As Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to face heat from firearm-rights supporters and conservatives for the state’s January gun-control laws, his administration is launching a new grant program for shooting ranges across the state.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation on Wednesday launched the grant program, which will distribute $65,000 in 2013 to non-profit or municipal ranges in New York, Commissioner Joseph Martens announced Wednesday. It’s funded with federal firearms tax money required to be used for educational programs.
“Governor Cuomo supports these grants to ensure the hunting communities have access to ranges to improve and practice their shooting skills,” Martens, a Cuomo appointee, said in a statement. “With publicly accessible shooting ranges being in high demand, the Shooting Range Grants Program will prove to be a popular supportive program.”
Cuomo has become a popular target for Second Amendment groups since the Legislature earlier this year passed the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, which instituted a broader ban on certain semi-automatic weapons and a stricter limit on the number of bullets that can be loaded in a magazine.
The governor has also emphasized that he’s the owner of a Remington shotgun, and a new advertisement from the state Democratic Committee makes a point to say the SAFE Act protects sportsmen. Gun-rights groups have disagreed.
(AP Photo/Michael Okoniewski, File)