BY BILL WOLCOTT
Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — The Niagara County Legislature is expected to pass a resolution calling for the repeal of the New York SAFE Act at Tuesday’s meeting.
On Jan. 15, New York passed the strictest gun control law in the country and upstate counties have been lining up against it. Called the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, it was voted on in the state Senate and Assembly late at night and the legislators had little time to examine the bill.
“We were positioned to act on this before the bill was actually passed,” said Legislator David Godfrey who wants immediate repeal. “When the resolution came to the floor the first time it passed. We had to back off and rewrite it.”
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who pushed for the legislation, said the law would to give the state the most comprehensive gun laws in the country.
Cambria Highway Superindent Jon MacSwan wants Cambria to ask for the repeal.
“I don’t like the way it was passed,” he said. “They (state legislators) were given 45 minutes to look at something at 11:20 at night. Page and pages. It was shoved down their throat. It’s not fair. Downstate runs everything. The elections, even CHIPS (Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program) money for our roads goes down state.”
A half-dozen counties have called for the repeal of the law. A resolution is pending in Erie County.
“It’s against our constitutional rights, the second amendment,” Godfrey said. “I firmly believe they’re going after the wrong issue. I don’t believe the weapons are the issue, it’s the people who are committing the crimes. I think we need to do a better job to identify those people early on who really need the help. There’s evil out there all the time.”
Godfey feels that there are opportunities to spot people who need help.
“They’re going after the wrong thing,” he said.
The resolution will come before the Cambria Town Board.
“We’ll take a look at it and take action on it,” Supervisor Wright Ellis said. “I am not happy with the action of the governor, but I’m not going to speak for the whole board.”
According to the governor, the law will keep guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous mental health patients and ban high capacity magazines and assault weapons. This bill does not affect rifles and shotguns used by traditional sportsmen and hunters.
The law was written in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.