Republican candidate for attorney general John Cahill is walking a fine line on the SAFE Act, the package of gun control measures that is staunchly opposed by conservative voters and gun-rights advocates.

Cahill hopes to unseat Democratic incumbent Eric Schneiderman to become the first Republican attorney general since Dennis Vacco.

In an interview on Capital Tonight last week, Cahill insisted he would uphold the law as attorney general, even if he was uncomfortable with aspects of it.

“I mean, the role of the attorney general to defend and uphold the laws of the state of New York and the Constitution of the state of New York,” Cahill said in the interview. “And even if you have reservations about the law, you have an obligation to represent the state. However, the attorney general has a role as laws are being drafted, being proposed, express concerns as the chief law enforcement authority of the state, what these laws mean. No one heard form the attorney general before the laws were adopted. After the laws were adopted, he has an obligation to uphold.”

In a subsequent interview with conservative talk radio host Bob Lonsberry, Cahill shifts his tone and takes a more aggressive stance on the SAFE Act, however.

In that interview, Cahill indicates he would act as an advocate against laws he disagrees with, and be a vocal opponent when necessary. He doesn’t mention he would seek to uphold the law, only adding that he wold “challenge the status quo” in Albany.

“And when something’s gone awry, when the state is acting in a way that is contrary to the people’s interest, the people’s lawyer, that should be the attorney general, should be standing up and fighting for the people,” Cahill said in the interview. “A perfect example of that is the passage of the so-called SAFE Act. Here we have legislation that’s being passed in the middle of the night that is going to make criminals out of law-abiding citizens, that’s going to take guns out of law enforcers, and where is the attorney general? I mean, far too often we have had an attorney general who is silent when it comes to protecting the people’s interest of this state. And I’ve committed, Bob, that when I am attorney general, I am going to challenge the status quo, whether that is in Albany or in New York, whatever the institutions are that are not serving the people’s interest, should be the subject of direct attacks by the attorney general.”

Updated: Cahill spokesman David Catalfamo responds noting the comments came from separate interviews.

“The blog post by Capitol Tonight is misleading and references two completely different interviews and two completely different questions. John Cahill has stated unequivocally that the so-called Safe Act was bad law, passed in the middle of the night that made criminals out of law abiding citizens. If AG Schneiderman had reviewed the law before it was passed, instead of staying silent, the final bill might have avoided it’s unconstitutional provisions or never been passed.”