"Obviously we live in a state that is, in my opinion, going down a path of taking our second amendment away from us," Reed said. "The SAFE Act is something that I stand for the repeal of. Down in Washington we are fighting federal legislation all day long that keeps coming at us to infringe upon our guaranteed individual constitutional rights in the second amendment. I can assure you we're going to stand firm in the fight to push that back."
Reed was glad to be invited to visit the hunting club Saturday. He says hunting is a tradition in his family that also serves an ecological purpose in helping to control overpopulation.
"We were in the outdoors fishing and hunting since I was a little guy," Reed said. "Having that hunting tradition, being out with your family, being out there like I am now with my son, trying to get my daughter involved in it. It's something that's a way of life for us, but also it plays an important role with the deer population. To see a deer starve like I've seen in the woods over the years, is something that's very emotional. It's something you don't want to see. This is all part of a reasonable tradition that has deep roots in our area."
Mixing hunting with a campaign stop made for a relaxed visit. His formal comments only lasted a couple of minutes with the bulk of the visit talking one on one with hunters.
"I love getting out and talking to people and having conversations about what's going on in the district, listening to their input," he says. That's why we do as many 'town halls' as we do. This, to me, is an extension of that, being accessible and being out here and talking."
Reed has hosted over a hundred 'town halls' since being elected in 2010. 'Town Halls' are more formal meetings where he speaks and answers questions on a variety of topics that are important to his 23rd Congressional District constituents. The most recent meeting in Tompkins County was in August at a meeting held on the Cornell campus.
Wednesday Reed was back in Washington where he voted in support of the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, which includes eight bills designed to protect and promote America’s hunting and fishing traditions. Reed is a co-sponsor of the legislation introduced by Rep. Bob Latta of Ohio to protect jobs and preserve the recreation industry.
“Caring for our public lands and protecting rights of sportsmen and access for everyone is the right and fair thing to do,” Reed said. “Collectively, the bills remove government roadblocks so that everyone can enjoy the resources we have been blessed with. As an avid outdoorsman myself, I join the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes sportsmen communities to help ensure outdoor traditions are preserved and rights are protected not only for our benefit today, but for the benefit of our children and grandchildren in years to come.”
Reed didn't have time to hunt himself Saturday, but said he looked forward to a rabbit hunt Sunday before the Super Bowl. He offered his support for the predator hunt, offering an invitation to events held by the Sportsman Caucus in Washington, of which he is a member.
"Take as many of those coyotes down as you can, because I'm sick and tired of seeing them in the woods," Reed said. "I hit a nice six-point in bow season. He got away from me at night. I went back the next morning and all the hind quarters were gone. So you know exactly what I'm talking about and I appreciate you getting out there and taking on this issue."