Gun owners fire a shot in support of 2nd Amendment rights
HOLLEY – John Carpenter considered going to his family’s property in Clarendon and firing a shot at noon as part of a nation-wide observance by gun owners today.
But Carpenter, 33, of Holley wanted to join other local gun owners. He was one of about 30 people to fire a shot at noon at the Holley Rod and Gun Club.
“It’s symbolic of our freedom,” Carpenter said about participating in the “Shot Heard Around the U.S.” in support of the Second Amendment.
The event is in honor of the original shot heard around the world during the American Revolution.
“It’s a way to celebrate our independence and to honor those who fell at Lexington,” Carpenter said.
The Holley Rod and Gun Club hosted a ceremonial shot today for the first time. Gun owners feel their rights are under attack since the NY SAFE Act was approved in January 2013. Locally, the New York Revolution has about 50 active members. That group formed soon after the SAFE Act passed the state Legislature 15 months ago.
NYR is pushing gun owners to register to vote and join SCOPE, the Shooters Committee on Political Education. The Holley club raised $121 for SCOPE with the event on Saturday.
Carpenter said the SAFE Act has pushed gun owners to reach out to each other and look for ways to be more involved politically.
“The one positive of the NY SAFE Act is it has brought people together,” he said.
He joined the New York Revolution, which he said “is all about networking. We’re pushing voter registration big time.”
One of the NYR leaders, Gia Arnold, is running for the State Senate in a district represented by George Maziarz. Arnold said she would push hard to repeal the SAFE Act.
New York Revolution is gaining momentum throughout the state, said Mattie Zarpentine, WNY regional director. She was in Hartland last night when 60 people showed up at the fire department looking to start an NYR chapter in Niagara County.
There are about 25 county chapters so far and more are showing an interest, Zarpentine said.
She was pleased with the turnout at the Holley Rod and Gun Club. About 30 fired a shot and another 20 people stood in support.
“Many people have told us they would fire a shot in their backyards,” Zarpentine said.
One SAFE Act deadline passed on April 15. The state set that date for gun owners to register assault weapons. Zarpentine said few gun owners complied with the deadline.
“It was largely ignored,” she said, calling that SAFE Act decree “a dismal failure.”