NEW YORK - Gov. Kathy Hochul traveled to Republican opponent Rep. Lee Zeldin's back yard to tout the early success of the state's new red flag laws in keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people.
CBS2's political reporter Marcia Kramer says that with a poll tightening, the governor is fighting back against the onslaught of criticism about the state's revolving door bail laws.
With memories of the pain and heartache of thestill top of mind, Hochul touted the success of the passed in the aftermath of the racist tragedy - laws that would have kept weapons out of the white supremacist charged with killing 10 Black people.
"I've been back many times. People are still afraid. Afraid to go to the grocery store. The lives that are shattered," Hochul said.
, allowing cops and others to seek an "extreme protection order" that prevents someone deemed a threat from buying weapons.
"We're talking about connecting the dots before something happens. I want to be in the business of preventing crimes," Hochul said.
The governor said that in the 88 days since the new law was signed, the state police along filed 184 red flag applications, a 93% increase over the 95 orders filed for all of 2021. Some 832 red flag applications have been filed by all law enforcement agencies during the same period.
And it wasn't lost on anyone that the governor chose to make the announcement in Suffolk County, Zeldin's back yard.
Zeldin, who before Buffalo wanted the red flag law dumped, now says he supports it, but doesn't want law-abiding citizens "getting caught up in the process, where they end up having their firearms removed, and they were never even able to present their case," he said.
It comes as a new survey by GOP pollster McLaughlin & Associates has Zeldin gaining ground. It has Hochul at 48%, Zeldin at 40%. The margin of error is plus or minus four.
"I believe that we are in a great position to win this race, and it's not about Republican versus Democrat. There are independents and disenfranchised Democrats who are not happy with the direction of the state," Zeldin said.
He has been picking up steam by attacking the governor on the state's revolving door bail system and congestion pricing.
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