…”I personally am totally opposed to the New York SAFE Act, and I’m opposed to all the people who voted for it,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman William Waldon of Johnstown, who said his colleagues were united in their hopes to fight the law.
The 1,500-word position statement was drafted and unanimously approved last month by 52 members of the New York State Sheriff’s Association, including Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey, Montgomery County Sheriff Michael Amato and Hamilton County Sheriff Karl Abrams.
The sheriffs said parts of the state’s new SAFE Act, which will track more purchases of firearms and ammunition and make some existing guns, magazines and clips illegal, are too broad, while other parts limit rights of legal gun owners. The entire law, which local lawmakers said was rushed through the state Senate and Assembly, is difficult for gun owners, businesses and even police officials to understand, the position says.
Two business days after the sheriffs approved the language, Lorey presented it to the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee, which unanimously approved it, setting up Monday’s vote by the full board. The Public Safety Committee in Montgomery County also passed a similar measure, and a resolution is under way in Hamilton County.
“I’m sure the other counties are going to step on board,” said board Vice Chairman Linda Kemper of Northampton, who chairs the county Public Safety Committee. “It might be a matter of what position they take or what parts of the sheriff’s association position they endorse, but [we] endorsed all their findings.”
Kemper said there was no debate among supervisors Monday – only widespread disgust for the law and the way it was passed.
“There was a lot of discussion, and a lot of it was about the process – that it was shoved through in the middle of the night behind closed doors,” she said, adding that even the most religious supervisors and the ones who don’t own guns were passionate about fighting the law.
“The big picture is big brother is taking over your personal rights, gaining everything you have a right to,” she said.
[Fulton County Sheriff] Lorey did not return a phone message seeking comment Wednesday and could not be reached this morning, but he said Monday at the Fulton County Republican Club’s Lincoln Day dinner that this is a big issue that won’t go away. He followed that up Tuesday with a short speech at a gun rally in Albany.
“I’ve got a simple message: I’m not coming to take your guns. Not today. Not ever,” he shouted through a megaphone, adding, “Fulton County is a come-and-take-it county, not a bend-over county.”…