Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Site Sponsors

2nd Amendment

May 13, 2015 - 8:30am
posted by Steve Ognibene in SCOPE, 2nd Amendment, gun rights, veterans.

5.12.15_mg_5792.jpg

At Tuesday's SCOPE meeting in Batavia, local veterans were honored by the Honor Flight Network.

Honor Flight Network is a nonprofit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. The group transports veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit and reflect at the memorials of the various wars. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with veterans who may be terminally ill.

Of all of the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation—and as a culturally diverse, free society. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 640 WWII veterans die each day. Our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out.

John Foy (pictured above), a WWII infantry machine gunner vet of the "Battle of the Bulge," who overcame many obstacles, including sub-zero temperatures, heavy snow at times, and surviving the violent, pounding barrage of artillery.

"Only a very few of us had proper winter clothing," Foy said. "Frozen feet were a big problem and 24 hours a day we were outside and very little time was spent inside a house or shelter."

For a brief moment in history, these men held our nation's destiny in our hands. We did not fail. There are an estimated 16 million vets who fought in WWII and only 1.6 million are left. The average age of that generation is 92.

5.12.15_mg_5790.jpg

Pictured below is John Cipolla, paratrooper of the 101st Airborne Division, signing his book for someone.

5.12.15_mg_5801.jpg

All vets were honored tonight with a choice of a copper memorabilia coin with their appropriate military service.

5.12.15_mg_5781.jpg

SCOPE meets the second Tuesday of each month at the Calvary Baptist Church on Galloway Road in Batavia.

For more information: http://www.scopeny.org/contact-2/chapter_info/genesee-county-chapter/

March 6, 2015 - 10:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in SCOPE, 2nd Amendment.

Press release and photo from SCOPE:

On Tuesday, every SCOPE chapter and committee sent a delegation to Albany to meet with senators and assemblymen. A delegation left Le Roy at 4 a.m. with SCOPE members representing Genesee, Orleans and Niagara counties. Some of the issues that were discussed in those meetings included: Full repeal of the SAFE Act; defunding of the SAFE Act; and uniform pistol licensing requirements across New York State with no additional restrictions added by the local licensing.

Photo: Genesee, Orleans, and Niagara SCOPE delegation meeting with Assemblyman Stephen Hawley at his Albany office for SCOPE Lobby Day.

April 9, 2014 - 2:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, 2nd Amendment, SAFE Act.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) continued his fight to restore the Second Amendment rights of his constituents in Albany by pushing for a repeal of the SAFE Act. Hawley helped force a vote on legislation he cosponsors (A.6238) in the Assembly Codes Committee, which unfortunately was unsuccessful. While vowing to continue fighting to repeal the SAFE Act, Hawley noted that his bill was defeated by Downstate, New York City interests.

“I am working hard with my colleagues who cherish the Second Amendment to see the rights enshrined by it restored. We got a vote on legislation that would repeal the SAFE Act, but it was unfortunately voted down by Downstate Assembly liberals,” Hawley said. “They voted to put honest, law-abiding people in jail for exercising their constitutional right to bear arms and protect their families. Their actions have only strengthened my resolve to stand up for the good people of Western New York who should be enjoying their full Second Amendment rights.”

As long as the Assembly is controlled by Downstate liberals, Hawley recognizes that repeal through legislative means is likely dead on arrival. However, he is hopeful that a lawsuit working its way through the court system will find the SAFE Act unconstitutional when it arrives at the Supreme Court. In the meantime, Hawley vows to continue doing his part to restore the Second Amendment through outspoken advocacy and organizing fellow Second-Amendment enthusiasts.

January 18, 2014 - 2:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Andrew Cuomo, 2nd Amendment, SAFE Act.

More than 100 gun rights advocates turned out this morning in 20-degree whether at the NYSP barracks on West Saile Drive to protest the SAFE Act.

As expected, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was the target of the protest signs and the speakers' rhetoric, but as it turned out, Cuomo gave the protesters a little extra ammunition when, during a radio interview yesterday, the first-term governor said, “If they are extreme conservatives, they have no place in the State of New York."

More than one speaker mentioned Cuomo's statement and suggested that perhaps it's Cuomo who should leave New York and is the one out of step with the majority of New Yorkers.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley also took Cuomo to task for his statement.

“The governor’s comments about my constituents are offensive and are a Freudian slip, which reveals what he truly thinks of Upstate New Yorkers. He has no right to come to Upstate New York and call himself governor when he has such obvious disdain for its people,” Hawley said. “The majority of Upstate New Yorkers are pro-Second Amendment and believe in traditional family values.

"If the governor does not think the good people of Upstate New York have a place in New York, he seems to be doing a good job of driving our families out of the state with his highest-in-the-nation taxes and infringements on our rights.”

Cuomo's apparent lack of fondness for the people of Upstate New York is yet another reason, Hawley said, for supporting his call for a voter referendum on dividing New York into two states.

For more on Cuomo's statement, see this Buffalo News article.

We had a request to purchase these photos, so, for anybody who would like to purchase prints, click here.

January 15, 2014 - 12:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Gary Maha, SCOPE, 2nd Amendment, SAFE Act.

ADA Will Zickl

A police officer doesn't always need to write a ticket after making a traffic stop, nor does an officer need to arrest somebody suspected of violating the SAFE Act, Sheriff Gary Maha told members of Genesee County SCOPE at a packed meeting Tuesday night.

Maha said he's obligated under the oath of his office to uphold the law and if the Sheriff's Office receives a complaint about a possible violation of the SAFE Act, a deputy is required to investigate the complaint. It will be up to the deputy to decide whether an arrest is in order.

"An officer has the ability to exercise discretion and that's what we're going to do in Genesee County," Maha said.

His comments prompted applause from SCOPE members.

Maha, along with County Clerk Don Read, Assistant District Attorney Will Zickl and Undersheriff William Sheron were guests of SCOPE at its regular monthly meeting.

Zickl opened the discussion by recapping a recent court decision by U.S. District Court Judge William M. Skretny upholding much of the SAFE Act, or as Zickl called it repeatedly, "the so-called SAFE Act," and overturning others.

Skretny ruled the ban on assault rifles constitutional but threw out the limit on seven rounds in a magazine.

Zickl said the ruling was full of flawed logic.

"I hope there is some other court somewhere who tells him so," Zickl said.

The ruling only applies to the jurisdiction of Skretny's court, which is Western New York.

Read spent some time discusing a provision of the SAFE Act that requires all pistol permits to be recertified every five years.

The process, especially the first time around, is going to be burdensome and bureaucratic and to help get a jump on the process, the state is going to start sending out letters to pistol permit holders soon telling them to apply immediately for recertification. The first pilot project will begin soon in Albany County.

However, what the letters won't tell the holders, nor will any other state literature on the topic, Read said, is that recertification isn't required until 2018.

Read said he doesn't know what the state will do if permit holders simply don't respond to the early recertification request.

The state recently contacted all county clerks and asked if the clerks would like the county seal placed on letterhead sent to pistol permit holders informing them of the recertification process. Read said he told state officials no, but he and other county clerks are concerned the state will use county seals anyway.

Courtland County's Legislature has approved a resolution telling the state not to use its seal. Ray Cianfrini, the new chairman of the Genesee County Legislature, told SCOPE members that the local body will take up a similar resolution and he expects it to pass easily.

That brought another round of applause from SCOPE members.

SCOPE President Bill Fox raised a concern about a provision in the law that would require any pistol permit holder who loses his or her permit for any reason to turn in to State Police all of his or her guns, even rifles and shotguns.

"It's like a backdoor to take away the rest of your guns," Fox said.

Zickl said, "It's a very substantial and very troubling amendment to the law," adding, "you don't have to be too paranoid to be worried about that section of the law."

During his remarks, Maha noted that the governor proudly trumpeted a few weeks ago that so far there have been 1,291 arrests under the SAFE Act in New York.

"What he doesn't tell you is 1,029 were made in New York City," Maha said.

There have been no SAFE Act arrests in Genesee County, Maha said, and only a couple in the neighboring rural counties.

"The law doesn't make sense for Upstate," Maha said. "It was written by the people in New York City who don't know anything about guns because all they know is Downstate and down there guns kill people, so guns are evil. That's not true for us. We were brought up with guns. We hunt with them. We shoot targets with them, but that's not true if you're in New York City."

Sheriff Gary Maha, County Clerk Don Read and Assistant District Attorney Will Zickl.

A hand raised above the crowd during a Q&A portion of the meeting.

Bob Wilson asked a couple of questions, including asking why Genesee County doesn't secede from the rest of New York. Ray Cianfrini, chairman of the Legislature, encouraged SCOPE members to support Assemblyman Steve Hawley's bill, which Hawley introduces every year, calling for a referendum on splitting New York in two. When the question was repeated, Cianfrini said, with a touch of a smile, "I don't think Genesee County will be seceding by itself."

Also, tomorrow, on the one year anniversary of the SAFE Act becoming law, one member of SCOPE said everybody who supports repeal of the SAFE Act should call the governor's office tomorrow and respectfully request the SAFE Act be repealed. The governor's office phone number is (518) 474-8390.

January 11, 2014 - 6:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, 2nd Amendment.

Whatever illusion Gov. Andrew Cuomo might have once had that opposition to the signature piece of legislation during his term would eventually fade away should be largely dispelled after a day like today.

Throughout New York today gun owners gathered at gun clubs to fire a single shot in protest at precisely noon in what was dubbed by organizers as "The Shot Heard Round New York."

More than 80 gun owners turned out at the Northwoods Sportsman Club on Gulf Road in Le Roy. There was also a protest in Batavia at Godfrey's Pond.

"I think it's huge that people took the time, in the rain, to come out and protest this," said Christina Marinaccio, who helped organize the event at Northwoods.

Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Steve Hawley participated in the protest.

"I thought it important to show solidarity with SCOPE and these hunting groups that are so opposed to the SAFE Act, as am I," Ranzenhofer said. "We're very dissatisfied, not only with the law itself, but the way it's been implemented."

Both Ranzenhofer and Hawley said Cuomo badly miscalculated when he rammed the unconstitutional gun control legislation through on the backs of support from Downstate interests. He clearly didn't understand how seriously the majority of Upstate New Yorkers take the U.S. Constitution.

"We're talking about the Constitution of the United States of America and as far as I know, New York is part of our country," Hawley said. "The SAFE Act was excuted last year under the cover of darkness and excluded every single New Yorker from having a discussion about the act. The papers were still hot off the presses when the Senate voted on it and we voted on it the next day.  We're run by New York City in this state and apparently those that are from Downstate choose to ignore the Constitution."

Ranzenhofer said his constituents find the legislation insulting.

"The comment I hear all the time is you're taking people who are law-abiding citizens and labeling them as criminals, and they're very offended by that," Ranzenhofer said. "These are people who have lived, and paid their taxes, here in Genesee County and across the state their whole lives. They're very upset."

One of the participants, John Marinaccio (Christina's brother), said the protest does send an important message to everybody in the state.

"We're able to unite all these people with a common interest and show everyone else out there why it's so important to us," Marinaccio said. "We feel that by rallying together like this we're proving that to people."

Christina said there is a direct problem with the SAFE Act that's going to hit the club.

"Our youth program is core of this club," Marinaccio said. "We're struggling right now because we won't be able to provide ammunition for our kids once the SAFE Act's provisions for background checks on ammunition goes through. It's really going to be a big hit for us because we really built up the program by offering the kids a chance to come down here and shoot for free."

October 31, 2013 - 8:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, 2nd Amendment, SAFE Act.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) recently highlighted the newest problem with Governor Cuomo’s overreaching gun control law as another reason to repeal the measure. The State Police have confirmed that they will not begin tracking ammunition background checks and purchasing history on Jan. 15 as planned, due to their inability to compile a proper recording system by that time. Hawley pointed to the hang up as further proof that the bill was irresponsibly rushed into law.

“The SAFE Act was forced through so hastily that its authors didn’t even properly consider its impact on the very law enforcement agencies charged with upholding it,” Hawley said. “It is disturbing to think that this would be handled with such little care that a deadline for enforcement would be imposed that our own state police couldn’t be reasonably expected to meet.

"Between all of the amendments, corrections and corresponding protests from law-abiding gun owners, it could not be more clear that the SAFE Act must be repealed. As a co-sponsor of legislation to do just that, I will continue to fight for our constitutional rights and responsible measures to truly strengthen the safety of our communities.”

October 1, 2013 - 7:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff Gary Maha, 2nd Amendment, SAFE Act.

While working on a story we published earlier, we asked Sheriff Gary Maha for his position on the SAFE Act. Here's what he e-mailed to The Batavian:

I have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New York. I am sworn to uphold the laws whether I agree with them or not. It is up to the Courts to determine if a law is unconstitutional or not, and it is up to our State Legislature to pass, not pass, amend or repeal any laws. Unfortunately, the Safe Act is the law of the land, but we are not going to go out and actively enforce it. However, if we receive a complaint with regard to a violation of the Safe Act, we are obligated to investigate it and take appropriate police action, which could be arrest.

August 14, 2013 - 9:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in SCOPE, 2nd Amendment.

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.

June 10, 2013 - 11:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, 2nd Amendment, SAFE Act.

Asked to support repeal of the SAFE Act, two Batavia City Council members voted no on the resolution, saying repeal goes too far.

Before the 7-2 vote Monday night, neither Patti Pacino nor Pier Cippolone offered specifics about what was good or bad with the law, which critics say violates the Second Amendment and does nothing to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals.

"Repeal is too big for me," Pacino said. "I would rather change it a little bit and I'm not going to fight that battle right here."

The SAFE Act was pushed through by Gov. Andrew Cuomo following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Local government bodies across Upstate have been passing repeal resolutions, though such resolutions have no force of law.

"I do not agree with an outright repeal," Cippolone said. "There's some good and there's some bad and we need to work with the bad and leave the good."

Information provided by The Batavian's official news partner, WBTA.

June 6, 2013 - 6:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, 2nd Amendment, SAFE Act.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) will be joining a number of Assembly Minority Conference colleagues to hold a legislative hearing about the implementation of the recently enacted NY SAFE Act. The event will be held at the Amherst Town Hall Council Chamber in Williamsville at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 7 and will feature testimony from mental health professionals and representatives of county sheriffs and county clerks. The hearing will garner input from officials tasked with enforcing the new law in order to ensure that the safety and rights of New York’s citizens are being properly protected.

"The fallout from the SAFE Act has affected nearly every corner of this state," Hawley said." The controversial components have pitted law enforcement against county officials against state government, with the fate of the public hanging in the balance. It is my sincere hope that by bringing law enforcement professionals, county clerks, health experts and concerned citizens affected by this law together, we can all leave with a better understanding of how the SAFE Act affects us and how we can truly protect the safety of our communities as well as our constitutional rights."

Hawley recently held a local public hearing about the NY SAFE Act. In less than three months, a petition he circulated to repeal the law garnered 1,050 signatures from law-abiding citizens.

May 23, 2013 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, 2nd Amendment, SAFE Act.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) highlighted a piece of legislation passed by the Assembly addressing yet another flaw in the NY SAFE Act as further proof that the law must be fully repealed. The bill would exempt certain retired law enforcement officers from restrictions related to magazine capacity. Hawley agreed with the principle of the effort, but noted that such loopholes illustrate the need to repeal the law and start from scratch.

“Not only should retired police officers be exempt from the NY SAFE Act, but so should veterans and every other law-abiding American citizen,” said Hawley. “It seems that as more time passes, more glaring flaws come to light. It comes as no surprise that the bad process used to force this law on New Yorkers has led to bad policy. The sad truth is, I have little doubt we will be amending this irresponsible law piece by piece for a long time to come. That’s why we must repeal the SAFE Act and approach sensible, life-saving measures the correct way; by incorporating the voices of law-abiding New Yorkers whose lives are affected by the legislature’s actions.”

Hawley recently wrote to Governor Andrew Cuomo sharing the results of a petition he circulated advocating the repeal of the NY SAFE Act. In less than three months, the petition garnered 1,050 signatures from local law-abiding citizens.

May 20, 2013 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, 2nd Amendment, SAFE Act.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) recently wrote to Gov. Andrew Cuomo regarding a petition the assemblyman circulated over the last two-and-a-half months urging the repeal of the governor’s new gun control laws, which garnered 1,050 signatures. Hawley implored the governor to reexamine the process and allow his constituents to make their voices heard.

The signers are “1,050 taxpaying, law-abiding Americans who feel that their rights have been infringed upon without any increase in public safety,” Hawley said in the letter. “Their voices were not heard during the hurried passage of this law. They deserved to be heard then and they deserve to be heard now. I urge you to repeal this law and come to the table, not only with members of the legislature, but with law enforcement officials, mental health professionals and, most importantly, the concerned citizens of our community who have the most at stake when it comes to the laws of our state.”

April 27, 2013 - 2:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Andrew Cuomo, 2nd Amendment, SAFE Act.

I'm seeing quite a few anti-Cuomo, anti-SAFE Act signs around Genesee County this spring. This one is in Elba.

April 24, 2013 - 10:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, 2nd Amendment, SAFE Act.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) is set to host a public forum on New York’s new gun laws. The event, taking place on Thursday, April 25 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Genesee Community College (GCC) in Batavia, has been moved to the Stuart Steiner Theatre in order to facilitate the expected turnout.

Residents will have the chance to ask questions and learn about what the passage of the NY SAFE Act means to their rights as law-abiding gun owners. Hawley will be joined at the event by New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) President Tom King, Shooters Committee on Political Education (S.C.O.P.E) President Steve Aldstadt and a number of local law enforcement and government officials.

“Our local law-abiding gun owners have expressed overwhelming interest in the upcoming SAFE Act forum, and I am happy to move the event to a larger venue in an effort to accommodate all of our civically engaged, concerned citizens,” Hawley said. “This forum will give residents a chance to ask questions and voice their concerns over the NY SAFE Act, helping ensure that we can all protect our privacy and civil liberties to the fullest extent possible.”

Details on the event are as follows:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley Presents: An Educational Forum on the NY SAFE Act.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

6:30-8:00 p.m.
Genesee Community College
Stuart Steiner Theatre

April 18, 2013 - 3:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mike Ranzenhofer, 2nd Amendment.

Press release:

Batavia, N.Y. – State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced that he has added his name as a cosponsor to legislation (S3948) repealing the NYSAFE Act.

“When a bill is rushed to passage without proper review by the public and then passed in the middle of the night, the end result has a negative impact on residents. Since passage of the NYSAFE Act, I have heard from many concerned citizens, mental health professionals, county clerks and local government officials with very serious concerns about this new law.  In the past week alone, there have been numerous news reports that illustrate the law is not working for Western  New Yorkers. That is why I have signed on to legislation that would repeal the NYSAFE Act,” said Ranzenhofer.

Senator Ranzenhofer has written to New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico, requesting a meeting to discuss recent reports that the State Police may have been instructed to investigate personal medical records for mental health cases and prescriptions for mental health issues.

The letter states: “Any unwarranted search of personal medical information could not only violate federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy rules, but raises serious ethical and constitutional concerns. Furthermore, simply owning a firearm should not be grounds for reviewing a citizen’s medical history.” 

Senator Ranzenhofer plans to introduce new legislation in the State Senate to prevent law enforcement officials from accessing medical records without a warrant or in violation of federal HIPAA privacy rules.

"The SAFE Act Law has dominated our office activity, staff time, and resources since the middle of January.  From the Opt-Out forms to registration of "assault" rifles and shotguns, from Mental Health Notifications to recertification procedures, we find we are besieged on all sides. Previous "unfunded mandates" for our office pale in comparison to what it will cost the county, and its taxpayers, to operate under the new gun laws this year," said Genesee County Clerk Don Read.  

“Never in my experience have I seen such a terrible law as the NYSAFE Act. A law that local and county governments, and law enforcement professionals from all across New York State have expressed opposition. On behalf of the members of SCOPE and the citizens of New York, I join Senator Ranzenhofer in calling for the repeal of this overreaching law, and for an investigation into the allegations of State Police unwarranted intrusions into New Yorkers private medical records,” said New York State SCOPE President Stephen Aldstadt.

"As the Chairperson of the Genesee County SCOPE Chapter, I represent a very concerned and frustrated group of law-abiding citizens. We are fortunate to have Senator Ranzenhofer representing us in Albany and supporting our endeavors to repeal the NYSAFE Act. We will continue to be diligent until the law is repealed," said Genesee County SCOPE Chapter Chairman Bill Fox.

Senator Ranzenhofer voted against the NYSAFE Act. 

The 61st Senate District encompasses: the Towns of Amherst, Clarence, and Newstead and the Villages of Akron and Williamsville in Erie County; all of Genesee County; and the Towns of Chili and Riga, the Village of Churchville and part of the City of Rochester in Monroe County.

April 16, 2013 - 5:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, 2nd Amendment.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) is set to host a public forum on New York’s new gun laws. The event, taking place on Thursday, April 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Genesee Community College (GCC) in Batavia, will give residents a chance to ask questions and learn about what passage of the NY SAFE Act means to their rights as law-abiding gun owners. Hawley will be joined by New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) President Tom King, Shooters Committee on Political Education (S.C.O.P.E) President Steve Aldstadt and a number of local law enforcement and government officials at the event.

“New York’s new gun control laws were jammed through the legislature with no time for public input or review,” Hawley said. “As a result, many law-abiding gun owners are unaware of the new rules, regulations and requirements that now encroach on our Second Amendment rights. This forum will give residents a chance to ask questions and voice their concerns over the NY SAFE Act, helping ensure that we can all protect our privacy and civil liberties to the fullest extent possible.”

Details on the event are as follows:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley Presents: An Educational Forum on the NY SAFE Act.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

6:30 to 8 p.m.
Genesee Community College
Auditorium at Conable Technology Building
Room T102
Assemblyman R. Stephen Hawley Drive (1 College Road)
Batavia

Special Guests Include:
Tom King-NRA board member and president of the NYSRPA
Steve Aldstadt - president of S.C.O.P.E
Chief Deputy and Supervisor of Criminal Investigation Jerome Brewster - Genesee County Sheriff's Office
Representative from Orleans County Sheriff's Department
Karen Lake-Maynard - Orleans County Clerk
Don Read - Genesee County Clerk

March 1, 2013 - 9:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, 2nd Amendment.

Press Release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) recently joined the National Rifle Association, the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, SCOPE and a large group of Second Amendment supporters at a rally outside of the Capitol that drew more than 5,000 attendees from Western New York and across the state. The event was held in opposition to the gun control legislation forced into passage in January. Approximately 48 hours after announcing the launch of his petition to repeal the law, the assemblyman has received more than 700 signatures.

“The attendance and response at the Second Amendment rally were like nothing I’ve ever seen during my time in state government,” Hawley said. “Between the enthusiasm at the event and the overwhelming response to my petition to repeal the gun control legislation, the people have spoken loud and clear, saying that ‘Our rights shall not be infringed!’ Democracy was betrayed by the hurried passage of this law, but the grassroots response from law-abiding gun owners continues to be a shining example of democracy in action.” 

Video of Assemblyman Hawley speaking about the Second Amendment can be found by clicking here or by visiting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0aM_qWCIDI&feature=youtu.be. The petition to repeal the gun control legislation can be found at bit.ly/HawleyPetition or by visiting http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Stephen-Hawley/story/50987/.

February 28, 2013 - 3:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in 2nd Amendment.

Add Genesee County to the official list of government agencies and local organizations that are calling for a repeal of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's SAFE Act.

The legislature on Wednesday, in a unanimous vote, approved a resolution that will be sent to Albany and Washington calling on elected officials to protect the Second Amendment.

Local residents and gun-rights supporters attended the meeting to encourage the legislature to approve the resolution. Many said the SAFE Act was hastily enacted and infringes on the rights of citizens to own firearms.

“There’s no reason for having people who didn’t commit any crime be punished for something that never took place, especially in our state," Darien resident Dave Alvord said. "It’s just another way to take away their freedom.”

The resolution is merely advisory. It will take Albany politicians to make any changes or repeal the act.

“What we are doing here tonight is we are sending our message to those who are mentioned at the end of the resolution," Legislator Shelley Stein said. "So it would go to the president of the United States, the two U.S. senators, our U.S. congressmen, followed by our governor and our two legislative representatives.”

Voices are rising up across the state to protest the law, and that's a good thing, legislators said.

“It’s extremely important to send that message to our governor, to our legislature, to anyone that will listen," Legislator Esther Leadley said.

The state county clerk's association as well as the sheriff’s association have denounced the law already.

“There’s certain areas we’re in agreement with and there’s areas we’re not in agreement with," Sheriff Gary Maha said, "particularly the ban against assault weapons, the broad definition of assault weapons, (and) and the seven-round clips to me is kind of ridiculous. So there are areas that we feel infringe upon Second Amendment rights.”

It's unusual for legislators to meet before a full house of concerned citizens, but the bill already had proven to have strong backing from the legislators. It passed two previous committees unanimously.

Ray Cianfrini, who first brought the resolution to the legislature, was unable to attend Wednesday's meeting, so the final vote was 8-0.

WBTA contributed to this story.

February 21, 2013 - 7:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in 2nd Amendment.

New York City-based Heavy.com, which bills itself as an entertainment Web site for men, apparently has developed an interest in who owns handguns in Genesee County.

Aaron Nobel, editor of Heavy.com, sent a request to Sheriff Gary Maha under New York's Freedom of Information Law on Jan. 25 asking for a database of all handgun permit holders in Genesee County.

Maha denied the request in Feb. 4 letter citing the SAFE Act, which placed a 120-day freeze on disclosure of handgun license information.

The moratorium is intended to give pistol permit holders an opportunity to file paperwork opting out of release of their permit information. The County Clerk's office has been besieged by gun owners seeking to block release of the information.

Nobel did not respond to e-mails from The Batavian with questions about the nature and reason for his publication's request.

The Batavian obtained Nobel's letter and Maha's response through its own FOIL request to the Sheriff's Office.

County Clerk Don Read informed members of the Genesee County Legislature on Tuesday of Heavy.com's request.

Read's office would be the proper agency to file a FOIL request for such data, and Read said once the 120-day moratorium expires, he can still withhold the information under FOIL exemptions for "an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" and "if disclosed could endanger the life or safety of any person."

If Read does oppose the release, he said he would expect the matter to be taken to court. Among the questions we asked Nobel that went unanswered is whether Heavy.com would pursue court action to try and force disclosure of the data.

Pistol permits should not be public record, Read told legislators.

"I don’t see why these people should be singled out any more than, say, give me a list of all the motor vehicle owned who have SUVs," Read said. "Motor vehicle records are considered confidential. We can’t give you any information on the number of vehicles registered in New York State or the names and addresses of motor vehicle registrants. I don't see why (gun owners) should be singled out."

Since Nobel did not respond to The Batavian, we don't know if he made the same request of other counties in the state.

While the SAFE Act was a knee-jerk reaction from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the opt-out provision of the law was drafted in response to a newspaper in Westchester County publishing an online map of pistol permit holders. The newspaper eventually succumbed to public pressure and removed the map from its site.

In his request, Nobel said, "I represent a news and information Web site that is seeking this information for news-gathering purposes" and said that release of the information was "in the public interest and will contribute significantly to the public's understanding of the prevalence and location of gun ownership within their communities."

Pages

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2014 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button