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Letters: Dispute over need for gun control

In January, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott invited

In January, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott invited New York gun owners to move to Texas. (Jan. 15, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

New York has long been a place where the right to defend oneself with firearms is disparaged, but the affirmation of most aspects of the SAFE Act has disparaged gun ownership like no other act ["Court upholds most of gun act," News, Jan. 1].

After the tragic mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, the New York State Legislature pushed through a gun control bill titled the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act. This legislation is arguably one of the most restrictive laws in the country.

Provisions included limiting the number of rounds in high-capacity magazines to seven, which Chief U.S. District Judge William Sketny said was an arbitrary infringement of Second Amendment rights. Other provisions, which he upheld, are a ban on the new sale or transfer of assault weapons and creation of a registry of any assault weapons already owned in the state.

One weapon this law sought to ban, the AR-15, is a common rifle owned by Americans. I have used this rifle, and assure you I felt no desire to start a mass shooting.

This law takes away our rights to self-defense with firearms. An aristocratic class has come to rule New York. The only way this unconstitutional act will be repealed is by heading to the ballot box and ousting those who stole our constitutional rights.

Seth Connell, Selden

I read your article "Jump in gun violence" [News, Dec. 30] with great interest, since I've been active in the fight to reduce gun violence in our country.

One thing the article does not point out is that most of the guns used in crimes in New York State come from out of state. This is not news to New York law enforcement. While New York has enacted laws to reduce gun violence, unfortunately many other states have not.

Several nearby states, especially to the south and west, have little regulation, making it easy for anyone to obtain just about any type of firearm. Regulations are lax at gun shows in neighboring states. This is where many criminals get their guns and deal in straw purchases using someone else's ID.

If we want less gun violence, these are the things that need changing. We cannot fight the battle on gun violence until every state in this nation has enacted commonsense gun laws and stops making it easy to carry guns across state borders.

Marion Sierra, North Bellmore

Editor's note: The writer was the Long Island coordinator for the Million Mom March, which converged on Washington in 2000 to promote tighter gun control.