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Local Law Enforcement and First Responders React to NY Safe Act

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Rochester: Local Law Enforcement and First Responders React to NY Safe Act
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Local law enforcement officials and first responders are reacting to the passing of the gun control legislation. Many believe the move is a step toward a safer community.

After the Christmas Eve tragedy in Webster, the country saw the dangers first responders can face.

"Any sentencing sanctions that allow for additional penalties for people that kill first responders, I'm 100-percent in favor of," said Chief Gerald Pickering of the Webster Police Department.

Pickering says the Webster Provision, a part of Governor Cuomo's New York Safe Act, is long overdue. The provision extends Mark's Law, making killing a first responder an automatic first degree murder offense

"This isn't the first incident across the nation where firemen have been fired upon responding just to put out fires, so I think it's very well deserved and I'm very happy for that section of the law," said Pickering.

First responders agree.

"Quite honestly, I don't know why that wasn't passed three or four years ago, when Mark Davis was killed up in Cape Vincent, New York, but regardless, we fully support the provisions of it," Al Sienkiewicz, WWFD Spokesperson.

"I think it's a necessary entity. Hopefully would never be used," said Bill Joyce, Greece Volunteer Ambulance Director.

The legislation also bans assault rifles, defined as guns with detachable magazines. It limits magazines to seven rounds instead of 10 and calls for more background checks.

Local leaders say they are in favor of the gun laws making New York State the strictest in the nation.

"I think it's very important for the City of Rochester and some of the urban violence that we see that are related to guns and weapons. I'm very pleased with the fact that there will be record checks for any exchange of weapons, whether it's private or through a dealer," said Chief James Sheppard of the Rochester Police Department.

"You know, we can't stop violence entirely by passing this legislation. I understand that. But what we can do, is have an impact on it," said Tom Richards, (D) Rochester Mayor. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP