Monthly Archives: October 2013

Critics: SAFE Act is Cuomo’s ‘Obamacare website’

By Joseph Spector Albany Bureau Chief - Poughkeepsie Journal

Criticism of New York’s gun-control law is persisting after State Police revealed a system of background checks for ammunition buyers won’t be up and running by mid-January.

As part of the law passed last January, stores will be required to obtain details about anyone buying ammunition from a statewide database. Sellers will keep names, addresses, details of purchases and other personal information about ammunition purchases to be part of a statewide database.

But while ammo sellers will be required to register with the state and sales will have to take place face-to-face after Jan. 15 — a full year after the law passed — the database won’t be up and running.

State Police denied there was any sort of delay. The law requires background checks on ammo sales beginning 30 days after the police superintendent declares the database operational, which hasn’t happened yet.

The database system “is being developed,” said Darcy Wells, a State Police spokeswoman.

“The State Police is working diligently to enact a system to meet the background check and record keeping requirements, as expeditiously as possible,” Wells said in a statement Monday.

Critics of the law say it’s another indication that the SAFE Act is flawed and was rushed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers in response to the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., last December. The bill was passed just hours after it was printed and requires added registration for gun owners, expands an assault-weapons ban and creates a statewide database of gun purchases.

Assemblyman Bill Nojay, R-Pittsford, Monroe County, said the latest SAFE Act set back is “Andrew Cuomo’s Obamacare website,” referring to the federal troubles with the health-care exchange website that launched Oct. 1.

“It’s a disaster. Nobody has any idea what to do,” Nojay said of the gun law.

Tom King, president of the state’s Rifle & Pistol Association, said Cuomo pushed through the law without realizing that parts of it are unworkable.

The state Legislature and Cuomo earlier this year had to scrap plans to prohibit the possession of magazines that could hold more than seven bullets. The state changed the law so gun owners can have 10-bullet magazines, but can only load seven bullets. As of Jan. 15, gun owners need to get rid of any magazines that can hold more than 10 bullets.

King said that the ammunition database might have cost New York $50 million to $70 million to create, but there was no comment Monday from State Police on the cost of the database. The group is suing to overturn the SAFE Act.

The law “was pushed through,” King said. “And they are trying to back out of it because they know it’s a flawed piece of legislation. Right from the very get-go, they have been trying to amend it.”


Zaleski · Top Commenter

Here’s the reality… Under Cuomo NY has experienced the demise of 39,453 NY state businesses last year, Cuomo has raided $1.75 billion from the reserves of the already over budget State Insurance Fund (SIF) and now raising Workers Compensation business costs a staggering10%. Cuomo can not even hold on to his democratic majority which is in the middle of a sexual harassment and corruption scandal with “show-me-the-money culture” and “pay-to-play politics” throughout Albany. Cuomo has disenfranchised the Northern and Western part of New York with his ill conceived and hastily prepared SAFE Act. He has been unable to obtain funding for the flood stricken residents of upstate New York after being caught using 40 million in Sandy aid for a self promotion campaign. Cuomo is afraid to take a stand and make a decision, either way with respect to Marijuana or Fracking. No matter what your position is, Cuomo has left New Yorkers with no resolution to these issues or the ability to move forward. NY has experienced a 67% surge in Food Stamps users, and unbelievably, Cuomo is fighting to cease fingerprinting requirements which combat double dipping and identity fraud. Cuomo has broken all state records for “soft money” contributions which skirt campaign rules despite his campaigning to end this practice. Cuomo is now listed as one of the worst governors in America by the left-leaning good government group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. New York has the highest taxes in the nation, is the most indebted state, with 33 percent of income dedicated to borrowing. It is ranked as the least “business-friendly” state in the country and if that were not bad enough NY has the distinction of being the least free state in the union and is called the “Nanny State” with politicians legislating what we eat and drink. Municipal governments from Nassau County to Yonkers to Syracuse are teetering. And during Mr. Cuomo’s time in office, unemployment has risen above the national average. 9% of the state’s 2000 population left for another state between 2000 and 2011 — the highest such figure in the nation, see the study by George Mason’s independent libertarian-leaning Mercatus Center.

Gary L. Perry· Top Commenter

Certainly everyday average middle class and young hard working New Yorkers can see that Andrew Cuomo ignores both the US & NY State Constitutions. He has stripped away civil liberties and rules in Albany like a tyrant choosing to pass legislation before the citizens learn about it and the state legislature can present it to their constituents to discuss and debate it. This is not representative government.

Cuomo working hard to push thru casino gambling will only cost the taxpayers more and benefit Cuomo and his friends. These will not be full time high paying manufacturing jobs or technical jobs.’

The NY SAFE Act will cost the taxpayers millions to administer every year that it is in existence. Cuomo is a supporter of the ObamaCare that has turned into a debacle.

Cuomo supports Central control over our children’s schools which is called Common Core. This will be a debacle and the dimming down of students much like “No Child Left Behind”.

Cuomo has been a disaster for NY and seems to be in competition to keep us at the bottom of lest friendly states for raising a family & starting a business



SAFE Act provision on background checks for bullet buyers to be delayed

Background checks won’t begin on Jan. 15

BY: Tom Precious  Buffalo News
Published: October 25, 2013, 09:21 PM

ALBANY – Checking the backgrounds and recording detailed information about anyone buying ammunition, a key component of New York’s gun-control law, will not begin as expected Jan. 15, State Police officials confirmed Friday evening.

Several days after The Buffalo News first inquired about delays in the ammunition provisions, the State Police said Friday the agency needs more time to develop a system that will check the backgrounds of individuals before they purchase ammunition.

Additionally, a requirement that ammunition sellers compile and maintain an assortment of information – from the buyer’s name and occupation to the type and amount of bullets bought – also will not be kicking in on Jan. 15 as permitted under the gun-control law.

Officials did not say when the ammunition background checks might start.

“The State Police is working on technology solutions to be able to carry out this section of the SAFE Act so that the public, buyers and sellers are not inconvenienced or delayed in any way when they purchase ammunition,’’ the State Police said in a statement.

The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, or NY SAFE Act, was quickly approved in January following the shootings at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut. Besides its new definitions on what constitutes a banned assault weapon and limits on number of rounds permitted in a weapon’s magazine, the law also targeted ammunition purchases by dealers and gun owners.

The law requires ammunition sellers to register with the State Police and to also run the purchaser’s name through a state-created database to see if they can buy ammunition. Only commercial dealers capable of running a background check, which must include a photo identification procedure in a face-to-face transaction, can sell ammunition under the new law.

Further, ammunition dealers must keep a written log – noting the date of purchase and the name, age, occupation and residency of ammunition buyers – for each sale that police can later inspect “at all reasonable hours.’’ That could have begun, under the law, on Jan. 15.

The SAFE Act was pushed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who has seen his poll numbers decline upstate, in part, since the controversial law was approved in January without going through the normal three-day process. The News first asked about the ammunition registration provisions Monday, the same day the governor was in Manhattan being honored by New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.

Parts of the law took effect immediately, but other provisions, including the ammunition registration and background portions, were delayed to give time to agencies to prepare for changes in the SAFE Act.

Officials said a provision of the law requiring sellers of ammunition to be registered is still being implemented Jan. 15. Most are already federally registered anyway, but the new state law is expected to cover a larger range of sellers, including small stores that might sell ammunition as just a small part of their business.

Sources said that the state was hoping to use the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check system as part of the mandate that ammunition sellers check the backgrounds of ammunition buyers. But that background check system is only for purchase of weapons, a limitation that state officials said they knew of when the SAFE Act was being crafted.

The law envisioned that the system to check the backgrounds of ammunition buyers, as well as for dealers to record personal information about purchasers, could take effect in the middle of January – one year after the SAFE Act was approved. But the law gave discretion to the superintendent of the State Police to begin the ammunition program when a suitable system was in place.

The ammunition provisions have been among the most controversial of a law that still has gun owners fuming and is the subject of Second Amendment court challenges.

The delay on implementing parts of the ammunition program on Jan. 15 means sellers will not have to start recording the date, name, age, occupation and residence of ammunition buyers. In addition, dealers also were going to be required in January to record the amount, serial numbers, manufacturer’s name and caliber of ammunition they sold. That information then could be inspected by police.

Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, which has fought the SAFE Act, was not immediately available to comment.

The Cuomo administration has found that the controversy surrounding the SAFE Act has not gone away, especially in more conservative upstate areas. Anti-SAFE Act signs are still a common sight on lawns throughout many upstate communities, and many upstate sheriffs have suggested they will not enforce certain components of the law. County legislative bodies throughout the state have gone on record opposing the law.

While there is nothing to indicate there is any motive beyond getting a workable system in place to begin tracking ammunition purchases, the delay of the controversial ammunition provisions does put off a sticky public relations problem for Cuomo.

In the middle of January, Cuomo will still be trying to sell his State of the State proposals to voters statewide in advance of the release of his 2014 budget plan in a year in which he is seeking re-election; having the much-debated ammunition provisions take place at the same time would give critics another reason to protest Cuomo on his expected statewide tours to promote his 2014 agenda.


Poll Shows Cuomo Poised for Safe Reelection, With Some Weaknesses

Oct 21, 2013

By Karen DeWitt  WXXI News

A new poll finds that Governor Cuomo is well positioned to win re lection next year, but  there are some weaknesses in the governor’s generally positive numbers.

Governor Cuomo consistently had almost unheard of high numbers in the polls during the first half of his term. Then, in January of this year, he took on the controversial issue of gun control. He championed the passage of what were at the time the strictest gun regulations in the nation, known as the SAFE Act.   Almost immediately, his poll numbers dropped, to more normal approval levels and have hovered around 60% for months, says Siena’s Steve Greenberg.

“As a result of the SAFE Act, he lost some people who said they liked him,” said Greenberg, who described the group as “largely republican, largely upstate”.

“And they’re not coming back to him,” he said.

Siena drilled down into the approval ratings for the governor, and found there are some potential weaknesses for Cuomo. Voters have mixed feelings about his job performance.  The survey asked about five specific areas. Cuomo scored positively in just one category, fighting for equal rights for New Yorkers. The governor successfully passed a gay marriage law and lobbied for women’s rights. In the other four categories, job creation, fighting corruption, public education and government efficiency, the governor received more bad marks than good marks.

Siena’s Greenberg says overall around one third of voters are very positive about the governor, one third are strongly negative, and the remaining third are in the middle, though that group does want to see him reelected.  Greenberg says right now, Cuomo seems headed toward a relatively safe reelection.

“The governor remains in a very strong position to win re- election in 2014,” said Greenberg.

He says Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one in New York, Cuomo has a $28 million dollar war chest, and there’s a lack of any real opposition.

“At the moment, there does not appear to be any Republican candidate,” said Greenberg.

And in what can be viewed as perhaps good news for Cuomo, the poll finds most voters, while they are concerned about the high level of corruption in New York politics, are not paying close attention to the machinations of a panel appointed by the governor. Cuomo’s Moreland Act Commission is supposed to investigate instances of potential corruption in the campaign donation system.

Cuomo had been attracting negative newspaper editorials and sarcastic columns, after stories appeared in the Daily News and other publications alleging that Cuomo was suppressing subpoenas that might uncover his own conflicts of interest with certain donors. The commission recently deiced to go through with the subpoenas after all.

Greenberg says New Yorkers don’t seem to be that interested in the process, they just want to see an end result, a crack down on rampant corruption that’s led to multiple arrests, indictments and imprisonments of state lawmakers in recent years.

There’ve been reports that the Moreland commission might disband while Cuomo and the legislature pursue a constitutional amendment to enact public campaign financing.  Voters, by a five to one margin, say that would not be a good idea.

A spokesman for the governor had little reaction, saying “polls go up, polls go down”.

Utica Gun Buyback Doesn’t Add Up


October 19,2013

It was a victory for Civil Rights and simple economics on Saturday.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently launched an effort to host “gun buybacks” across the state.His office is offering gift cards for the following:

  • $25.00 for antique and non-working firearms
  • $50.00 for rifles and shotguns
  • $75.00 for handguns
  • $100.00 for assault weapons

The problem with that is that in most cases, rifles and shotguns are worth much more than $50. So-called assault weapons are often worth 10 times as much as Schneiderman wants to shell out in his pittance of a buyback. His effort manifested itself at the Utica Memorial Auditorium on Saturday. NY2A and its affiliates, New York Revolution and Oathkeepers, were there to protest the buyback, offer alternatives and raise awareness of the Civil Rights implications of the NY SAFE Act.

Although NY2A and its partners agree with Scheiderman that keeping guns out of the hands of criminals is important,

gun buybacks across the country have proven to be ineffective in combating violence. Most of those who turned in guns at the Utica buyback and one earlier this month in Rochester, were senior citizens on fixed incomes. The true value of the guns they turned in was not recognized by Schneiderman, and the seniors were essentially victimized by a politician pursing a political agenda. Schneiderman will declare this buyback to be a success when in fact it was ineffective as a crime prevention measure and a ripoff to those who participated.

The reality is, gun buybacks pay low dollar amounts to law-abiding citizens who don’t realize their guns are often worth much more when sold to a gun shop or private citizen. This was borne out today at the protest. Many people decided to sell to a licensed dealer working with NY2A and its partners instead of using the buyback. It was clear from today’s turnout, the vast majority of the people going to the buyback were financially strapped senior citizens, not gangbangers who are the perpetrators of most crime involving guns.

The joint effort led to at least nine people – mostly senior citizens on limited incomes – getting a fairer value for their property than what was offered by Schneiderman.

“We attend these buybacks to educate those individuals with legal guns. They are the vast majority of attendees and are unaware their guns can be sold to a gun shop or licensed dealer for a much higher value than they’d receive turning them into the police,” said Gia Arnold, an organizer with New York Revolution, who has helped lead two buyback protests so far.

And in addition to those seniors getting more money in their pockets, the guns that were purchased from them will remain in circulation. They will likely end up in the hands of the youngest generation of patriots, carrying on one of the greatest traditions of this country – firearms ownership by free citizens.

Schneiderman is hosting several more gun buybacks across the state. Locations include Binghamton, Poughkeepsie, Yonkers and the Buffalo suburb of Cheektowaga.

The dates and times of these buybacks have not yet been announced. But one thing is for certain. NY2A Grassroots Coalition and its partners will be there to protest the SAFE Act and make sure New Yorkers get the money they deserve for the firearms they no longer want. We will ensure those firearms are sold to federally licensed gun store owners, who will then resell them to law-abiding citizens, thereby continuing the great tradition of firearms ownership in this country.

Make sure that you are signed up to NY2A in order to get our alerts about these upcoming buybacks. We want to see YOU there! Sign up at


Conservative Party rates Senate Republicans too accommodating

By Jimmy Vielkind

1:33 pm Oct. 15, 2013

ALBANY—The majority of Republicans in the State Senate got failing grades in annual rankings published today by the state’s Conservative Party.

Seven G.O.P. senators—Jim Seward, Lee Zeldin, Mike Nozzolio, Joe Griffo, Pat Gallivan, Greg Ball and  John DeFrancisco—received grades over 65 percent. Almost all of them voted against the SAFE Act, a new gun control law pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which the Conservatives rated heavily in their annual rankings. (Zeldin was absent on military duty, but indicated he would have voted no.)

That legislation was the only one double-rated by the Conservatives. They also considered bills capping state spending, restoring school aid cuts and increasing access to abortion.

“Voters should review our ratings and remind their legislators that conservatism works for taxpayers and for businesses,” said Conservative Party chairman Mike Long. “Cutting taxes and regulations is the only way New York will return to its Empire State status.”

Senate Republicans this year held the majority by allying themselves with a four-member mini-conference of renegade Democrats. As such, they were pushed to approve some more progressive-leaning items—most notably the SAFE Act and an increase in the minimum wage—than they might have otherwise. The Conservative Party provides a critical buttress for many Republicans, who under New York’s system of fusion voting benefit from having their name appear on both the G.O.P. and Conservative lines.

In 2010, the Conservatives displayed their might and helped knock out two G.O.P. senators who crossed party lines to support same-sex marriage: Roy McDonald and Steve Saland. It’s too soon to tell whether the SAFE Act will also result in new primary challenges.

Top NY court lifts handgun permit residency limit

By MICHAEL VIRTANEN, Associated Press

Updated 12:27 pm, Tuesday, October 15, 2013

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — People who live only part time in New York can get handgun licenses here, the state’s highest court ruled Tuesday.

The Court of Appeals concluded that New York pistol permits, which are issued by cities or counties, are not limited to people whose primary residence is in New York, reversing a 1993 decision by a midlevel state court.

Alfred Osterweil’s license application was denied in 2009 by a Schoharie County judge because Osterweil only had a part-time vacation residence there. His primary home is in Louisiana.

“It’s a great victory for part-time New Yorkers,” said Daniel Schmutter, his attorney. “Now the Court of Appeals has made clear that part-time residents of New York cannot be denied their right to keep and bear arms as a class because of their part-time residency.”

Schmutter had urged the court to directly cite his client’s Second Amendment rights as the reason he should get a license, arguing the state law should be struck down. The seven judges unanimously declined to rule on whether the law as previously interpreted was unconstitutional.

The New York Attorney General’s Office also urged the court to conclude that the statute permitted part-time residents to get pistol licenses.
The statute says applicants shall apply to the licensing officer in the city or county “where the applicant resides, is principally employed or has his principal place of business as merchant or storekeeper.”

Judge Eugene Pigott Jr. wrote that establishing a residence under New York law generally turns on whether someone has “a significant connection” and lives “for some length of time during the course of a year.”

The court had been asked to determine the meaning of “resides” under New York’s licensing law by a federal appeals court, which has been considering Osterweil’s claim that the license rejection violated his Second Amendment rights.

Schmutter said the Second Circuit will now have to decide how the New York ruling impacts the federal case.




State Police Struggle to Understand New York’s Crazy New Gun Law

Jacob Sullum|Oct. 11, 2013

New York’s SAFE Act, hurriedly approved last January because Gov. Andrew Cuomo was determined to be the first out of the gate with ill-considered new gun controls after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, is a pretty complicated piece of legislation. Who knew? That is not a rhetorical question. Legislators passed the bill so quickly that most of them did not have a chance to read it, which is one reason they have already felt compelled to amend it repeatedly. With those changes piled on top of provisions that interact with existing laws in tricky ways, it is doubtful that the average New Yorker understands what the law requires, allows, and forbids. Even the cops are confused, to judge from a new guide to the SAFE Act prepared by the state police. The introduction to the 17-page document, which was released last month, notes that “the SAFE Act has raised questions from members of the field relating to the scope of the Act and its effect on those police officers who will have the responsibility to enforce the various provisions.” A few highlights from this guide to those perplexed by the godawful mess that is the Safe Amunition and Firearms Enforcement Act:

Haven’t you always wanted an assault weapon?

Because the law broadened the definition of “assault weapon,” guns that were lawfully owned prior to January 15 will become contraband unless they are registered with the government by April 15, 2014. Once a gun is registered, “the person who registered it may keep the assault weapon for life” but may not transfer it to anyone except a police officer, a licensed dealer, or a resident of a state where the gun is legal. And in case you were wondering, “There are no exceptions that allow a person to transfer an Assault Weapon to an immediate family member.”

Magazine prescriptions.

It used to be legal to own a magazine holding more than 10 rounds if it was manufactured prior to 1994 (the last time the legislature restricted the size of ammunition feeding devices). Now it is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the magazine is “permanently modified” by next January 15 so that it accepts no more than 10 rounds. Because it turned out that the seven-round magazines Cuomo wanted to mandate do not exist, 10-round magazines, which the original version of the SAFE Act banned, are now allowed, provided you put no more than seven rounds in them. Loading eight, nine, or 10 rounds makes you subject to penalties ranging from a $200 fine to a year in jail, depending on where the magazine is located (at home or elsewhere) and whether it is a repeat offense.

Guess how many rounds I have.

“Unless there is probable cause to believe the law is being violated,” the guide warns, “there is no justification for checking a magazine to determine whether or not it contains more than 7 rounds.”

Ignorance of the law is an excuse. If you fail to register a gun that was not an “assault weapon” under the old definition but is an “assault weapon” under the new definition, you have committed a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. But this charge applies only if you “knew that the weapon was of the type that must be registered and failed to register it.” Likewise, “if a person 1) mistakenly believed that possession of a pre-94 magazine was still legal; and if, 2) he or she either surrenders the magazine or lawfully disposes of it within 30 days after being notified by law enforcement or a county official that the magazine is unlawful, he or she may not be charged.” To avoid criminal liability, in other words, gun owners should not read the statute or summaries of it.

Cops are exempt from the gun rules they will be enforcing.

Although the legislature, in its haste, initially neglected to include the usual exceptions for active-duty and retired law enforcement officers, it later rectified that situation, restoring the double standard that cops take for granted. Hence current and former cops may possess “assault weapons,” put 10 rounds in 10-round magazines, and use even bigger magazines that are denied to mere citizens. After all, it would be is crazy to expect cops to obey arbitrary restrictions that no criminal will follow, as Norman Seabrook, president of the New York City Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, explained in January. “As a law enforcement officer for over 20 years,” Seabrook said, “I understand the importance of instituting a new policy on mandating the limits of bullets that a regular citizen can possess, but as a matter of fact the bad guys are not going to follow this law.”

How well do you know your brother?

The SAFE Act requires background checks for all gun transfers, meaning formerly private sales have to be arranged through licensed firearms dealers. The only exceptions are for transfers to “immediate family members,” which do not include siblings, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, or cousins. Violating this provision is a Class A misdemeanor. That means you can go to jail for a year if you give your grandson a hunting rifle. But at least “police are not exempt from the requirements relating to private sales of firearms.”

Your therapist can strip you of your Second Amendment rights.

If a mental health professional thinks you may harm yourself or others, he is required to report you. If the county’s director of community services agrees with that judgment (as any ass-covering bureaucrat is apt to do), he is required to pass the report on to the Division of Criminal Justice Services, which is required to check whether you hold a pistol permit. If you do, the state police are required to notify the local licensing authority. Although the state police guide says the licensing authority will then “make a determination as to whether to suspend or revoke the subject’s license,” the SAFE Act actually gives local officials no discretion in the matter, saying they “shall issue an order suspending or revoking such license.” And altough a permit is required only for handguns, the guide notes, “if a person becomes ineligible to hold a pistol permit, the Safe Act requires the person to surrender all firearms to police, including all rifles and shotguns for which no license or registration is required.”

[Thanks to Richard Feldman for the tip.]

The SAFE Act has divided a state

Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard

Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard

Thursday October 10, 2013 | By: LARRY WROBLEWSKI

LANGFORD — A panel, convened to explain the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act gun control measure, drew a large audience at the Langford-New Oregon Fire Hall on Sept. 28.

The dais was comprised of elected officials, gun rights advocates and a legal team, all ready to share their perceptions about the law.

Leading off was New York State Assemblyman David DiPietro, an expressed critic of the act, who said that he has been targeted by anti-gun activists who are “coming after him.” In response to those individuals, DiPietro said, “Bring it on. The people in my district don’t support this law.”

The assemblyman continued, “This is not a traffic law; this is your right to protect your family.” He also spoke about what he called the negative impact the law is having on New York businesses. “Remington Arms is for sale and a lot of companies around the state have been affected,” he said.

State Sen. Patrick Gallivan weighed in, calling the SAFE Act “an illustration of the divide between New York City and the rest of the state.”

He said that, while no one believes a gun should be in the hands of someone with a mental illness, “these regulations make no sense.” Gallivan said that both he and DiPietro have introduced measures to repeal the act, but do not have the votes needed, at this time. The senator said that legal challenges to the act hold the most promise.

Citing his lengthy law enforcement career, the former county sheriff said, “I know what works and what doesn’t work, and this act doesn’t work.”

According to Gallivan, the next avenue is “to change your elected officials.”

Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard spoke about the background check required for each ammunition purchase. “By law, when I buy a round at my gun club, the club must do a background check and, if later that day, I buy another round, they are supposed to do the check again,” he said.

The sheriff said that, if he were to pass a bullet to a friend on the range, he would be committing a misdemeanor, under the SAFE Act. “The same charge could be applied to someone giving ammunition to a family member,” he said.

Howard attributed some of the new law’s faults to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “The governor has never provided funding to enforce the law, but [he] complains when law enforcement says it will not enforce the law,” Howard said.

Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs said that a lack of funding was a prime concern for him, as well. The clerk said that, due to unfunded mandates and state cuts, his department cannot receive the necessary background checks in a timely manner.

Jacobs added that he will continue to refuse to release pistol permit holders’ data requested by The Buffalo News and added that he has also not transferred the information to law enforcement, in a stated effort of protecting individuals’ rights.

The clerk urged permit holders to fill out opt-out forms to keep them off any public lists that the courts could eventually force him to release.

Jacobs said that he saw the new regulations as unnecessary. “In every instance where guns have been taken away, they would have been taken, under the old provisions,” he explained.

Edward Rath, the Erie County legislator who, with that body’s minority caucus and two Democrats, was able to pass a resolution calling for the repeal of the SAFE Act, said that he saw the state divide clearly.

“Fifty-two other counties have passed resolutions to repeal, as well,” he said. “The counties that have not are all downstate.”

The Williamsville Republican also took issue with the speed of the SAFE Act’s passage, saying, “The governor violated his own legislative protocols to give bills a review period before a vote. This was all done for political gain.”

Local attorneys James and Max Trebant, along with Syracuse lawyer Richard Lombardo, briefed the crowd on current legal challenges to the law, including a current class action suit against the governor and the attorney general.

That suit, according to Lombardo, seeks “restitution and just compensation for every magazine or gun that has become illegal under the law.” Lombardo said that it is unacceptable for gun owners to lose the value of their weapons and estimated that, if this suit is successful, the state could face an amount of liability from $2 billion – $4 billion.

The audience members were urged to familiarize themselves with the law and develop talking points for discussion. “We need to pass this information on to everyone,” said Bill Walters, who organized the event. “We need to use every peaceful measure to protect our rights. There are more gun owners in New York state than the number of people who voted in last year’s election.”


Could Registering Guns Mean Confiscation?


Buffalo, NY (WBEN) The NYSAFE Act’s enforcment by State Police has been leaked in documents sent to a law firm battling the state’s gun control law.

Max Tresmond says by registering your gun with State Police, it could be a back door way of having your guns confiscated. “If for any reason, a weapon cannot be registered, troopers will have probable cause to order confiscation of all weapons,” says Tresmond.

Access the documents here

Tresmond says the state’s registration database will be central in eligibility. “All of the eligibility checks will use this database, which means people must comply with the registration provision for the NYSAFE Act to have any teeth whatsoever,” explains Tresmond. “The state division of police, their office of counsel recognizes without a complete database, it will be impossible to determine who is eligible to have firearms, who is eligible to have them confiscated from them, and the state has done a lot of work for counsel opposed to the law by narrowing the main issue right down to registration.” He adds if the registration part is thrown out, the state will have no basis to enforce the rest of the act. Tresmond says the state is concerned about people not registering their firearms.

One other issue is whether a person can be convicted if there’s no legal way to register. Tresmond referes to a 1968 case. “If a person is legally ineligible to register, the court tells us, they cannot be convicted for criminal possession of an unregistered firearm. The court makes no distinction between a charge of failing to register and criminal possession of an unregistered firearm,” notes Tresmond.