Orlando massacre re-ignites gun control debate

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The massacre at an Orlando gay nightclub has reinvigorated the conversation about guns in America.

Current law bans the type of gun used in the Orlando attack in New York State.

Police in Orlando say the shooter used a semi-automatic gun to kill 49 people at the Pulse Nightclub on Sunday.

Steve Borst, owner of Target Sports in Schenectady, holds up a rifle.

“This rifle right now, is not legal for us to sell to someone in New York State,” he says.

Borst says however, that the same rifle could be sold, with some modifications, something that is possible.

“We can alter this rifle so that it can be sold in New York by removing the pistol grip, by disallowing the stock from being moved we put a pin in it and we can get rifles that don’t have a muzzle break,” said Borst.

Borst holds up another rifle, very similar in appearance to the first. This semi-automatic rifle, he explains is legal to sell in his shop, and across New York State.

“It doesn’t have a pistol grip, the stock has been changed, the stock can’t be adjusted length wise and it doesn’t have a muzzle break,” he says.

The gun is legal, but Borst says it’s no less lethal than the weapon used in Orlando. When it comes to guns, he says, there’s more than what meets the eye.

“This rifle operates the same as this weapon,” he says holding up a black, military-style weapon, and then a more traditional-appearing wooden stock rifle, “operates the same as this rifle. It’s cosmetically different. It’s a semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine.”

This is why Borst says gun laws like the SAFE Act won’t protect against mass shootings.

Activists like New Yorker Against Gun Violence disagree, and say any measures taken to limit guns are positive.

“People have such easy access to firearms in this country dangerous people who shouldn’t have them as it’s been demonstrated more and more and more,” said Pat Tuz, a representative from NYAGV. “We’ve got to stop that.They have no purpose for being used on our streets against our citizens”

“Look we have to do something there is no question and congress has just sat and sat and sat they’ve done nothing,” said Tuz.

Meanwhile, sales at Target Sports and other shops around the Capital Region are doing well.

In fact, on the first day since the market re-opened since the Orlando massacre, the stock value of certain firearm companies has actually gone through the roof.

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