Gun sales skyrocket in anticipation of legislation
January 17, 2013
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January 17, 2013
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MAD DASH: Gun buyers line up to purchase assault weapons,

MAD DASH: Gun buyers line up to purchase assault weapons, high-capacity magazines ahead of Cuomo signing law banning them
Lines stretched out the door of gun shops from Binghamton to Buffalo before the historic passage of new gun-control legislation that is designed to prevent a repeat of the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Read more at NY Daily News:

-Customers line up at Zack’s Sports in Round Lake Tuesday waiting to purchase guns and ammunition ahead of Gov. Andrew Cuomo signing into law a new ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

The gun business was booming in New York Tuesday as buyers frantically tried to make their final purchases before the state’s new gun law was signed.  Lines stretched out the doors of gun shops from Binghamton to Buffalo and elsewhere upstate as enthusiasts rushed to purchase assault weapons, high capacity magazines and other soon-to-be-banned items.

“Right now, I think people are in total shock,” said Kevin Zacharewicz, owner of Zack’s Sports in Round Lake, about 30 minutes north of Albany.
Shocked and angry gun-seekers flocked to Zack’s throughout the morning and afternoon as lawmakers in the Assembly debated the gun control measure adopted by the Senate just before midnight Monday.
Cars jammed the shop’s modest parking lot and parked along the street for a half-mile in either direction of the lakeside store.

“Got to get the guns now,” said one customer, holding his baby daughter, as he waited to buy semi-automatic handguns, which were not covered by the ban.”
-The customer declined to be identified.

“People are disappointed in their government,” said Kevin Zacharewicz, owner of Zack’s Sports in Round Lake. “They rammed this thing through in the dead of night behind closed doors.” Customers leaving Zack’s Sports in Round Lake with weapons they had just purchased. Owners of assault weapons will have to register them within one year unless they want to sell them outside the state.  Zacharewicz, who has owned the store for 20 years, said business picked up after the Dec. 14 shootings in Newtown, Conn., and really surged after Gov. Cuomo’s State of the State Address last week.  “People are disappointed in their government,” said Zacharewicz. “They rammed this thing through in the dead of night behind closed doors.”


Zacharewicz had a copy of the new law on his counter along with lists of local lawmakers customers could contact to express their displeasure as well as a picture of President Obama was also posted above one of the cash registers with the caption “Firearms Salesman of the Year.”

Tuesday’s uncertain situation forced Zacharewicz to constantly check news reports to see if the Assembly had voted on the measure.  After five hours of debate, the Assembly adopted the bill and Gov. Cuomo signed it just after 5 p.m.  In a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Cuomo said the state had no special plans to beef up enforcement of the new measure beyond already-existing methods.

“It is way too much for law-abiding citizens,” said R.D. Spence, 54, a retired firefighter from Albany and a customer at Zack’s.  Spence was waiting patiently in line to pick up a .22 caliber Smith and Wesson semi-automatic rifle he ordered after hearing Cuomo’s plans to enact new gun laws.  “The last big shootings were all people who had guns illegally. They weren’t their guns,” Spence said. “Regular sportspeople like us that are in line here are not causing problems,” Spence added. “We do the law-abiding thing. We are going to get penalized because of people who are breaking the law.”
The new gun laws signed Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo place a ban on semiautomatic weapons with at least one military-style feature and high-capacity magazines. The law also requires background checks for ammunition buyers.

The new law does not force Spence and other assault weapon owners to give up their weapons, but it does require them to register their firearms with the state – a fact that irritated several Zack’s customers.  “Absolutely not,” said one Zack’s customer when asked if he intended to register his two AR-15 assault weapons. “Did the state give me anything when I bought them?” said the customer, who, like many others, declined to give his name. “It is nobody’s business but my own what guns I have.”  At B&J Shooting Supply in the Albany suburb of Colonie, there was also a steady stream anxious customers and harried store workers.  “It’s ridiculous,” said Jeff Lukens, 25, of Albany after he purchased ammunition for his handguns. “It’s unconstitutional. The Second Amendment clearly states you have the right to keep and bear arms.” Lukens said Second Amendment was intended to protect citizens from “tyrannical government.”

With Kenneth Lovett