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Gun groups join effort to register voters

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 May 2014 at 12:00 am

ALBION – Two groups that are proponents of Second Amendment rights are working together to register gun owners as voters and get them out to the polls.

The Shooters Committee on Political Education has been around for about four decades while the New York Revolution just turned a year old. The two are joining forces for the NYS Second Amendment Coalition, an initiative that seeks to unseat Gov. Andrew Cuomo as governor and support other candidates who “support and defend the Constitution of the United States, including the Second Amendment.”

The two groups say gun owners often don’t register to vote because of a perception that the state is dominated by downstate residents.

“We could have a big impact but only 20 percent of registered gun owners vote,” said Mattie Zarpentine, WNY coordinator for NY Revolution.

There are about 6 million gun owners in the state and they outnumber the registered voters in New York City, which has about 4.8 million eligible voters, she said Monday evening during a meeting at the Vets Club in Albion.

The new Second Amendment Coalition has set a goal to sign up 50,000 people in a voter pledge where they register to vote, go to the polls on Nov. 4 and support candidates who oppose the SAFE Act and support the Second Amendment. The new coalition begins the voter pledge by saying it is the duty of Americans “to take responsibility for the future of my country and my state.”

Two state-wide SCOPE leaders were in Albion on Monday at the Vets Club meeting. Stephen Alstadt is president of SCOPE and Harold “Budd” Schroeder is SCOPE’s board chairman.

SCOPE is planning a July 12 event in Albion at St. Mary’s Athletic Club on Moore Street. Conservative talk show host Bob Lonsberry is scheduled to attend the rally. He will be joined by State Sen. George Maziarz, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Orleans County District Attorney Joe Cardone, County Legislator Don Allport, NYR leader Gia Arnold (a State Senate candidate against Maziarz) and other SCOPE officials.

“It will be our Constitutional and voter registration rally,” said Don Irvine, the vice president of SCOPE in Orleans County.

For more information on the new coalition, visit www.scopeny.org.