Contradicting Views On Gun Control Laws

By Kelly McCarthy

January 8, 2013 Updated Jan 8, 2013 at 7:17 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) A push for federal legislation on tougher gun control laws is getting support from local officials and the Binghamton Mayor, but leaves some sportsman associations in disagreement.

The local push for more gun safety laws comes on the second anniversary of the Tucson, Arizona mass shooting.

Binghamton area law enforcement is supporting the call to action while some gun clubs think the additional restrictions will only add to gun violence.

"The thing is you can't legislate against a piece of equipment when it's the people who decide what to do with it," said John Elms, President of the Broome County Sportsman Association.

There are more than 700 members in the Broome County Sportsman Association.

All of them have access to rifle and pistol shooting ranges.

Instead of more restrictions against gun use, they would like to see less.

"If they want a gun, legally owned, any they have the necessary licensing, if required, then they should be able to have a weapon and carry it everywhere they go," said Elms.

Just miles away at Binghamton's City Hall, member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan wants to see three major changes on gun laws from Congress.

-To eliminate the gun show loophole by requiring criminal background checks on all gun sales.
-To ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
-To make gun trafficking a federal crime.

"We can't allow anymore Tucson’s, Aurora's, Sandy Hook's, or Binghamton's. We can't wait any longer, we deserve to be safe and we can make that happen by coming together now," said (D) Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan.

Binghamton Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said more than 30 Americans are murdered with firearms every day.

"There's no reason for anybody to have an assault weapon. There's no reason to have a magazine that holds thirty rounds for safety. This isn't about our second amendment rights," said Chief Joseph Zikuski, Binghamton Police Department.

"Let's focus on what we can agree on and get that done. That would be big, it wouldn't eliminate every gun crime but it would be big," said Broome County District Attorney Gerald Mollen.

Members of every organization seem to agree on this one sentiment.

"Criminals won't change. People who want to commit crimes using a weapon will find a weapon and use it," said Elms.

The group Mayors Against Illegal Guns has released a TV ad that features a mother who lost her child during the Tuscan shooting that killed six people and wounded 16 others.

It will air in the Binghamton area.

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