Dem, Breaks From Party, Supports SAFE Act Repeal

September 09, 2014

In a rare move in these partisan times, Democratic State Senate candidate, Johnny Destino, broke the goose-stepping party line and signed the SCOPE pledge to repeal the SAFE Act.

Democratic State Senate candidate Johnny Destino bucked his own party line last week and signed the Shooter’s Committee on Political Education (SCOPE) pledge to back the repeal of the New York SAFE Act, a strident gun control law pushed through the state legislature by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The SAFE Act was signed into law in January 2013, a direct response to the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut. While none of the law’s provisions is likely to prevent such tragedies in the future, the SAFE Act certainly curtails law-abiding New York gun owners’ rights in the present.

Prior to the law’s passage, New York already had some of the strictest gun laws in the United States.

Under the law, magazines capable of accepting more than 10 rounds of ammunition are banned, and anyone buying ammunition is subject to a background check, much like as if they were buying a gun.

More than 200 municipalities across the state have passed resolutions calling for the repeal of the law.

At just 54 words, the SCOPE pledge gets right to the point: “As a candidate for office in the state of New York, I pledge to support the Second Amendment and the rights of gun owners, hunters, and sportsmen in our state. I pledge to support the repeal of the NY SAFE Act and oppose any similar gun-ban legislation at the local, state, and federal level.”

Destino was unavailable for comment, but in the past has pointed out that the SAFE Act would never have passed had Republicans in the Senate including State Sen. George Maziarz, at the time the third leading Senate leader, not allowed the SAFE Act to come to a vote.

As North Tonawanda Mayor Robert Ortt, State Sen. George Maziarz’s hand-picked successor, said, “The SAFE Act was a bad law because it was rammed through in the middle of the night, before the ink was dry on the printed copies, with no debate. But it was more fundamentally a bad law because it flew in the face of the Bill of Rights.”

As Destino pointed out to the Reporter on numerous occasions, the Senate Republicans, who controlled the Senate at the time of the SAFE Act’s passage in January, 2013, had only to not permit it to go to the floor for a vote, as Democrats always do when they oppose a law.

He has a point.

The fact that the Senate Republican leadership allowed it, showed clearly they were not 2nd Amendment watchdogs. That some of these same senators cynically voted against the SAFE Act, while, at the same time, allowing the SAFE Act to come to the floor for a vote in the first place, shows the hypocrisy of these Republicans.

You can bet your bottom dollar that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver would never allow a bill he disbelieves in to come to the Assembly floor for a vote.

Today, we have the SAFE Act not only because of a liberal anti-Aecond Amendment governor and an uber-liberal Manhattan-centric State Assembly, but also because Senate Republicans allowed the SAFE Act to, precisely, “go to the floor in the middle of the night, before the ink was dry on printed copies, and with no debate.”

For them to say now, the SAFE Act is an infringement of rights, is about the near height of hypocrisy.

It took all three – governor, assembly and Republican -controlled senate – to do this anti-freedom SAFE Act tango.

He’s right.

“George (Maziarz) and the Republican leadership sold out their constituents,” Destino said.

At least one Democrat, Johnny Destino, had the guts and political courage to break free from the Democrats and other constitutional hypocrites to support the SAFE Act’s repeal.