St.Lawrence became the 48th of sixty-two counties have either passed or have pending resolutions in opposition to the law. Tonight's resolution now moves to the full board scheduled for next week.
About 100 citizens came out to speak out against the controversial law. Arguments against the bill varied between the SAFE Act's infringement on the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to Governor Cuomo's "measure of necessity" enacted to push the bill through without public input.
Other speakers appealed to the legislators' oath to support and defend the Constitution on behalf of the citizens they were elected to represent. Farmers, veterans, hunters, young adults, retirees, rmen and women were all universal in their rejection of the SAFE Act. There was not a single speaker that came out in favor of Governor Cuomo's gun control law.
The original resolution was drafted by a committee of legislators including Dan Parker (R-Potsdam), Sallie Brothers (D-Norfolk) and introduced to the board by Joe Lightfoot (R-Ogdensburg).
The debate among the legislators included whether to draft the final resolution on the principles of the 2nd Amendment and to reflect the voices of the citizens that came to speak or to focus on language that would get the attention of lawmakers in Albany.
Pointing out the population difference between downstate and the North Country and the margins by which the law passed, some of the legislators said there was no chance to see a repeal of the law. While others wanted the resolution to include strong language calling for the SAFE Act's repeal.
Mark Akins (R-Lisbon), on the other hand, wanted to simply "say what we think" and call for the law's repeal. Legislator Kevin Acres (R-Madrid) proposed an amendment to the resolution that would thank the state representatives that voted against the law while asking for those who voted for the SAFE Act to reverse their decision. "To hold them accountable" he explained.
The debate, citizen participation, amendments proposed and voted on lasted over two hours, but the resolution finally passed.
Twenty-one other counties in NY have similar resolutions pending. Most of those are expected to pass handily The New York Association of Counties and the NY Association of County Clerks have also passed resolutions in opposition to the restrictive gun control law as has the NY State Sheriffs' Association.
The sheriffs of Dutchess, Saratoga, Erie, Schuyler, and Steuben counties has all made statements rejecting all or part of the SAFE Act. Albany has also received resolutions from sixteen municipalities from around the state seeking the law's repeal.
There is a "2nd Amendment - Civil Rights" rally scheduled in Albany on Feb 28 which is expected to bring out at least 10,000 people against the SAFE Act.
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