Northern New York Newspapers
NNY Business
NNY Living
Fri., Aug. 28
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
In print daily. Online always.

Un-SAFE request


It may have been a small victory on the part of some opponents to a controversial gun control measure enacted last year by the state, but it was a victory just the same.

Members of the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators passed a resolution Monday denying the state the use of the county seal on documents pertaining to the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act. The resolution also called for the law to be repealed.

Residents lobbied legislators to take a stand against the state’s use of the county seal in sending out correspondence regarding the NY SAFE Act. They feared that use of the image representing St. Lawrence County would be seen as an approval of the law on the part of county authorities and residents, and they were correct. Why else would state officials who passed the NY SAFE Act and are carrying it out — against the will of numerous people in the north country — want to use county seals in sending out paperwork related to the law?

About 30 people attended Monday’s meeting to keep the pressure on county legislators to finally take a stand against the NY SAFE Act. Some people believe county officials have acted too slowly in publicly opposing the law, given that it was passed more than a year ago.

On this page, we have criticized the manner in which state lawmakers debated the proposed bill and made it a law. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo used a provision of the state constitution to declare a “message of necessity” to bypass a state mandate to wait at least three days before passing a bill from the time it was introduced.

Gov. Cuomo claimed that one of the law’s provisions redefining and banning “assault weapons” would result in a run on these firearms if legislators delayed passing the bill. But critics of the measure believe the maneuver to pass it in the middle of the night was nothing but an attempt to avoid the kind of public debate a bill like this needed before becoming law.

Opponents found the numbers necessary to provide pressure and motivate the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators to move on this issue. There is no evidence that the state will adhere to the voices of the NY SAFE Act’s critics, but another county has now made known the views of its residents who see the law as abridging their Second Amendment rights.

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