More than 100 people take steps toward getting a gun permit
Recent deadly shootings across the country has launched the issue of gun control into the forefront. YNN's Natalia Martinez joins us from Elma, where more than 100 people are taking a step to get their gun permits.
Right now, there are more than 70,000 gun permit holders in Erie County, and that number is just expected to get higher.
Time and again we heard the same concern.
"I want to be here to protect me and my family," said Linda Jablonski, Orchard Park.
"I have seven kids and its important for me to be able to protect my family," said Todd Huber, Elma.
That fear led more than 100 people to sign up for the largest gun training course in Western New York.
"In our society today, we are more reactive than proactive, and that's they way it always been," said Miguel Rivera, Rivera/BCIS Investigations.
Rivera gave the four-hour-long course Tuesday evening. He covered everything from how to store your guns to keeping them away from the wrong people.
"Awareness, some safety tips, what to do, what not to do. And hopefully they'll leave here today with a better understanding of what gun safety is about."
The class was free, put on by a bipartisan non-profit group, EMPact America.
"A lot of people are getting rifles because they think their guns are being taken away," said David Bellavia, EMPact America president.
Governor Cuomo is expected to urge for stricter gun control laws in his state of the state address Wednesday. Some are skeptical.
"It's not necessarily going to stop a crazy person from getting a firearm and doing damage," said Bob Metz.
"The Connecticut shooting and the West Webster shooting just kinda enraged me, you just don't know anymore," said Kevin O'Neal.
And this Getzville firefighter told us he's not taking any chances.
"The Webster shooting, the Connecticut shooting, Columbine years ago, but society in general is just ridiculous."
The group is hosting another similar event on January 19th for free.