Local officials concerned if gun control laws pass in Assembly
ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) - New York State is halfway to having the strictest gun control laws in the nation.
The Senate has passed the governor's strict proposed gun legislation; the assembly is expected to follow suit at some point on Tuesday.
The proposed legislation hits particularly close to home in Herkimer County, where they make guns. More than 1000 people depend on gun manufacturer Remington Arms for a paycheck. It is feared that hundreds of jobs will be lost if the gun legislation passes.
The legislation calls for a stricter assault ban, restrictions on ammunition and sale of guns and it seeks to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.
"I believe that they're reacting with emotion rather than common sense. The governor's state of the state address he made reference to economic development, job retention, bringing more jobs to upstate. And what this is going to do most likely is it's going to eliminate jobs," says Mayor John Stephens.
Stephens says he'll take a life over a job any day, but he simply doesn't feel the new, stricter gun legislation will save lives, citing the old adage, "guns don't kill people; people kill people." The mayor fears that costly changes in the way guns may soon have to be made and a potential for decreased demand of some of the firearms Remington Arms makes will spur job loss.
Calls to Remington's Ilion plant, corporate headquarters in North Carolina, the United Mine Workers of America union office, the union leader's home and to another union official's cell phone were not returned.