CLARENCE, N.Y. (WIVB) - In Clarence, tempers flared as gun-owners met with state officials to talk about the New York SAFE act.
But not everyone was there to argue against the law. Some were there to get answers.
The Clarence library was packed. 200 people in an area meant to hold 90. Many admitted they were there just to protest. But some, while opposed to the law, just wanted questions answered.
The point of the meeting was to answer questions about New York State's new restrictions to gun ownership.
And that's why Vincent Dewind was there.
"Some came to protest. I came to learn about the law," he said.
He by no means supports the law.
"The state passed an ill-conceived law that they haven't fully thought through. And there will have to be some serious changes to it," Dewind says.
But he found the often-raucous 2.5-hour meeting helpful. Many people had specific questions about weapons they own -- whether New York would classify them as assault-style.
"I have a Browning high-powered," one man said.
"As it stands right now, I'm illegal," another man said.
If their weapon is classified as assault-style, they must register it with the state by April 15, 2014, or permanently modify it so it once again is deemed legal.
Some at the meeting indicated they have no intention of complying.
"What is the penalty if you do not register? Because I guarantee there is a lot of people who aren't going to," one man said.
And some questions had complicated answers.
"You're next question is, are you going to be arrested? I can't answer that. It would be up to the officer you encounter. They would have to decide," said Mike Green of the Division of Criminal Justice Services.
Some people got very heated with their questions. Complaining that law-abiding people are getting punished.
"Now you're turning them into criminals. You're making them angry. And when angry people get together they form militias, folks," one man said.
But Dewind says he plans to follow the law he disagrees with.
"You have to stay level-headed. I want to stay within the law. I'll have to register my guns if it's necessary, and we'll go from there," Dewind said.
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