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Experts say repeal of SAFE Act an uphill battle for pro-gun advocates

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Buffalo: Experts say repeal of SAFE Act an uphill battle for pro-gun advocates
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A group of protesters from Western New York is heading to Albany on Thursday to call for repeal of the SAFE Act. YNN's Kevin Jolly reports despite widespread opposition from gun rights advocates repealing the law may be an uphill battle.

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. — From the day the state's tough new gun law was enacted last month, gun rights advocates have been rallying calling for its repeal.

"A repeal's not realistically an option," said UB political science professor James Battista.

Battista says it's no surprise to see the people from more rural parts of the state, where more people own firearms, rallying against the new SAFE act, but they may not have the political support needed to repeal the law.

“Mechanically, a repeal is something that could technically happen, in a sense that it's easy to do. All you have to do is pass a new law that says that old law isn't there anymore. That's it," Battista said.

That would have to get through the Assembly, it would have to get through the Senate, and it would have to get pass Cuomo's desk or be passed over his opposition, which isn't going to happen.”

So far, 27 counties statewide, including Niagara and Erie, have passed resolutions calling for repeal of the SAFE Act.

Although the counties have no power to overturn the state law, pro-gun groups say the resolutions send a powerful message to Albany. A message Battista says may fall on deaf ears.

“We have a bill, it's done now, it's law, and really, anything you do to change it is going to make some people happy and some people really angry. So really I'd expect that from the point of view of a lot of sitting Assemblyman and Senators, this is really a bear that you don't want to poke," said Battista.

A more realistic scenario might be having some amendments attached to the law. Even some Democratic lawmakers in Erie County who support the law say some aspects of it could use a second look.

But Battista believes when all is said and done the bill for most part is likely to go unchanged.

"My prediction is that you'll probably see this just stay as it is," said Battista.

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