Photo courtesy 810 & 103.1 WGY’s Read Shepherd

As Governor Cuomo signed this year's budget into law, several thousand people gathered at the south end of the Empire State Plaza to call for the repeal of his most controversial measure from a year ago - the SAFE Act.  

Tuesday's rally was part 2nd Amendment patriotism and part politics.  Special guest speaker Donald Trump was introduced as "New York's next governor" by former GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino.  Trump has said he will not run though he sounded like a candidate saying the state is in deep trouble.

Current Republican candidate Rob Astorino also spoke at the rally.  He says “we can beat Cuomo”.  Astorino has promised to seek the repeal of the SAFE Act if elected.  Polls show him well behind the Governor.

Inside the Capitol, meanwhile, supporters of the SAFE Act say it has made a difference.  NYAGV (New Yorkers Against Gun Violence) held a counter protest as the pro-2nd amendment rally was underway at the plaza.

When asked about the rallies, Cuomo says gun control is an issue that stirs strong feelings on both sides.