While gun rights are a passionate issue for many, politics are also involved. Several prominent New York Republicans made an appearance at Tuesday afternoon's gun rally. YNN’s Nick Reisman reports.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- As protesters flocked to Albany on Tuesday to rally for and against the January gun control law, Governor Andrew Cuomo's effort to push the measure through has created a rift with some Senate Republicans, who he has worked well with over the past two years.
“We worked very well with the governor for two years in our Republican conference and I thought it worked well, but every one of us thought it would dwindle over time and that's what we're seeing now,” said Tom O’Mara, (R) Senate, Big Flats.
The rally against the law also highlighted problems the conservative base has with Dean Skelos, the Senate Republican leader. The rally lumped in Skelos, who backed the law, with Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, referring to him as a red coat traitor and oath breaker. But Senator Greg Ball who spoke at the rally said he supports Skelos as leader.
“I understand why people are angry and upset. If they want to blow up the Republican conference and do so in a way that’s an attack on the Republican conference in the senate then we’d go from the worst that’s in this legislation to the worst of the worst in legislation and that’s confiscation behind our worst nightmares,” said Greg Ball, (R) Senate, Paterson.
Though Senate Republicans who spoke at Tuesday's gun rally say they support Skelos to remain the GOP leader, Carl Paladino and others are clearly unhappy with Skelos and his leadership.
“Skelos should get out of town, he should go and find himself a job at a car wash. He's a bum. He's a cowardly bum,” said Paladino.
Skelos's office released a statement slamming Paladino for seeking an extra 15 minutes of fame and pointed out that the buffalo businessman has received millions in tax breaks from the state. Cuomo, meanwhile, shrugged off the criticism from those opposed to gun control, but said the law that updates the assault weapons ban is needed.
“I think anybody who doesn't think we should be doing anything about gun violence is living in another state, in a different country, and on a different another planet,” said Cuomo.
Another rally against the gun control law is planned for February 28th.