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Genesee County SCOPE

May 15, 2019 - 2:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in red flag law, 2nd Amendment, news, notify, Genesee County SCOPE.

scopemeetingmay142019-2.jpg

The best thing that can happen when police are dealing with a person who may be a threat to themselves or others is for a friend or family member to take possession of their firearms, Sheriff William Sheron told members of Genesee County SCOPE on Tuesday night at their monthly meeting at Calvary Baptist Church in Batavia.

If that isn't possible, the new "Red Flag Law" is a good tool for local law enforcement to help ensure people who are a threat don't have easy access to firearms.

Going into the meeting, Sheron said he knew that view wouldn't be popular with SCOPE members and some pushed back.

The new law goes into effect in August. It establishes a procedure for a person who believes a person who owns guns has become a threat to seek a court order requiring the person to surrender the guns to local law enforcement.

Sheron said the new law has ample due-process protections built into it and isn't really any different than police obtaining a warrant to search or seize property. The person seeking the order must provide clear and convincing evidence that the gun owner is a threat. The case goes before a supreme court judge -- in Genesee County, Charles Zambito -- who must agree the evidence is clear and convincing. The person who must give up their guns is entitled to a hearing within three to six days and can appeal any subsequent ruling to a higher court.

“Knowing Judge Zambito, he’s not just going to hand over a piece of paper and say 'we’ll take those guns,' " Sheron said, Zambia will want evidence.

The Sheriff's Office has been very successful over the years, Sheron said, in convincing gun owners who are going through a hard time to turn their guns over to a friend or family member for safekeeping until things cool down, or the person is under less stress, and that is still the default option for deputies, he said.

But that isn't always an option, or a person in distress doesn't want to cooperate, or if the deputy does take the guns, without a court order, the Sheriff's Office must give the owner the guns back upon request, even if there is no evidence the issues have been resolved for the gun owner.

In those cases, the ability of a family member, friend or a deputy to seek a court order to have the guns temporarily confiscated, and prohibit the person from legally acquiring guns, is a useful tool.

SCOPE members expressed concern about due process, about care being taken handling expensive guns, about family members who own their own guns getting those taken, and about the law not being applied as Sheron described it.

Sheron did his best to address each concern, reiterating the due process procedures, the courtesy and professionalism of his deputies, that the order only applies to the person named, and that he believes the court process will protect gun owners from overly zealous anti-gun types.

One SCOPE member suggested that the Sheriff's Office practice of letting a friend or family member take temporary possession of firearms violates the SAFE Act. Sheron said he would have to research it more but added, "we do it all the time."

The SAFE Act restricts the transfer of firearms to other people without going through licensed dealers, except for transfers to spouses or children.

Asked after the meeting if the word "transfer" in the act applied only to a change of ownership of the weapon and not giving it to somebody to hold for a period of time, while the original owner retained ownership, Sheron said that is correct.

(SCOPE is the acronym for Shooters Committee on Political Education.)

May 15, 2019 - 11:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County SCOPE, news, batavia, calvary baptist church.

scopemeetingmay142019.jpg

The membership of Genesee County SCOPE donated a defibrillator to Pastor Bruce Balduf and the Calvary Baptist Church in Batavia during its monthly meeting last night.

The group, which regularly meets at the Galloway Road church, decided to make the donation after a member collapsed during a meeting and members realized that a place were groups of people regularly gather would be a good place to have a defibrillator installed.

"We appreciate you getting this for us," Balduf said. "Now after I preach a particularly stirring message we can revive everybody," which got a laugh from the members. "I don't have to worry about them collapsing in the aisle."

Photo: Legislator John Deleo, who assisted in securing the defibrillator, member Carl Hyde Jr., and Pastor Bruce Balduf.

SCOPE is the acronym for Shooters Committee on Political Education, a civil rights organization focused on the protection and preservation of the right of firearms ownership as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

February 16, 2019 - 9:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, Genesee County SCOPE.

 

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For three years, Genesee County SCOPE has held a rally in Batavia to call attention to the erosion of personal rights in New York and this year in front of City Hall they held their rally, called the "Life, Liberty and Freedom" rally.

They invited those concerned about a broad range of rights being eroded in New York, if not the rest of America, including the right to life, gun-possession rights, as well as high taxes, freedom of religion and freedom of the press.

February 8, 2019 - 1:58pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, NY SAFE Act, Genesee County SCOPE.

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.

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