As a licensed gun owner and retired member of the New York City Police Department, I am pleased that Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) says his support for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's "toughest in the nation" gun-control law was a mistake ["Sen. Boyle reverses, says repeal new gun law," News, March 2].
This poorly written law is tougher on law-abiding New Yorkers than on criminals. Hopefully, this law can be repealed or amended to include mandatory prison sentences for criminals who use a loaded gun in the commission of a crime, beginning with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years with no parole for a first offense.
Cuomo's gun control law should include that any criminal who's caught with a gun should face a mandatory minimum prison sentence as well. The NYPD's successful stop-and-frisk program has not only taken illegal guns off the street, but has reduced murders in New York City to the lowest levels in decades.
Jack Coughlin, Deer Park
While otherwise a supporter of Vice President Joe Biden, I am astounded by his recent remarks about the use of a shotgun for home protection ["VP touts shotguns in video," News, Feb. 20]. He reveals a dangerous ignorance about the proper use of a firearm for self-defense.
One does not go outside of the home, if he or she suspects an intruder, and blindly fire off two shots. Licensed and law-abiding gun owners know this, and overwhelmingly, are not responsible for the rates of U.S. gun violence.
Ignorance and antipathy toward firearms by gun-control advocates, reflected in the vice president's comments and by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo forcing through cosmetic gun restrictions, lend credibility to the fears of gun owners. We fear that "reasonable" gun controls are really the incremental elimination of private gun ownership, one round at a time.
A recent Newsday column addressed the detrimental impact of demonizing law-abiding firearms owners ["Liberals need to listen to gun owners," Opinion, Feb. 26].
Beyond this, let's see how much money Cuomo is going to invest in greater funding for mental health services, as opposed to grandstanding.
Don Pfeifer, Hempstead