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New York SAFE Act does not make us safer

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I am writing in response to an article published on Dec. 27 regarding the New York SAFE Act.

The record is clear, and I voted no on this onerous legislation, which I believe deprives law-abiding citizens of an important right under the Constitution of the United States.

I believe that the only truly effective way to stop senseless acts of violence is with penalties that fit the crime, as well as improvements to our mental health safety net, to keep firearms out of the hands of career criminals, convicted felons, the mentally ill and others who may wish to do harm — not restricting legal ownership and possession of firearms by responsible sportsmen and other law-abiding gun owners.

I currently sponsor two bills that would repeal the SAFE Act: S.3948 and S.5626.

In addition, I have also introduced a third measure that would enshrine our right to keep and bear arms in the New York State Constitution, as our state is just one of six states that does not specifically list this protection in its foundational document.

As we enter the 2014 legislative session, there will undoubtedly be additional measures proposed that will chip away at the SAFE Act’s more oppressive provisions.

Please know that my position has been — and will continue to be — that law-abiding gun owners deserve nothing less than a full repeal of the onerous measures included in the SAFE Act, a measure that I believe is contrary to its title and does not make us any safer.

Patty Ritchie

Heuvelton

The author is the Republican state senator of the 48th District.

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