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Issue of gun control remains a hot topic

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Buffalo: Issue of gun control remains a hot topic
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New York's new gun law is continuing to be a topic of discussion on the state and national level. As YNN's Antoinette DelBel reports, a state senator from Niagara County is looking to repeal the law while the mayor of Niagara Falls is pushing for tougher gun legislation nationwide.

NIAGARA COUNTY, N.Y. — In the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut last month, New York was the first state to pass a gun control law.

Now, Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster wants to see similar legislation nationwide.

Dyster and other mayors around the country made gun-control issues one of the main focuses at the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors last week and are pushing their efforts through Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG).

"Includes a lot of people like myself who are hunters and gun owners, Democrats and Republicans, but who are working for what we believe is common-sense legislation," he said.

The group, formed back in 2006, is currently working on federal legislation to keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals.

Measures include criminal background checks for all gun sales, making gun trafficking a federal crime, banning assault weapons and limiting magazine sizes.

"The limit on the size of magazines in the Mayors (MAIG) proposal is 10 versus seven in the state legislation," Dyster said.

Over the past month, they've taken their message online in a campaign to end gun violence.

Since the Sandy Hook shooting more than one million Americans signed the petition to 'Demand a Plan' from the President and Congress.

"At some point, enough is enough,” said Dyster. “No one's claiming that this by itself is going to resolve the issue of gun violence in our society, but we felt we had to do something."

Gun supporter Senator George Maziarz disagreed.

"I think they would be better off supporting our efforts to increase criminal penalties for individuals that obtain guns illegally or for individuals that commit crimes with guns," he said.

George Maziarz said the new state law goes against the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding New Yorkers, and over the weekend, he started an online petition to repeal it.

Since then, the petition has more than 1,000 signatures and counting.

"I think this law was crafted very hastily. It was done without any input from sportsmen or hunting groups," said Maziarz. "I don't think this law is going to do anything to prohibit or impugn criminal activity."

Maziarz said he and other Upstate Senators will be collaborating soon on a plan to either get rid of the new law or significantly change it.

Meanwhile, Mayor Dyster said he's continuing to work with others nationwide to push for gun control on the federal level.

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