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EXCLUSIVE: Anti-gun violence group blasts Molinaro on his pro-firearms record

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 10/9/2018

ALBANY — A prominent anti-gun violence group took aim Monday at GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro for voting 32 times against bills to strengthen New York's firearms laws.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America also blasted Molinaro for saying on the campaign trail this year that he wants to dismantle New York State’s tough SAFE gun control law passed in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting.

"It’s an obvious problem ," said Laura Burns, the group's state communications lead. "He wants to go backward to weaken gun laws instead [of] maintaining what we have in New York and making them stronger.”

Mom’s Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was established in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting that killed 20 students and six adults and is part of a group financially backed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Molinaro, now the Dutchess County executive, served in the Assembly from 2007 through 2011.

Among the bills he voted against were ones to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers; make it a crime to improperly store firearms in the home, which supporters say would protect children, and outlaw the possession of armor-piercing and explosive ammunition, a measure sponsored by a Republican in the Senate.

He also voted against bills to require three-hour safety courses to get a gun license, mandate the microstamping of bullets, and ban the sale or use of .50-caliber weapons.

“To me, he’s just dangerous,” Burns said of Molinaro. “To me, it’s just a common-sense thing. You want to have people safe from guns.”

Molinaro’s campaign declined to comment.

Tom King, a National Rifle Association board member from New York and president of the state Rifle and Pistol Association, said both groups have endorsed Molinaro for governor.

“Obviously the grassroots gun owners of New York State is going to support Molinaro, unlike the moms group that is totally supported by the millions of dollars from Mayor Bloomberg.”

Both the NRA and the Rifle and Pistol Association gave Molinaro an “A” rating and Gov. Cuomo an “F.”

a man in a suit standing in front of a building © Bebeto Matthews / AP

According to the Rifle and Pistol Association website, an “A” means someone is a “solidly pro-gun candidate” who supports the NRA on key votes in elective office or a candidate with a demonstrated record of support on Second Amendment issues.

An “F” is given to someone considered a “true enemy of gun owners’ rights.”

“It’s important in New York State right now because under Gov. Cuomo there’s been a continual eroding of our constitutional rights and it has to stop somewhere and Molinaro is the guy to stop it,” King said.

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