Since passage of the SAFE Act, membership in SCOPE (Shooters Committee on Political Education) has more than doubled, Steve Aldstadt, the group's state president, told the Genesee County chapter last night.
There are now 5,400 members and new members continue to join at a record pace.
"Unfortunately it took something like the SAFE Act to get everybody aware and involved," Aldstadt said.
With some four to five million gun owners in New York, he thinks there are enough votes among those who value the Second Amendment to sway any statewide election.
SCOPE is pursuing a multi-election strategy aimed at eventually getting the SAFE Act repealed.
This year, SCOPE is concentrating on county legislature elections with a goal of voting out some of the legislators across the state who voted against a resolution calling for the repeal of the SAFE Act.
"If we can get rid of a few of those legislators who supported the SAFE Act this year, it will make a definite impact on those state legislators who are going to be on the ballot next year in 2014," Aldstadt said.
Working with the Freedom Coalition, SCOPE is helping to organized the Freedompalooza Concert in Altamont, which is Aug. 24.
That will act as a fundraiser for a massive voter registration drive of gun owners. SCOPE will work to identify gun owners who aren't registered to vote and get them registered.
"We are not a minority in this state," Aldstadt said. "We have enough people to effect any statewide election and win."
Changing the name of the governor will take more than just more voters, Aldstadt acknowledged. The GOP also needs to find a good candidate to run against Andrew Cuomo.
"Cuomo can definitely be beat," Aldstadt said. "He has so many negatives right now. It's just a matter of the opposition coming up with a credible candidate."
If the pieces fall into place, those politicians who supported the SAFE Act might be surprised at the results, Aldstadt said.
"I think when they passed this law, they thought people were going to get upset for a little bit, maybe have a protest or two, and then it would all go away," he said. "Well, it's not going away."
For more information about SCOPE, visit the Genesee County chapter's Web site.