By MARK O'BRIEN
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Hundreds turned out in Albany Tuesday for the first-ever "Sportsmen and Outdoor Recreation Legislative Awareness Day."
Among those in attendance was Wayne LaPierre, the CEO and Vice President of the National Rifle Association. He said adding more gun laws only puts more restrictions on the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners, while criminals are not forced to pay the full consequences.
"Every drug dealer, gang member and felon that even touches a gun in this town, let's not put them out on bail," LaPierre said. "No more lengthy delays before they go to trial. And when we lock them up, no more early parole."
Many of the hunters in the crowd said they agree with LaPierre, and they want to see more sensible gun laws.
But that's just what Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel (D-Great Neck) says she's trying to do with her new gun law proposal. It would require all guns sold in New York to microstamp ammunition with an identification number when it is fired.
"It is the beginning of catching criminals, protecting law enforcement, protecting law-abiding citizens," she said.
The legislation is supported by law enforcement throughout the state, the New York State Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police, all 62 District Attorneys and mayors from cities across the state. But the NRA opposes it, saying a better way to fight crime is strict enforcement.
To that end, LaPierre called on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to implement "Project Exile" in Albany. The program was done in Richmond, Va. in the late 1990's, and the US Attorney's office there says the program cut firearm homicides by 41 percent, seized 440 guns, and indicted 372 people for federal gun violations within the first two years.
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