Sheriff’s association responds to new gun-control legislation

71079208by Andrew Henderson

Oswego County Sheriff Reuel Todd has joined sheriffs from across the state in expressing their concern with the recently adopted New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (NY SAFE ACT).

The New York State Sheriff’s Association recently presented its response to the SAFE Act, which was quickly adopted by the state legislature and approved by Governor Andrew Coumo.

“After extensive meetings with the majority of the sheriffs of New York State we have released our position as to the NYS SAFE ACT proposed by Gov. Cuomo,” said Todd. “This is a position which encompassed much debate for a number of days to form what we feel is a concerted belief to protect the lives of our children and our citizens as well as to protect the rights of legitimate and honest gun owners.”

The association has identified six provisions of the law that it believes are helpful and will increase safety. On the other hand, the association has identified eight provisions that need clarification as well as revision. The state sheriffs applaud the following six provisions:

• Restriction on FOIL requests about pistol permit holders. By granting citizens the option of having their names and addresses withheld from public disclosure, the new law does provide a mechanism to allow people to decide for themselves whether their personal information should be accessible to the public.

“We believe, however, that no one should have to explain why their personal information should remain confidential,” the association stated. “A better procedure, we believe, is simply to exempt all this personal information from FOIL disclosure.

• Killing of emergency first responders. The new law makes killing of emergency first responders aggravated or first degree murder, enhancing penalties for this crime and requiring life without parole.

• Requirement of NICS checks for private sales (except between immediate family).

• Comprehensive review of mental health records before firearms permits are granted and review of records to determine if revocation of permits is required. The new law imposes reporting requirements on many mental health care professionals and others who may make a determination that a person is a danger to himself or others.

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