Posted at: 03/13/2013 9:05 AM
Updated at: 03/13/2013 6:23 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann
ALBANY - Bob Schulz was still optimistic Wednesday that he could get the New York Safe Act struck down.
"Holding government accountable is key and I think we'll prevail in this case," he said.
That's even though his motion in State Supreme Court was denied. The Queensbury resident, who is not a lawyer, argued that Governor Andrew Cuomo improperly rushed the gun legislation to a vote with a message of necessity.
"When a bill is controversial they'll pass it with a message of necessity. Cut off, suspend all public debate deny us our right of speech," Schulz told the judge.
Schulz said the State Constitution was violated because lawmakers and citizens didn't have the usual three days to review and debate the bill. The New York Safe Act expanded a ban on assault weapons and strengthened background checks.
The government's attorney said Cuomo rightfully believed it was urgent to pass the bill.
"Our people in New York State were facing increasing common incidents where assault weapons and high capacity cartridges and magazines were being used to commit crimes," said James McGowan, Assistant Attorney General.
The judge said he wouldn't interfere with a higher court's ruling; a disappointment for the more than 1200 gun owners also waging lawsuits.
"It was snuck through behind closed doors. Nobody even knew about it. like they said the legislators didn't have time to read the act so basically they were voting for something they didn't know," said Charles Spencer, an Oswego County resident who attended the proceeding.
Schulz said he will file an appeal of the denial with the Court of Appeals Thursday.