New York State Assemblyman Dan Stec participates in a rally against the New York SAFE Act in Albany last week. As opposition to the new law mounts, the Essex County Board of Supervisors are planning to make their official stance at a March 18 special meeting.
Essex County may have their official stance on the controversial SAFE Act in resolution form for a special meeting that would be held March 18.
Chesterfield Supervisors Gerald Morrow, who is chairing a special committee tasked with looking at the new gun control law and drafting a resolution that would be the voice of the county on the matter, said that his committee would meet next week to come up with a resolution.
“(North Hudson Supervisor Ronald) Moore and I have worked on a resolution,” Morrow said. “Mine is to repeal the SAFE Act, not to amend it. It makes innocent gun owners criminal. If we get this done, then the chairman (Randy Douglas of Jay) has told me that on March 18, there will be a special board meeting and we will address this. We are not going to sit on this; we are going to get it resolved.”
In addition to Morrow and Moore, the committee consists of Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret Bartley, County Attorney Daniel Manning and County Manager Daniel Palmer and would meet at 11:30 a.m. Monday, March 11.
“I am adamantly opposed to any bill that infringes on my rights,” Moore said. “Our representatives should be given the opportunity to debate this subject. This leads to things like this other bill on the Senate that would require a $1 million insurance policy in order to own a gun.”
Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava, who presided at the meeting in the absence of Douglas and board vice chair Bill Ferebee, said he looked forward to a vote.
“The committee will draft a resolution and we will have a vote on that resolution on the 18th one way or the other,” he said.
Scozzafava added that a planned presentation by Essex County Sheriff Richard Cutting was not going to happen that day.
“We have a number of supervisors out and we also have the committee that has been appointed,” he said.
Scozzafava then opened the floor up for comments.
“I have several guns, including what would be classified as an assault weapon,” Win Belanger of Willsboro said. “The law is needed, but not the present law and not in the way that it was pushed through. It could lead to a lot of litigation that is not required. Taking three bullets out of my gun, oh well. But to take away my two pistols because there is not a clip that is made to meet the rules, when I have a permit in 33 other states where the same pistol is legal?”
“I do not think a lot of people understand what this law is going to do,” Bruno Mazzotte of Moriah said. “Every time a grandfather or father wants to go shooting with his kid, he has to go through a background check to buy ammunition every time.”
Cutting said that he was recently asked about the number of violent crimes committed by registered gun owners with the weapons that were registered.
“A reporter asked me the other day, do I ever remember a crime being committed by a lawful pistol permit owner or a gun owner with a weapon that they had lawfully registered, and I can honestly not think of one,” Cutting said. “This law unfortunately focuses on the law-abiding group.”
Newcomb Supervisor George Canon said that he was in favor of a resolution against the SAFE Act, but did not think repeal was the right way to go.
“The probability of this being repealed by the state is pretty close to nil,” Canon said. “I think that the best chance is to get the NRA and citizens to look at the constitutionality of it and see if it can be overturned that way.”
According to the New York SAFE Act Resolution Facebook Page, 33 counties have approved resolutions that are against all of part of the SAFE Act, including Hamilton, Washington and Warren counties.
Currently, 17 counties have proposed to pass legislation, including Essex, Clinton and Franklin counties.
Stec joins rally against SAFE Act
Assemblyman Dan Stec joined scores of elected officials and an estimated crowd of several thousand sportsmen and Second Amendment supporters Feb. 28 at NY2A, one of the largest rallies in New York State history.
Stec, who recently launched a petition to repeal the NY SAFE Act, addressed the crowd and proudly joined them in standing up for the Second Amendment.
“The SAFE Act is an ill-conceived measure, crafted in the dead of night, that tramples on the Second Amendment right our forefathers and generations of Americans have fought to defend,” said Stec. “It was an honor to join one of the largest crowds in our state’s history today and take a stand for an open government and our constitutional rights.”