BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Both plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit targeting New York's tough new gun law say the sweeping changes were a direct hit on their second amendment rights.
Richard Dywinski, 26, has a passion: collecting guns. He owns a variety, including an Egyptian military rifle produced in 1965 and a shotgun that dates back more than a hundred years.
"A lot of the mechanics of the individual firearms, kind of the evolution over time," Dywinski said.
He also loves the sport of shooting targets and clay pigeons, and so does David Lefkowitz, a 24-year-old business recruiter from Long Island, whose father introduced him to target shooting when he was a young boy.
"I've been shooting at vacation property with my family and with my dad since maybe 8-, 9-, 10-years-old," Lefkowitz said.
Both men are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Governor Andrew Cuomo, State Legislature leaders, the Attorney General, and the State Police. Their attorney, James Tresmond of Hamburg, is hoping he and his clients can stop the state from implementing provisions of the NY SAFE Act.
Dywinski said, "There was very little discussion or debate about the actual merits of the law. It also intrudes a lot on our ability to purchase various firearms."
Lefkowitz added, "I think people are worried at the erosion of a civil right with passage of this SAFE Act and upcoming federal action as well."
Those opposed to New York's tough new gun law say their ranks are growing. The state-wide group called SCOPE says its membership has increased by 25 percent.
"People who don't even own a gun understand that this is not about guns: this is about rights and they're joining in," said SCOPE President Stephen Aldstadt.
The Erie County Legislature went on record last week calling for the law's repeal, joining the legislatures of Niagara, Orleans, Cattaraugus and Wyoming counties in passing resolutions voicing their opposition.
"A lot of people I work with are avid hunters so they've all been very supportive of it," Dywinski said.
Their lawsuit is now set to begin in April.
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