WNYers Prepare to go to Albany for SAFE Act Rally

February 11, 2013 Updated Feb 11, 2013 at 12:36 AM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

February 11, 2013 Updated Feb 11, 2013 at 12:36 AM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - The gun debate over the New York SAFE Act is not looking to go away anytime soon. Western New Yorkers are planning to head to the state's capitol and protest.

About 100 Western New Yorkers are expected to go to Albany in a few days, gearing up for several protests against the state's new gun law.

In the few weeks since Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the New York SAFE Act, protests have sparked across New York State, including one in downtown Buffalo.

Gun rights advocates claim the new law tramples on Second Amendment rights. They say the SAFE Act turned the tragedy in Newtown into an opportunity for political gain.

Carl Paladino, an activist, says, "That's sick for our governor, that's sick for our legislators, that's sick for all of them. It illustrates the poor quality of people that we have in Albany today."

Paladino is one of about 100 Western New Yorkers expected to protest in Albany on Tuesday. He will also be speaking to the crowd, along with state legislatures who voted against the bill.

Paladino says gun rights advocates will keep fighting until the next statewide election, hoping to change many of the seats in Albany.

"We'll lead the march in Albany," Paladino says. "We'll take them down one at a time, but we'll take them down."

Many gun rights advocates do not believe the law will work, arguing that change should come through mental health awareness and urban education reform.

However, local supporters of the SAFE Act say it is a step in the right direction.

Mayor Paul Dyster (D) of Niagara Falls has spoken in support of the new law. He says, "I simply felt in the wake of Newtown, as a mayor, as a gun owner and sportsmen, that we couldn't sit on the sidelines anymore -- we had to do something."

Dyster says the law has its flaws and is not a single solution, but is a piece to the puzzle. He says that the law does emphasize addressing health care issues and includes tougher penalties for criminals.

"We needed to get started," Dyster says, "taking some common sense actions, like universal background checks.

Dyster, a sportsman and gun owner himself says it is time for all New Yorkers to fight gun violence and stop any future Newtown's or Webster's.

Part of the reason for Tuesday's rally is to build momentum for February 28th, which is Lobbying Day in Albany.

Activists say 20 to 30-thousand people are expected to protest and lobby against the New York SAFE Act in the state's capitol that day.