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SCOPE

September 24, 2019 - 10:17am

Join regional lawmakers for a legislative session review from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1st, inside the Stuart Steiner Theatre at Genesee Community College, 1 College Road, Batavia.

This event is sponsored by The Genesee Chamber, The Orleans Chamber and Genesee County S.C.O.P.E. (Shooters Committee on Political Education).

It is free and open to the public.

This is an opportunity for local people to ask questions about a variety of topics that may include:

  • Second Amendment/ Red Flag Law
  • Farm Labor Bill
  • Marijuana Legalization
  • Criminal Justice Reforms
  • DREAM Act

Elected representatives on hand to answer questions:

  • Assemblyman Steve Hawley
  • Assemblyman David DiPietro
  • Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes
  • Assemblyman Mike Norris
  • Senator Patrick Gallivan
  • Senator Robert Ortt
  • Senator Michael Ranzenhofer
August 7, 2018 - 1:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NRA, kathy hochul, NY-27, news, notify, SCOPE.

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When Kathy Hochul campaigned for reelection in 2012 to the NY-27 congressional seat, which she eventually lost to Chris Collins, Hochul sought and obtained the support of the National Rifle Association.

The NRA PAC donated $7,000 to Hochul's campaign and only $1,000 to Collins.

Times have changed. In 2018, Hochul, now lieutenant governor in New York, seems to be rooting for the NRA's demise.

On Friday, using her personal Twitter account, Hochul retweeted a statement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was also using his personal account, celebrating New York's apparent success in driving the NRA to the brink of financial ruin. Hochul's response? "good riddance!"

Asked about the tweet, Hochul released this statement:

“The NRA actively worked against my last campaign in 2014, because I’ve been a consistent supporter of common sense gun laws, including Governor Cuomo’s SAFE Act, some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. Simply put, the NRA’s extremist and unlawful actions are promoting violence and threatening the lives of people in New York and across the country. The Governor and I continue to fight for common sense gun safety measures to prevent violence and save lives.”

Campaigning in Genesee County in 2012, Hochul told SCOPE members, "When a bill comes up that affects your Second Amendment rights, I’m on your side."

Shortly after the meeting, Hochul, based on a year in Congress, received an A rating from the NRA.

"Some of you may say I have a 'D' after my name and I can't vote for you," Hochul said that night during the meeting at Calvary Baptist Church on Galloway Road in the Town of Batavia. "Well, fine, but I still represent you. I am independent and I look at each and every issue as what's best for the people of Western New York. Sometimes the Democrats are right and sometimes they're really wrong. Sometimes the Republicans are right and sometimes they are really wrong."

After receiving Hochul's statement, The Batavian emailed her staff and asked for clarification since her statement referenced the 2014 campaign and she was endorsed by the NRA in the 2012 campaign.

A spokesman called The Batavian and said he wasn't authorized to speak for Hochul for attribution but stressed Hochul still supports Second Amendment rights but that her views of the NRA have changed. He said it wouldn't be appropriate for him to try to speak for her to explain why. She wasn't available for further comment.

A lot has changed in the world of gun politics since 2012. In December of that year, 20 children were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. There have been several other mass shootings, including in San Bernardino, Orlando, Las Vegas, and Parkland in the years since.  The nation is perhaps more deeply divided over gun laws than ever before.

Since then, the NRA has opposed banning bump stocks, raising the age on gun purchases, and has sent mixed signals about its position on so-called "red flag" laws, while NRA members and representatives have belittled survivors of Parkland, threatened other gun control supporters, and even advocated violence against journalists.

Bill Fox, president of Genesee County SCOPE, remembers the night Hochul spoke to local gun owners. She was passionate about her advocacy for gun rights. Now, he says, "she's not a friend of the Second Amendment."

Where Hochul called for "common sense" gun laws, Fox said he doesn't even know what that means.

"What is common sense?" Fox said. "There are thousands of gun control laws on the books already. What does common sense mean? If you're a criminal, you're still going to get a gun."

Fox said he's also a proud NRA member and he's disappointed in Hochul's support of the SAFE Act.

"She stood there and told us how her family hunts and how she supports gun rights and now she supports the SAFE Act," Fox said.

Fox thinks Cuomo's true aim isn't gun control but gun removal.

The financial difficulties faced by the NRA stem from efforts by New York to stop the NRA from selling insurance to conceal carry permit holders called "Carry Guard." 

New York officials contend the insurance is illegal because it provides financial assistance to people who engaged in "intentional wrongdoing." 

The bottom tier insurance plan provides $250,000 in civil liability coverage to a person who discharges a firearm and $50,000 for criminal defense, but according to the NRA website, the policy will only pay out a defense claim if the policyholder is acquitted. There is no coverage if a person fires a gun, is arrested, and is convicted of a crime.

Some gun control advocates support requiring mandatory insurance policies for gun owners.

New York's efforts to stymie the insurance program seem to have far-ranging effects, causing financial difficulties for the NRA with insurance carriers and financial institutions. The NRA has warned in a lawsuit filed against New York that it is facing insolvency because of the state's regulatory actions.

Hochul is engaged in a tough primary campaign to retain her lieutenant governor post against a Downstate progressive challenger Jumaane Williams. Hochul has a slim lead, according to a recent poll.

March 10, 2018 - 12:23pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, news, SCOPE.

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Bill Fox, chairman of the Gensesee County Chapter of Scope (https://scopeny.org), and Daniel Crane, a self-identified American patriot, organized a “Peaceful Rally” outside of Batavia City Hall to educate people about Federal Bill HR 5087 and other issues pertaining to their perceived “chipping away” at the Second Amendment.

Federal Bill HR 5087 proposes the ban of assault weapons as well as many different types of other rifles, pistols and shotguns that are semiautomatic.

Bill Fox contends that the government is going about protecting people the wrong way, that the real problem is the government missed all the red flags of Nicolas Cruz in the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting. The real cause of the shooting, according to Fox, as he repeated a few times is “our morality and our ethical way of living.”

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August 19, 2015 - 1:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, SCOPE.

Press release:

“On behalf of the Shooter’s Committee on Political Education (SCOPE) and Second Amendment rights activists statewide, I am proud to announce that the New York State Supreme Court has ruled that Gov. Cuomo and state officials have illegally withheld records relating to a Freedom of Information Request (FOIL) into illegal seizures during a gun rally in Albany last April. During the rally, state troopers unlawfully seized replica guns from several participants under orders from the executive branch.

“This is a positive step in ensuring that our Constitutional rights are not completely compromised by Gov. Cuomo’s illegal tactics. The SAFE Act was passed under the cover of darkness without any public input or vetting process and remains one of the worst pieces of legislation I have ever seen during my time in the Assembly. I will continue to fight for repeal of this illegal law and support gun owners in my district and statewide.”

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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.

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.

August 14, 2012 - 11:39pm

The 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution got a ringing endorsement Tuesday from three of the top-ranking elected officials who represent Genesee County.

Rep. Kathy Hochul, State Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Steven Hawley all appeared at SCOPE's monthly meeting to talk about what they're doing to help prevent extremists on the left from stripping gun owners of their right to own firearms.

Ranzenhofer started off the evening by discussing how important a Republican majority is in the State Senate to protecting gun rights.

"There are people out there who don’t like you and want to take away your rights," Ranzenhofer said.

When Ranzenhofer was first in office, and the GOP didn't have a majority in the Senate, he said anti-gun Democrats regularly tried to push new laws to restrict gun and ammo sales.  Since the GOP regained control of the upper chamber, "we’ve not had to be constantly on guard for new legislation coming up," Ranzenhofer said.

Now, Ranzenhofer said, the biggest worry at the state level for gun-rights advocates is a popular governor who wants to push through legislation to restrict the rights of gun owners.

Hochul said she comes from a family of gun-rights advocates. She has two brothers in Maryland, she said, who are expert marksmen. While Hochul said she isn't big into hunting or target shooting herself, she has taken safety courses and knows how to handle a firearm.

"When a bill comes up that affects your 2nd Amendment rights, I’m on your side," Hochul said.

While clerk in Erie County, Hochul said she streamlined the process for a gun permits from a year or longer to four months, and three of those months involve the State of New York doing background checks.

"Some of you may say I have a 'D' after my name and I can't vote for you," Hochul said. "Well, fine, but I still represent you. I am independent and I look at each and every issue as what's best for the people of Western New York. Sometimes the Democrats are right and sometimes they're really wrong. Some times the Republicans are right and some times they are really wrong."

According to Hochul, when the gun rights groups come out with their congressional rankings soon, she will receive a very high grade for her voting record for her first year in office.

"I'm very proud of my ranking," Hochul said.

Hochul also noted that she opposed the "Fast and Furious" operation, which provided guns to drug gangs in Mexico, and believes Attorney General Eric Holder should respect the powers of Congress under the Constitution and turn over all "Fast and Furious" documents to the House of Representatives, a demand from Congress the Obama Administration is fighting.

Hochul faces the most serious reelection challenge in November of the three officials who spoke Tuesday and SCOPE Chairman Jack Taylor said he contacted the campaign for her challenger, Chris Collins, to invite Collins to the meeting, but didn't get a response.

Hawley talked a good deal about his work on veterans' issues, particularly his annual Patriot Tour of Washington, D.C., and noted that while his colleague in the Senate, Ranzenhofer, may need to deal with only two anti-gun zealots in that chamber, the state Assembly is filled with 40 or 50 people eager to water down the 2nd Amendment.

Hawley said those representatives deal with a very different constituency than Assembly members in Upstate and Western New York, where people often live on a bit of land, own their own homes, like to hunt and fish and target shoot.

In noting the differences, Hawley segued into a discussion of a bill he has repeatedly sponsored -- allowing a referendum vote on whether New York should be split into two states.

Taylor spoke between each guest and hammered home the same point: Gun rights advocates need to educate the public on the difference between law-abiding citizens who own guns and criminals who not only use guns but other implements to commit their crimes.

"In all my years in retail, I've never seen a gun jump off the shelf and shoot somebody," Taylor said.

Some of the blame for the misrepresentation of guns falls on the media, Taylor noted, reminding SCOPE members that you never see a headline that says "Chevy and Budweiser kills family of four," but you do see headlines like "Glock used in murder spree."

The former county coroner said the most common way that young people die a violent death in Genesee County is from drunken driving, while there is only about one homicide every seven years locally (worth noting: the last homicide locally was Scott Doll beating to death his victim, no gun involved).

"We are all against crime, whatever the implement," Taylor said. "We need to separate the crime from the implement. There’s not a gun law out there that ever saved a life or prevented a criminal from committing a crime."

January 3, 2010 - 1:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, SCOPE, NRA, brian kolb, shooter's committee.

Attention outdoor sportsmen and hunters, there's going to be a Legislative Awareness Rally in Albany Jan. 12. Bus transportation has been arranged by SCOPE Genesee County chapter and the Shooter's Committee on Political Education of New York.

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb invites those concerned about the right to keep and bear firearms, hunting and shooting sports in New York to attend this statewide effort. The bus is limited to 56 travelers, so car pooling to the rally is encouraged.

The keynote speaker at the rally will be Wayne Lapierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.

The bus ride costs $25. Sign up at either of the departure locations, Batavia Marine in Batavia, or Sheard's Antiques and Guns in Bergen.

The bus departs from Batavia Marine, 411 W. Main St., at 4:10 a.m. and from Sheard's in Bergen, 7451 S. Lake Road -- Route 19, at 4:50 a.m.

Once at the state capitol, participants will gather in the Lobby Well of the Legislative Office Building at 9 a.m.

Departure back to Genesee County is at 1:30 p.m.

 

 

 

October 28, 2009 - 10:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, SCOPE.

A local gun-rights lobby group likes what it sees in seven of the 11 candidates standing for election to the County Legislature on Nov. 3.

The Genesee County chapter of SCOPE (Shooters Committee On Political Education) ranked five of the candidates "highly favorable," including two running in competitive seats.

Democrat hopeful Chris Charvella, running for the District 8 seat received a "highly favorable" rating, while his opponent, incumbent Republican Hollis Upson notched a "favorable" rating.

In the District 7 race, Republican Robert Radley scored "highly favorable" while Democrat Rose Mary Christian was ranked "favorable."

The ratings were the result of a survey SCOPE asked each candidate to complete.

Two current county legislators up for re-election, but running unopposed, were classified "requires education on the issue."  They were Mary Pat Hancock and Anne Lawrence.

Ed DeJaneior and Esther Leadley did not respond to the survey, according to SCOPE.

Also receiving "highly favorable" ratings were Ray Cianfrini, Jay Grasso and Charles Zambito.

Also, SCOPE announced that John O., of Genesee County, won the group's raffle. The prize was a Thompson Triumph Black Powder Rifle.

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