Genesee County reportedly is on board with 13 other Western New York counties, including Erie and Monroe, whose law enforcement officials state that they will not enforce the NY SAFE Act’s seven-round capacity limit.
In a Feb. 7 article on the website of Second Amendment advocate 2AWNY, Genesee County District Attorney Lawrence Friedman is quoted as saying that it isn’t a priority for his office to prosecute someone over the number of bullets loaded into his or her firearm’s magazine.
“I can’t say that we will ‘be halting enforcement of the SAFE Act seven-round limit in Genesee County’ because there hasn’t been any such enforcement,” Friedman said. “No such arrests have been made and so there have not been any such cases for us to prosecute.”
He added that is his understanding that “there will not be any such arrests in this County in the future but, if there were, we would not prosecute such charges.”
Recent comments from Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron line up with Friedman’s assessment.
William Fox, chair of the Genesee County chapter of SCOPE (Shooters Committee on Political Education), applauded the county’s law enforcement stance.
“The judge (Federal Court Justice William Skretny) ruled that they couldn’t do that, and he’s right – it should be that way,” Fox said. “Constitutional rights don’t come with limitations.”
Fox added that three Genesee County towns – Bethany, Batavia and Le Roy -- have joined Genesee County in passing resolutions against the SAFE Act and that he expects more.
Passed in 2013, the SAFE (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement) Act is a package of more restrictive gun control measures, including the broadening of assault-style weapons, high-capacity magazine provision and universal background checks.
Judge Skretny, in his ruling less than a year later, wrote that the “seven-round limit is largely an arbitrary restriction that impermissibly infringes on the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment. This Court therefore strikes down that portion of the Act.”
On Tuesday, Congressman Chris Collins reintroduced the Second Amendment Guarantee Act (SAGA) which, if passed, would negate most of the language in the SAFE Act.
Fox acknowledged that it will be tough for that to pass, but he’s vowing to press on.
“It will be a long road at the federal level but, then again, we have a long way to go here,” he said, stating that the current “red flag” legislation being proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo is another case of government overstepping its bounds.
“There is no due process with any of these red flag measures,” he said. “They will be able to confiscate firearms without (determining) just cause.”
The bill would restrict gun possession for those deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. Other proposed bills call for a ban on bump stocks (which allow semi-automatic weapons to mimic automatic fire) and an extension of the waiting period to buy a firearm from three days to 10.
Both bills are expected to pass due to Democratic majorities in both the state Assembly and Senate.
In a related development, Fox said that SCOPE will be coordinating a "Life, Liberty and Freedom" public rally at 10 a.m. Feb. 16 at the Batavia City Centre that will focus on unconstituional laws, attacks on the Bill of Rights, high taxes, abortion demand, illegal immigaration, attacks on faith and attacks on the free press.