Albany Event Sends Clear Message To State Leadership: Sportsmen And Outdoor Recreation Means Tradition And Jobs

Legislative Column from Assemblyman Marc W. Butler (R,C,I-Newport)
January 26, 2011

Assemblyman Marc W. Butler (R,C,I-Newport) speaks with a Remington Arms employee at the 2nd Annual Assembly Minority Sportsmen & Outdoor Recreation Legislative Awareness Day.

Thousands of hunters, anglers, shooters, and snowmobile and ATV enthusiasts this week joined me and my colleagues for the Assembly Minority Sportsmen & Outdoor Recreation Legislative Awareness Day in Albany. Between my conversations with constituents who visited my office and participants at the expo, it was clear that outdoor recreation is not only an important tradition shared by generations, but also a pivotal part of the upstate economic engine. Knowing how important it is to our region, we should do everything we can to protect the second amendment right and encourage new generations of outdoor sportsmen.

I had the pleasure of meeting with local sportsmen, including members of the Pine Tree Rifle Club in Fulton County and several employees of Remington Arms, a firearms manufacturer that employs many of the residents throughout the 117th Assembly District. James A. Rabbia, the company’s Ilion plant manager, informed me of the successful expansion that took place at the site and the relocation of two out-of-state plants to New York, but warned that the annual “Majority Gun Bill” package threatens the recent great strides they made in creating and retaining 1,200 jobs.

Gun control bills supported by some downstate politicians are little more than an effort to curtail the protected and upheld second amendment right for law-abiding citizens to bear arms. They claim that it’s to curb gun violence, but the reality is that micro-stamping and ammunition shell identification banks are costly to manufacturers with little impact on preventing firearm crimes.

As your assemblyman, I have made it a priority to educate my downstate assembly colleagues on the real issues surrounding guns and outdoor recreation. I encourage them to instead try to understand how New York’s 1.4 million sportsmen positively impact our state and contribute $6 billion to our economy. I encourage and sponsor legislation that fosters future generations of hunters, anglers, outdoor enthusiasts and wise conservationists.

The excitement I witnessed at the event reaffirmed my eagerness to work on protecting and expanding outdoor activities in this state. Next year, I hope that many more residents from my district will come to meet with peers with common interests, learn from dozens of outdoor vendors and organizations, and be inspired by leading national and state sportsmen advocates.

Sportsmen in my district have an open invitation to visit me anytime, not just on Sportsmen & Outdoor Recreation Legislative Awareness Day. As always, if you have questions or comments about our sportsmen and second amendment right issues or any other state issue, please don’t hesitate to contact me at either my Johnstown office at (518) 762-6486, or my Herkimer office at (315) 866-1632.