People in Sullivan County celebrated the second amendment on Saturday, hosting the first ever Friends with Firearms Gun Festival at Hanofee Park. YNN’s Alexandra Weishaupt has more on the day’s events.
LIBERTY, N.Y. -- “It all started when my father brought home an antique rifle that a friend of his gave him when I was 8,” said Liberty resident Joe Lansing.
Now, 63 years later, gun owner and enthusiast Joe Lansing is one of the first to frequent Sullivan’s initial Friends with Firearms event.
“I own a hunting rifles and some target rifles and some collector’s riffles,” said Lansing.
He attended the day’s event to experience and express his right to bear arms.
“It’s our constitutional right, but with the right comes the responsibility and I think people should be properly educated in handling firearms,” said Lansing.
In helping to do so, Jim Hopkins sets up a table to educate visitors on safety and proper handling of firearms.
“Anybody that wants training, we do from babysitter training to first aid to adult CPR to adult handguns, rifles, pretty much everything,” said EEA Community Training Center Owner Jim Hopkins. “Anybody that wants to be trained, we train them.”
As the event comes on the heels of Governor Andrew Cuomo's SAFE Act, many are now hoping the festival helps shed light on the issue.
“As of January they want to register bullets even, and were very upset about that,” said Friends with Firearms President Christine Schiff. “We’re registering voters because there are a lot of registered gun owners who are not registered to vote and if we can get them to come out and vote, register to vote and then vote, maybe we can change things.”
And many like Lansing are hopeful their rights will remain in place.
“Why don’t we enforce what we have now because only the honest people will obey the laws,” said Lansing. “The dishonest people are just going to keep going as they have been.”