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NY SAFE Act opponents blast St. Lawrence County legislators

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CANTON — St. Lawrence County legislators who favored keeping parts of the NY SAFE Act were slammed at a meeting Monday by members of a crowd of more than 40 gun enthusiasts.

Many in the audience voiced unhappiness with a committee decision last week to recommend a watered-down resolution that did not call for outright repeal.

“If you let us down, we can certainly vote you out of office,” said Al Scheuplein, Parishville.

Speakers told legislators they were surprised to hear some of them did not want to demand repeal for fear of offending Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo — who might then not go along with a sales tax increase for the county — or Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa, who recently procured $100,000 for a fire training facility.

“It sounds like the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators is bought by $100,000 from another legislator,” said Albert Simser, DeKalb Junction. “I just think you should be ashamed of yourselves.”

An amendment by Legislator Daniel F. Parker, R-Potsdam, to add repeal to the resolution was defeated 8-4, as was an amendment offered by Legislator Kevin D. Acres, R-Madrid, to add a thank-you to state representatives who voted against the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act. In committee, Mr. Acres also wanted to chastise Mrs. Russell for voting in favor of the act.

“I’m trying to compromise,” Mr. Acres said.

Joining Mr. Parker and Mr. Acres in favor of the amendments were Legislators Joseph R. Lightfoot, R-Ogdensburg, and Mark H. Akins, R-Lisbon.

“The majority by far that have weighed in, this is what they want,” Mr. Lightfoot said.

Legislators Alex A. MacKinnon, R-Fowler; Scott M. Sutherland, R-Pierrepont, and Stephen M. Putman, D-Canton, were absent.

The resolution opposing a number of provisions in the SAFE Act and the manner in which it was enacted passed 12-0.

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