Legislature poised to call for repeal of Cuomo's gun control law
There is growing opposition in Upstate New York to the hastily passed SAFE Act and the Genesee County Legislature is about to join the growing chorus of jeers.
The legislature will vote on a resolution next week calling for repeal of the law, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed through with little public notice following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
"This has tremendous implications for those of us who are gun owners and support the Second Amendment, so I hope somebody is listening to us," said Legislator Ray Cianfrini, who chaired the Public Service Committee meeting last night, where the resolution was introduced.
County Clerk Don Read (top photo) spoke in favor of the resolution and noted that since the first of the year his office has been flooded with requests for handgun permits and that over the past few days, people have been lining up to opt out of public disclosure of permit information.
Typically, Read said, his office can expect about 20 applications in winter months for pistol permits. In January, his office received 65 applications.
"I don't see how we can continue to keep up the pace," Read said. "It is already wearing down the staff. The tension and stress of having lines go out the door has really been difficult."
Robert Kowalski (inset photo) said he came to the legislature as a concerned citizen and asked that local lawmakers bring political pressure to get the SAFE Act revised or repealed.
"I feel it's unconstitutional and will do nothing to deter crime," Kowalski said.
Cianfrini said he found three problems with the legislation: First, it was rushed through (the 25,000-word bill was given to legislators for the first time an hour before the vote); second, the normal minimum three-day review period for a bill was waived (which Cianfrini thinks will be challenged in court); and, the law could be unconstitutional.
"I don't know how else to say it: It was shoved down our throats," Cianfrini said.
(For an explanation of the SAFE Act, click here).
Read agreed that the new law was rushed through.
"The law was put together in a haphazard, over-the-weekend process," Read said. "(Sen.) Mike Ranzenhofer and (Assemblyman) Steve Hawley both said how upset they were that all they could do was vote no. They had no say over the law, no ability to amend, nothing to do with the process."
Assuming the local legislature passes the resolution calling for repeal of the SAFE Act, Genesee County would become at least the 22nd county to oppose the new law.
Sheriffs, county clerks and even public health officials across the state have taken stands against it.
One thing the SAFE Act did do that many gun owners support is create the ability for citizens to ask that their pistol permit information be kept confidential.
Currently, pistol permits are public record. For the next 120 days, people can file requests with county clerks to opt out of disclosure of their permit data.
Those who fail to meet the deadline will still have their records made public upon request through the Freedom of Information Law.
Read said he's already received a FOIL request for permit holders names and addresses from one anti-gun Web site. He said he plans to oppose the request, which he believes will be supported by county attorney.
Read believes he can 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.
Pistol permits should not be public record, Read said.
"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."
NOTE: Kowalski has created a petiton for people to sign and be included with the resolution and sent to Albany. To download a PDF of the petition, click here. Download the petition, get people to sign it and then deliver it to the Old Courthouse.
The vote is set for Wed 27th. 7pm at 7 Main St. (The old courthouse). It is an open session and ALL residents who oppose the NY SAFE ACT or the method by which Gov Cuomo passed it behind your back are encouraged to attend. This is the legislation to be voted upon:
RESOLUTION NO. MEMORIALIZATION IN OPPOSITION TO THE PROCESS OF ENACTMENT AND PROVISIONS CONTAINED WITHIN THE NEW YORK SAFE ACT-APPROVAL OF
Legislator offered the following resolution:
WHEREAS, The right of the people to keep and bear arms is guaranteed as an individual right under the Second Amendment to the Untied States Constitution, and
WHEREAS, The lawful ownership of firearms is, and has been, a valued tradition in Genesee County, and the rights protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution are exercised by many of its residents; and
WHEREAS, Members of the Genesee County Legislature, being elected to represent the people of Genesee County, are duly sworn by their oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States; and
WHEREAS, The enactment of the NY SAFE Act (Chapter 1 of the Laws of 2013) has engendered significant controversy over both the process by which it was enacted and certain provisions contained within it; and
WHEREAS, In our opinion, there was no reason for the Governor to use a message of necessity to bring this bill to vote immediately and bypass the three day maturing process for all legislation; and
WHEREAS, Requiring law-abiding gun owners to verify ownership of certain types of firearms every five years, in addition to registering them on their permits, which now also must be renewed every 5 years, does not increase the safety of the public and is unnecessarily burdensome to the law abiding residents of New York State; and
WHEREAS, This legislation prohibits the sale of firearm magazines with a capacity larger than seven rounds; and
WHEREAS, Those firearm magazines with a capacity larger than seven rounds, which are authorized to be retained by existing owners, may only be loaded with seven rounds and eventually must be permanently altered to only accept seven rounds or be disposed of, thus constituting a seizure of legally owned personal property with no provision for compensation; and
WHEREAS, Few or no low capacity (7 rounds or less) magazines currently exist for many of the firearms commonly possessed by law-abiding residents of New York State; and
WHEREAS, Limiting the number of rounds to seven versus ten is arbitrary and capricious, has no correlation to public safety, unfairly burdens law-abiding gun owners, and puts an undue burden on gun manufacturers to retool their manufacturing plants; and
WHEREAS, The only persons who will comply with the new high-capacity magazine ban are law-abiding citizens, leaving the same high-capacity magazines in the hands of those whom choose not to obey the law; and
WHEREAS, Requiring documentation of all ammunition sales in New York State, as provided for in this legislation, is a significant unfunded mandate on business; and
WHEREAS, Governor Cuomo has proposed spending $36 million dollars in his 2013-2014 Executive budget for the implementation of the NY SAFE Act at a time when New York State residents are crying out for tax relief; and
WHEREAS, This legislation severely impacts the possession and use of firearms now employed by the residents of Genesee County for defense of life, liberty, and property; and
WHEREAS, This legislation severely impacts the possession and use of firearms now employed for safe forms of recreation including, but not limited to, hunting and target shooting; and
WHEREAS, This legislation fails to offer any meaningful solutions to gun violence and places increased burdens where they do not belong, squarely on the backs of law-abiding citizens; and
WHEREAS, This legislation effectively turns countless New York State law-abiding gun owners into criminals. Now, therefore, Be it
RESOLVED, That the Genesee County Legislature does hereby oppose, and request the repeal of, any legislation, including the sections within the NY SAFE Act (Chapter1 of the Laws of 2013), which infringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms; and Be it further
RESOLVED, That the Genesee County Legislature considers such laws to be unnecessary and beyond lawful legislative authority granted to our State representatives, and Be it further
RESOLVED, That a certified copy of this resolution be sent to President Barack Obama, Governor Andrew Cuomo, United States Senators Charles Schumer, and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Chris Collins, New York State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer, New York State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Inter-County Association of Western New York and the New York State Association of
Nice, hope it passes
Please pass the resolution, you are our voice
Sign Bob's petition. Resolutions would carry more weight if the people petition also. We are a government of by the people, for the people. Thanks Bob.
Instead of passing gun control laws, they should strengthen and enforce, vigorously, criminal control laws.
They can't enforce the laws already on the books. So instead they make more laws, which they won't be able to enforce. These laws are not only unconstitutional, they are idiotic. To ban a weapon based solely upon how it looks and not how it operates is the result of uneducated fear, media bias and the need of liberal leaders to declare that they have "done something" to address public outcry in the wake of what everyone can mutually agree upon as a tragedy.
Gov. Cuomo, in his opportunistic sovereignty, has imposed his will upon the good citizens of NY. All in an effort to beat President Obama to "the punch" and position himself as a forerunner as "heir to the throne".
We, the people, can either sit idly by as our rights are stripped, or, we can stand up, fight and let Albany know that we shall not tolerate such abuse of power. The choice is yours...