President calls for tougher gun laws - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

President calls for tougher gun laws

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COLONIE, N.Y. -- As the president once again called on Congress to toughen the country's gun laws Wednesday, many gun owners were watching anxiously.

One Colonie resident, Tom Verenini, has had a pistol permit for 15 years and told NEWS10 he's concerned.

"You're never going to disarm the criminals. Why are you disarming law-abiding citizens?" said Verenini.

As the president addressed the nation, he frequently referred to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, explaining that his proposals were the culmination of a month-long process that began in the wake of the tragedy. Verenini says he, too, was touched by that tragedy.

"I have a five-year-old son. I'm as impacted as anybody else. Gun owners and anti-gun people are all on the same side, we all want the same thing," said Vernini.

The president's proposals come one day after Governor Cuomo signed new gun control legislation into law in New York. A package similar in many ways to what Obama is now calling for; both include a ban on assault weapons, limits on high capacity magazines, and expanded background checks.

To get a better of idea of how this would work, NEWS10 sat down with Sage College Professor of International Politics, Steven Leibo.

"Federal law always trumps state law, but the real question is who you're coming up against federal authorities or state authorities. But I think that what we're going to see is New York State as a leader in a regional series of issues," said Leibo.

Massachusetts is already stepping up; Governor Deval Patrick has proposed stricter gun control legislation.

As for Verenini, he remains critical of New York's new law and says he's following the president's recommendation and already contacting his representatives in Congress.

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