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Feds take over case involving North Carolina man found in Le Roy with AR-15

By Howard B. Owens


Federal prosecutors have an interest in a North Carolina man who was arrested March 19 in Le Roy after allegedly being found in possession of an AR-15 rifle in violation of the SAFE Act.

Michael Alan Jones, 24, of Raleigh, has been charged in U.S. District Court in Western New York with possession of a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon, and has reportedly reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

The FBI's interest in Jones may have more to do with his alleged participation in the Jan. 6 attempted insurrection in Washington, D.C.

The online news site RAW Story links Jones to two extremist groups, the Proud Boys and Patriot Front, and places Jones in the Capitol on Jan. 6.

At 4:36 p.m. March 19, deputies Kenneth Quackenbush and Nicholas Charmoun stopped a gray Nissan Sentra driven by Jones for an alleged traffic violation. Upon approaching the vehicle, the deputies observed several knives, military surplus gear, and two compound bows inside the vehicle, according to a Federal affidavit by an FBI agent. 

 The affidavit says a passenger in the car was identified only as PK.  The deputies reportedly observed a backpack on the passenger-side floorboard with bolt cutters protruding from the pocket.

Upon searching the vehicle, the deputies located pry bars, bolt cutters, and gloves, which, the affidavit states, the deputies believed to be consistent with burglary tools. They also found pepper spray and ammunition. 

When asked about the ammunition, according to the affidavit, both Jones and PK claimed ownership.  

Jones later said he owned everything in the vehicle except the backpack, and that the ammunition was "someone else's."

The agent wrote, "GSCO deputies asked JONES if there was a firearm inside the vehicle. JONES responded, 'There shouldn't be.'"

Deputies determined that the plate on the vehicle didn't match the vehicle, and the plate was removed from the vehicle and the vehicle was towed from the scene.

A subsequent inventory search uncovered, according to the report, military surplus gear, Beofang handheld radios, additional knives, and the "Army Tactical Combat Casualty Care Handbook."

Deputies also located in the trunk a Palmetto State Armory AR-15 rifle, bearing serial number 5CD729076, and a 30-round Magpul PMAG magazine was found in the trunk of the vehicle.

The agent says that Jones told deputies that he purchased the firearm a "long time ago," but never fired it. He allegedly said he brought the rifle from North Carolina to New York.

The agent said that on April 19, the FBI interviewed a person in North Carolina who had worked with Jones at a Cracker Barrel in Mebane, N.C., and that this former co-worker, HN in the report, said initially that he didn't recognize the rifle but that he had purchased it for Jones. He said he purchased it through the Palmetto State Armory website and used PayPal to complete the purchase.

The rifle violated the state's SAFE Act because the rifle was equipped with a flash hider, capable of accepting a removable magazine without a pinned magazine release, and was equipped with a telescopic stock. 

Jones' prior felony conviction in North Carolina, referred to in the Federal charging documents as "a crime against nature," involves Jones, at 18 and 19, having sex with minors, aged 14 and 15. He was arrested on charges.

According to sources, Jones has no known ties to Genesee County. It's unknown why Jones and PK, who is from the Finger Lakes region, were in Genesee County when deputies spotted the Sentra reportedly making an illegal turn in the area of Route 33 in Le Roy.

Locally, Jones was initially charged with criminal possession of an assault weapon 3rd, criminal possession of a weapon 3rd (ammunition feeding device), unsafe turn, number plate violation, and driving an unregistered vehicle on a highway. 

Jones, according to the arrest report, served in the U.S. Army.  The report states he wasn't employed at the time of his arrest and his highest education level was high school.

District Attorney Kevin Finnell said the local case was dropped after Jones was charged Federally because of a defendant's Constitutional protection against double jeopardy. 

Sheriff William Sheron praised the effort of Quackenbush and Charmoun in apprehending Jones.  

"This was another example of good police work," Sheron said. "Looking beyond the traffic ticket."

Collins reintroduces bill aimed at overturning SAFE Act

By Howard B. Owens

Press release:

By reintroducing the Second Amendment Guarantee Act (SAGA), Congressman Collins continues his effort to protect the Second Amendment rights of all New Yorkers by limiting a state's authority when it comes to regulating rifles and shotguns.

The Collins’ bill would prevent states from implementing any regulations on weapons that are more restrictive than what is required by federal law. Passage of this bill would void most of the language included in New York’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act of 2013 signed into law by Governor Cuomo.

“Governor Cuomo unjustly took away the Second Amendment rights from law-abiding New Yorkers with his so-called SAFE Act,” said Collins. “I have and always will be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and my legislation will guarantee that New Yorkers have the rights guaranteed to them in the Constitution.”

The Cuomo SAFE Act violates federal regulations because it imposed rifle and shotgun bans that possess certain features. It also banned the capacity of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition and limiting magazines to seven rounds at any time.

Any current or future laws enacted by a state that exceeds federal law for rifles and shotguns would be voided under the Collins' legislation. Should a state violate this law and a plaintiff goes to court, the court will award the prevailing plaintiff a reasonable attorney’s fee in addition to any other damages.

Collins joins 'Shot Heard Around New York' in protest of SAFE Act

By Howard B. Owens


About 70 members of rod and gun clubs in Genesee County were at the Northwoods Sportsman Club in Le Roy this afternoon to fire one shot each at noon to protest the SAFE Act and express support for Rep. Chris Collins' bill to block the SAFE Act at the Federal level.

Both Collins and State Senator Micheal Ranzenhofer were on hand to participate in the "Shot Heard Around New York" event at precisely noon today.

Collins said his bill, the Second Amendment Guarantee Act, has a good chance at passage if it gets out of the Judiciary Committee for a vote on the House floor because the NRA has said it will score the vote if it comes to a floor vote.

Even though New York's SAFE Act is the impetus for the bill, many members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, recognize this isn't just a New York issue because their states could also pass bills that violate the Second Amendment.

"I absolutely support the 10th Amendment, states' rights," Collins said. "Some folks have said this is a Federal preemption of sorts, and I’ve tried to remind them what we’re doing here is preventing a state from restricting Second Amendment rights; just like a state cannot restrict First Amendment rights, a state cannot restrict religious freedom, and they should not be able to do as New York has done -- restrict Second Amendment rights."

The bill has not been popular in Albany, Collins said.

"Andrew Cuomo knows this is a real fight because we know how he does things," Collins said. "He threw a tantrum in his office. The report we got back was there were objects being thrown through the area. That’s typical of what we’ve heard of the governor.

"He knows once we get this passed he can sue us all day long, but we’re going to make sure it’s written in a way that we’re simply saying that a state cannot preempt federal law when it comes to restrictions or requirements on long guns."

Ranzenhofer thanks Collins for his efforts.

"Every year issues come before us and we stop a lot of bad legislation from coming through, but we need your help on this particular piece of legislation," Ranzenhofer said. "You know with our governor, he is not going to sign a repeal bill.

"That’s why I’m so thankful that Congressman Collins is leading this fight in Congress because when you can’t do it directly this is the option that we have, doing it at the Federal level and saying 'New York State, this is not going to happen.' "



As process starts, local pistol permit holders raise concerns about recertification process

By Howard B. Owens

The newly implemented pistol permit recertification process in New York has guns owners worried about what the state is up to and more than a dozen gun owners attended Tuesday's Public Service Committee Meeting to hear County Clerk Michael Cianfrini update the legislature on the county's role in the process.

In short, the county has no role.

This is a State Police process, Cianfrini said.

Recertification requires gun owners with pistol permits acquired before Jan. 15, 2013 to fill out a form with information about themselves and their pistols and submit it to the NYSP (there is an online form for this). For those gun owners required to recertify, they must complete the application before the end of January, 2018.

The recertification requirement was part of the SAFE Act and it's taken the state these past couple of years to come up with a system for implementing it.

Gun owners don't trust the state or the process, said Bill Fox, president of Genesee County SCOPE (Shooters Commitee on Political Education).

"I don't trust them for the simple reason there is no reason to trust them," Fox said.

For one thing, Fox said it doesn't seem like the state is entirely transparent about the recertification process. He alleges there is a secret mental health database the state isn't disclosing that can be used to deny recertification.

The other criteria the state might use to deny recertification isn't clear, he said.

And if a gun owner is denied recertification, he said, the state can use that denial as an excuse to take all of a person's long guns as well.

"That's written right into the law," Fox said.

Fox indicated it would actually be better if recertificate was handled at the county level.

"That way, if there was a problem, I could just go into Mike and straighten it out," he said.

The process is easier and more transparent in Pennsylvania, Fox said.

Cianfrini said the only role for the county is in assisting gun owners in obtaining records and making sure they're accurate to help make the recertification process easier for the gun owner.

Hawley critical of court ruling on SAFE Act

By Howard B. Owens

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

I am deeply disappointed in the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals’ Second Circuit to uphold the core provisions of the NY SAFE Act. This legislation infringes on the constitutional rights of gun owners across New York State and is clearly unconstitutional. My district alone is filled with thousands of law-abiding citizens with firearm ownership as part of their family’s traditions. This law disrespects their way of life and hinders their ability to defend themselves in the unfortunate event of a burglary or break-in.

“Aside from the facts that this law is arbitrary to a fault and lacks the enforcement mechanisms to make it effective, the process by which it was passed through the Legislature is deeply troubling. The SAFE Act was passed under cover of darkness on one of the first days of the legislative session, and I can attest to the fact that few members of the Legislature had even read the bill before it was voted upon.

"As lawmakers, we are supposed to hold transparency and accountability in the highest magnitude. The SAFE Act was forced through the legislative process with complete and utter disregard for these objectives and should be repealed immediately. I will continue to sponsor legislation that repeals this unconstitutional measure and places integrity above political ambition.”

Hawley laments Assembly's failure to repeal SAFE Act

By Howard B. Owens

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today commented on the actions of Assembly Majority Codes Committee members, who killed two bills that would have repealed the unconstitutional SAFE Act. Despite an impressive showing from pro-Second Amendment sportsmen, members of the Assembly Majority killed two bills sponsored by Hawley, A.2651 and A.3350, that would have repealed the NY SAFE Act, which was passed controversially in 2013.

Hawley said the SAFE Act continues to violate New Yorkers’ Second Amendment rights and was irresponsibly jammed though the Legislature in the middle of the night as a political stunt by Gov. Cuomo.

“I have, and always will be, a supporter of the Second Amendment,” Hawley said. “Any legislation that takes away a law-abiding citizen’s ability to possess firearms is an unconstitutional act of government tyranny. I am from a rural district in Western New York and my experience with gun owners has been exemplary. Most gun owners are responsible hunters or firearm enthusiasts, and to prohibit them from adequately protecting themselves or their families is indefensible and governmentally oppressive.

"New Yorkers, in no way wanted this bill to become law, that is why it was rushed through the process in the middle of the night using a message of necessity. A truly fair and transparent government would allow this bill to come to the floor for a vote, but apparently that is not how New York functions.”

Hawley continues push to repeal SAFE Act

By Howard B. Owens

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.

Protesters turn out on cold morning at State Police barracks to rally against Cuomo, SAFE Act

By Howard B. Owens

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.

Sheriff tells SCOPE members that SAFE Act enforcement is a matter of officer discretion

By Howard B. Owens

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.

Hawley highlights more evidence SAFE Act should be repealed

By Howard B. Owens

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.”

Statement from Sheriff Gary Maha on SAFE Act

By Howard B. Owens

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.

Batavia council approves resolution calling for repeal of SAFE Act, 7-2

By Howard B. Owens

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.

Hawley: Hearing planned on SAFE Act

By Howard B. Owens

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.

Hawley says that another flaw found in SAFE Act is more proof it should be repealed

By Howard B. Owens

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.

Hawley calls on Cuomo to repeal SAFE Act, backed by petition with 1,050 signatures

By Howard B. Owens

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.”

Photo: Sign of the times

By Howard B. Owens

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

Hawley's SAFE Act forum moved to larger location

By Howard B. Owens

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

A "Common Sense" Poposal

By Kyle Slocum

Picture the future:  A Press Release From Senator Nannystate sometime in the near future.

Approximately 33 thousand people died on the roads of America in the last year.  To address this horrific tragedy that plays itself out year after year in our country, we must have “common sense” restrictions on the availability and use of “Assault Vehicles”.

These “Assault Vehicles” are vehicles which are styled after military vehicles and have no legitimate transportation purpose.  They have only one reason to exist and that is to kill. 

People do not use these Assault Vehicles to go to Whole Foods and pick up organic groceries.  They do not use them to drive to the Park and Ride to catch the transit authority bus to get to work.  They don’t use them to move their furniture to their new apartments.  They don’t use them to take their garbage to the dump.  They don’t use them to drop their kids off at school.  They use them only to kill.  It’s only “Common Sense” to ban these “Assault Vehicles”. 

What is an “Assault Vehicle”?  It is any vehicle with an Open Cargo Area and at least Four Wheels that has any of these military-style features:

A Trailer Hitch installed on the rear of the vehicle

A Brush Guard installed on the front of the vehicle

A Winch Mount or Installed Winch anywhere on the vehicle

A Deep water fording kit, with or without prominent snorkel

Mud Flaps which protrude conspicuously below the wheel wells

A Pintle Designed to mount a machine gun, rocket launcher or thermonuclear device

We must, as a moral imperative, pass an immediate and total ban on these dangerous and completely unnecessary tools of death.  I have included a FAQ about this very important “Common Sense” bill below to help you convince your friends and neighbors of the importance of this “Common Sense” measure:

Q: What percentage of the motor vehicle deaths that you present in the justification for this law are related to what you are defining as an “Assault Vehicle”?

A: You are a shill for the National Truck Owners Association, aren’t you?  You hate children and want to see more dead bodies on the road, don’t you?

Q: How, exactly, do the “Military-style features” you have identified effect the lethality of the Open Cargo Area four wheeled vehicles you are seeking to ban?

A: You are mentally deficient and hate the children.  You are too heartless and too stupid for me to waste my time debating.  And, you hate the children.

Q: Won’t these restrictions make it more difficult for trail riders, who take their vehicle off-road for exploring and camping, to do so safely since you would ban the tools they use to extract themselves when they get stuck, or need to help others who get stuck?  What about privately owned tow trucks which would fall into the “Assault Vehicle” category?

A: People should not be leaving any area with street lights.  Don’t you realize it gets dark out there?  If people get stuck they should call the police for assistance, if people start getting themselves out of ditches and mud holes on their own there will be chaos:  You are advocating anarchy.  Tow Truck companies will have to get special licenses and have extensive background checks.  There will be a progressive fee schedule for the license and the licensed “Assault Vehicles” will have to be limited to seven gallons of gasoline in the fuel tank.

Q: Some of your colleagues have advocated the complete banning of all vehicles, stating that they should only be in the hands of the military and government.  Isn’t this just a starting point to the total ban on private transportation?

A: No one is talking about taking your car away.  You are just a conspiracy nut who hates the children.  You are dangerous and should not be allowed to express your vile and hate-filled opinions.  You are a tool of the car lobby and you hate the children.  Besides, you can always take the subway or the bus anywhere you need to go.  A car is a dangerous luxury that common people don’t need.

Sheriff Maha issues statement on passage of SAFE Act

By Howard B. Owens

From Sheriff Gary Maha:

I have been receiving numerous inquiries in reference to what is the New York State Sheriffs' position with regard to the NY SAFE Act.

Fifty-two of the 58 Sheriffs met during our annual winter conference last week in Albany, NY, and discussed this legislation at length. There are a number of provisions in the law that the Sheriffs find to be helpful to law enforcement and to our citizens. However, there are also a number of provisions which cause us concern, and which we think should be revisited by the Governor and State Legislature. The Sheriffs of New York State are willing to work with the Governor and State Legislature as revisions and additions to the NY SAFE Act are considered.

Attached is the position statement of the New York State Sheriffs with regard to the NY SAFE Act. This position statement was sent to the Governor and State Legislative leaders.

Click here to read the position statement (PDF).

Reader submitted editorial: Welcome to the State of The City of New York

By Kyle Slocum

A fact has become clear to me: The State of New York no longer exists. What we have today is a polity that is, in effect, the City of New York and its possessions.

The passage of the “SAFE” Act is a clear message to the residents of the possessions of the City of New York that our interests and lifestyle are no longer relevant to the politicians of the State of New York. The passage of this bill is the legislative equivalent of rape. It was passed suddenly and without our consent. Our interests and concerns, as well as our rights, were secondary to the whims and desires of the City of New York.

I am sure that there are state-level politicians who are absolutely befuddled by the fact that they are required to vote on farm issues since they have never seen a farm in the Bronx. I would not be surprised if the legislature of the State of the City of New York voted for a car tax that required New Yorkers to pay 100% of the value of their automobile each year since, in reality, a car is a luxury. You can always take the subway or a bus to wherever your going, after all. The cultural gap between the City and the State of New York is as vast as the gap between Washington, D.C., and America.

In a perfect world, the residents of the State of New York would have the right, and ability, to divorce themselves from the political overreaching of the City of New York. In the real world, we are stuck with its mandates and its world-view. I have had a recurring dream: I stand at the Rockland County line with a huge saw. I cut, and I cut. Eventually, NYC and Long Island are cut free and I push them out to sea. I wish them good luck in their journeys, but I do not miss them.

Back in the land of the awake, we have to deal with the costs of this NYC control to the people of the possessions of the City of New York. Unfunded mandates, regulations and laws, passed to solve NYC and NYC suburban county problems, but having statewide effect and statewide costs, have built upon and compounded on themselves. These costs are bringing our local governments to the brink of bankruptcy. The State Senate is controlled now by the politicians of the City of New York, regardless of the fig leaf of a few Democrats caucusing with the Republicans to form a “Republican” majority. The situation will continue to worsen and the costs to rise.

I can dream of the counties of Western New York declaring their separation and forming their own polity to free themselves from the tyranny of the City of New York, but this will not happen. It would create a new entity that would potentially result in a new state that would bring with it two new U.S. Senators who would inevitably be Republican. The City of New York would never stomach that, let alone the party of which it is a wholly owned subsidiary.

Alternatively, perhaps the border counties, and their neighbors, could petition Pennsylvania for admission to the Commonwealth. That will not be allowed for very much the same reason. It would tip the balance of power in Pennsylvania in favor of the Republicans. That would never be allowed.

What I suspect will continue to happen, though, is that former citizens of what was, once, the Empire State will continue to make their homes in Free States in the South and West of the United States of America in increasing numbers as the oppression of the City of New York continues. With lower taxes, and better employment prospects than are available in the possessions of the City of New York, it is a no-brainer to flee. Good luck paying your ever-increasing bills with an ever-increasing out-migration of taxpayers, State of the City of New York.

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