Empire State counties, towns revolt against Cuomo gun ban
One by one, counties and towns across New York State are launching resolutions denouncing the state’s new gun ban, the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013, as egregious and unconstitutional.
“Right now we have 51 out of 62 counties opposed or in the process of opposing the New York SAFE Act,” said Columbia County resident Evan Hempel.
Hempel who is a computer programmer for IBM created a website dedicated to compiling New York Town and County resolutions both for and against the NY SAFE Act of 2013, as well as provide related news.
“The issue boils down to property rights,” said Hempel, who is also a Clermont Town Board member.
“What right does the government have to tell citizens what they can or cannot purchase?” he asked.
Kevin A. Roberts, a three-term Ulster County legislator said, “Two-hundred and fifty activists showed up at our county meeting in support of our resolution opposing the process of enactment and certain provisions within the NY SAFE Act.”
Ulster County was one of the first counties to oppose the measure, he said.
“Our resolution was in reaction to a proposal by the minority Democrat caucus to act in support of the Governor’s new law,” said Roberts, a general contractor.
That idea back-fired, he said. “Our resolution was the brain child of the Democrats.”
Edward A. Rath, III, a three-term legislator from Erie County and lead sponsor of the resolution “Opposing NY Safe Act,” said the reason why the people oppose the new law is two-fold.
“First, it is a fundamental violation of our Second Amendment rights, and secondly, we oppose the procedure in which it was passed,” he said.
“Without the normal three-day review process, the state government rushed to judgment,” said the life-long NRA member and avid sportsman.
“It is not enough to make minor changes. We need to get into the guts of it, change it, or repeal it altogether,” he said.
Rath said the law is so poorly written it does not exempt police officers, yet it exempts Hollywood actors from the law.
“That’s incredible,” he said. “Our governor is trying to score political points instead of protecting our constitutional rights.”
Dennis W. Simmons, a freshman Orange County legislator said he was infuriated by the passage of the NY SAFE Act. “We want full repeal of the law.”
The governor was not focused on public safety, he said.
“Cuomo’s initial intent was to confiscate guns, which is a clear infringement of our right to keep and bear arms,” he said.
Simmons said the county passed the resolution by keeping it simple. “We followed the lead of the Town of Deerpark.”
The Town of Deerpark was one of the first towns to sign a resolution that opposes the NY SAFE Act. “We wanted to keep the movement going,” he said.
Orange County is made up of 11 Republicans, nine Democrats, and one Independent, he said.
“The Orange County legislature passed our resolution 17 to three with one absent,” said the retired NYS Department of Corrections officer.
Simmons, who spent 24 years as a member of the Air National Guard, said the law restricts law abiding citizens and gives murderers more access to kill.
“Criminals will not worry themselves over bullets or magazines. The new law gives them the tactical advantage,” he said.