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WNY leaders take stances on gun reform

Posted at 10:55 PM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 09:42:55-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Western New York Conservatives and educators are taking their stances on gun reform.

"I think raise the age to 21 is a good thing,” superintendent of Niagara Falls School District Mark Laurrie said. “I support it."

"Raising it to 21 opens the door to opening to 25 or 30," Erie County Conservative Party member Russ Gugino said.

Gugino said anyone old enough to serve in the military should be able to buy a gun.

"You don't have a right constitutionally to buy liquor, you don't have the right to drive an automobile, but you do have the right to buy a weapon of choice,” Gugino said.

Gugino said of the nearly 400 million guns in the United States, most are being used for self-defense.

"There are approximately 20 million AR-15s,” Gugino said. “So, you're talking about 5% of all of the guns in the U.S."

Gugino said even lowering magazine capacities may not stop someone from committing a crime. He said there are many factors that go into mass shootings and homicides other than the weapon.

"What happened in Buffalo and Texas is awful and we've got a find a way to reach out to those people who might commit these crimes and find a way to stop them before they commit," Gugino said.

But superintendent of Niagara Falls School District, Mark Laurrie said comprehensive legislation will help put minds at ease.

"Parents and students and staff and more scared and have more trepidation than I have ever seen,” Laurrie said. "I'm not anti-gun, I think everyone has the right to use it appropriately, but not assault rifles."

Laurrie said kids are impressionable, especially with internet being so accessible, so he said it would be irresponsible not to take any action.

"We have to act on the world that's in front of us, not the one we wish we could go back to,” Laurrie said.

Both Laurrie and Gugino agree arming teachers is not the way to go.

"I would not ask a teacher to be armed in a school and I would not ask a police officer to teach biology,” Laurrie said.

"Municipalities, school boards, budgets, ought to allow for armed guards that are trained in this,” Gugino said.

7 News' Natalie Fahmy reached out to several area gun shops, they all said they do not feel comfortable commenting or taking a stance on the pending legislation at this point.