For those gathering to protest against the New York SAFE Act, President Barack Obama's visit to Cooperstown is less important than the presence of Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the event.
“Our concern right now is the state,” said Denver Jones, of Tioga County. “Gov. Cuomo is trying to be a tyrant.”
The New York SAFE Act is a gun control measure that was signed into law by Cuomo last year. It has attracted heavy opposition from gun rights advocates.
Jones, who is affiliated with the group Team NY, listed the New York SAFE Act, the Common Core educational standards, and tax free zones as policies he took issue with. Speaking around 10 a.m., he estimated that 1,000 people would show up in Cooperstown to protest the event. Jones was with a handful of people when he made this statement.
Joe Marmorato of Hartwick Seminary, who chairs the Second Amendment Committee of the Republican Committee of Otsego County, shared Jones' focus on Cuomo.
“That doesn't mean anything to me,” said Marmorato, when asked about the president's visit. “(What's) more important to me is Cuomo coming.”
Marmorato, a former New York City police officer, said that he was “dead against” the New York SAFE Act.
“It's doing nothing for the … citizens but it's doing a lot for the criminals,” Marmorato said. “It's not a well-thought-out law.”
Marmorato made clear that the main person he would be protesting was Cuomo.
“I'd much rather see him than the president, to let him know how we feel,” Marmorato said.