because he was on military duty in Virginia. Sen. Philip Boyle (R-Bay Shore) has since said his vote for the measure was a mistake.

"This was designed to take advantage of an emotional moment when the nation was grieving Connecticut," Paladino said in a reference to the Newtown, Conn., school shootings in December.

A spokesman for Skelos declined to comment on Paladino's statements.

Republican Sen. Kathleen Marchione, of Halfmoon, and Assemb. David DiPietro, of East Aurora, have sponsored legislation to repeal the bill.

"It doesn't do anything to prosecute criminals," said Chris Tubertini of Northport, who was among several Long Islanders at the rally.

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