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A year later, most oppose NY SAFE Act

Rochester Business Journal
January 24, 2014

Most respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll—62 percent—oppose the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act.

Jan. 15 marked one year since enactment of the NY SAFE Act. Touted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as the strictest gun-control law in the nation, the measure was proposed, passed and signed into law in the weeks after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., and the murder of two volunteer firefighters in Webster.

The law has a wide range of provisions, including a ban on magazines with more than 10 rounds; creation of a registry of assault weapons; background checks for nearly all gun sales, including those by private sellers; a requirement that handgun permit holders and assault weapon owners renew their registrations every five years; and stiffer sentences for gun crimes.

Critics of the law argue, among other things, that it unconstitutionally restricts civil liberties and is hard to enforce. Supporters say it was a necessary step to help protect New Yorkers against gun violence.

More than half of the poll respondents—some 53 percent—say the law should be repealed. Nearly 30 percent say changes are needed to improve the law, and 18 percent say it should stand as is.

The poll results are similar to those from March 2013, when the same question was asked and 61 percent of respondents opposed the law.

Roughly 1,080 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted Jan. 20 and 21.

Do you support or oppose the NY SAFE Act?
Support: 38%
Oppose: 62%

Which of the following best represents your view of the NY SAFE Act?
The law should remain as currently written: 18%
Changes are needed to improve the law: 29%
The law should be repealed: 53%


There is nothing in this law that has any impact on those who commit crimes in New York State. By definition, they are criminals who don’t obey our laws anyway. Rather, the onus has fallen on individual law-abiding gun owners, the businesses and manufacturers who make up the gun industry in New York, and the public employees at the local, county and state level charged with administering this fiasco. A case study for the unintended consequences of midnight madness.
—Andrea Graham

No rational person can deny that the very high level of gun violence in this country (as compared with other Western developed nations) is related to the easy availability of all types of firearms. As much as I support our New York gun control laws, I acknowledge that until we have rational gun control laws on a national basis, we will gain little because our state borders are so porous. But until we achieve good laws on a national basis, we have to do what we can on a state basis.
—Paul E. Haney

I don’t believe the SAFE Act will prevent criminals from obtaining weapons illegally. What difference will it make if a magazine can only hold six rounds, instead of 10? That won’t put an end to gun violence.
—Deborah Emerson

I support any reasonable gun control. I believe that we can make this country safer, without compromising the rights of responsible hunters such as my two sons.
—Emily Neece

The governor should not be allowed to force any law through without public opinion and possibly a public vote for this type of law. He has alienated and made many decent law-abiding citizens criminals. His most recent comments have just proven his true being, and his “I can do what I want” attitude should not be tolerated.
—Eric Sanford, University of Rochester

The things in this law are not only unconstitutional, they are downright stupid. This law was ill-conceived by people who don’t know anything about firearms. It was also a knee-jerk reaction to the lone act of a psychopath. This law is a travesty of politics run amok and should be repealed immediately. If it isn’t, this is one person that will eventually leave this state for one that recognizes personal freedoms and the U.S. Constitution.
—David Wagner

The law is based on perceptions and life experiences. Upstate, people use guns in their lives; whereas downstate, people seldom use guns. Upstate people are constantly being guided and controlled by downstate lifestyles. It’s costly, and not the American way.
—John Sackett  

It’s ironic that we have many laws that regulate potentially dangerous items (e.g. vehicles, swimming pools, chemicals, etc.) and no one gets excited about the public “losing their rights.” I suspect the reason is the vast majority of us realize the law or regulation is for the greater good. The gun lobby and gun manufacturers want total freedom when it comes to guns of any type or size, regardless of the tragic impact it may have on society. Although the N.Y. SAFE Act may be imperfect, it sure is a step in the right direction, i.e., a law attempting to protect innocent citizens from guns that are meant to kill as many people as possible.
—Peter Bonenfant

New York already had some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. The laws don’t stop the bad guys from doing bad things. SAFE was a political move made with the blood of innocent children fresh in our memory. When they outlaw guns all together, only the outlaws will have them.
—David Fiegel, Blackbird Asset Services, Williamsville

I find it interesting that Cuomo, who cowardly pushed this anti-Second Amendment legislation through the equally cowardly New York State Legislature in the dark of night last year without public debate, is most recently saying that New Yorkers with an “extreme conservative” point of view that differ with his left-wing agenda are now “not welcome in New York.” Really, Andy? And you want to be president?
—Mike Charland, Webster

The worst part of this law is that it creates a huge population of law-abiding people who will become felons and be guilty of misdemeanors for owning an object that was legal to own prior to the law and them immediately illegal. There are serious Second Amendment issues, property rights issues, logistic issues, budgetary issues, none of which were addressed when this poorly written law was jammed through in the middle of the night, without proper discussion.
—Daniel Guth

While I’m not a gun enthusiast, I do respect the rights and privileges of those who are. The only good I have seen this law cultivate is angering those who are law-abiding citizens. Now that hunters need to register with a “state database” in order to purchase hunting ammo, I’m curious how many hunters will call it quits this year, tired of more bureaucracy, and how much will that cause fatal deer accidents to increase.
—Michael Lawrence

Gun owners are, for the most part, law-abiding citizens who keep and bear arms for hunting and personal protection. This law was a knee-jerk, feel-good reaction to the Newtown, Conn., shootings and a prime example of ramming legislation down our throats without due process. This law also does nothing to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. So much for our constitutional right to bear arms.
—Frances Reese

The SAFE Act was ill-conceived and passed in the middle of the night. It does nothing to reduce crime. It imposed onerous new regulations on law-abiding gun owners, and nothing more. Do we want New York to become like Chicago? No privately owned guns allowed, and the highest crime and murder rate in the U.S. (because only the bad guys have guns)? SAFE is Cuomo grandstanding at its finest! It needs to be discarded into the trash bin of history, as does our governor.
—George Thomas, Ogden

Chicago has one of the strictest gun control laws, yet it has one of the highest rates of gun violence and murder. New York City should have a much higher rate of gun violence and murder, but it has "stop and frisk," which Chicago doesn't. The N.Y. Safe Act was another feel-good, unconstitutional bill ram-rodded through the legislature by the Cuomo administration. We need to be very careful of the Constitutional freedoms we give up or in the words of Benjamin Franklin: "They, who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
—Clifford Jacobson M.D, Vanguard Psychiatric Services

I support gun laws that make sense and actually put people that commit crimes with guns in jail. Laws that don't allow these same people to plea-bargain to lesser crimes and are back on the streets in short order. Laws that keep the crazies from getting guns. And laws that aren't politically motivated like the SAFE Act that doesn't change anything for those who want to shoot people. I don't mind background checks and waiting periods and have personally gone through them many times when buying guns. No issue with that. However, I personally believe that isn't going to solve the problems. I do believe we need laws that go after people that carelessly leave their guns lying around making it easy for the "wrong" people to take them and commit murders or have deadly accidents. Cuomo acted too hastily because he was politically driven. My sense of this law is that he and the people that helped him create the SAFE Act know little about guns and gun sports. He needs to put together a coalition of every day sportsman instead of overpaid politicians that support lawful gun ownership and let them help his government create sensible laws. Keep the NRA out of it. If they had their way, we would all return to the Wild West days in which we all walked around with guns strapped to our butts ready to shoot at a moment’s notice.
—Grant Osman

This is an egregious violation of our rights by a bunch of progressive hacks! The SAFE Act has one goal—control. Now that Gov. Cuomo has made it clear (by his remarks) that anyone who does not agree with the progressive agenda is not welcome in New York State, it's time for people to move away. Gov. Cuomo is the sleeping captain of the RMS Titanic, and we all know how that story ends: “Iceberg, right ahead.”
—Joseph Dattilo

Why does anyone really need a gun? The world would be quite different (without) guns.
—Cathy Ames

The N.Y. SAFE Act improves public safety and health. Any changes should only be minor to eliminate any ambiguity in the law for straightforward enforcement. The N.Y. SAFE Act doesn't weaken the Second Amendment, it strengthens it!
—Art Maurer

We must retain the right to bear arms not necessarily automatic armor piercing weaponry but still I should be allowed to have a rifle or hand gun and if I were a hunter the necessary tools for my passion or need for survival and not need to give a blood sample to do so. We need to be smarter about this if someone wants to shoot down a bunch of people, which is currently unlawful, what makes any one think they won’t find their weapon of choice and use it. Really, Mr. Lawmaker, get a grip.
—David DeMallie

It is impossible for every citizen to have unlimited rights without infringing the rights of other citizens. Each of the amendments has been limited in some way. The Second Amendment is no different. Opponents of gun control are selfish in their demands, since they are not taking into account the needs and desires of other citizens. Lobbying efforts backed by large amounts of money and intimidation of our legislators has prevented the government from compiling an accurate accounting of the number of people killed or seriously wounded in gun violence—whether intentional or accidental. Repeated arguments about the need of homeowners to be armed for protection simply increases paranoid and unrealistic fears. We are all at risk.
—Lola Kelly

The only thing the SAFE Act will ever prevent is legal gun owners from enjoying their passions—hunting, target shooting, etc. The war on guns is about as affective as the war on drugs; criminals will always find ways to get what they want.
—Mark Wahl

Assault weapons need to be removed from our society, period. They're built for but one use, to assault other people!
—Al Carey, Carestream

Progressivism is deconstruction in disguise.
—Steve Wichtowski, Honeoye

It is only a matter of time before the courts correct the problem that ignorant politicians rammed down NYers throats. Hopefully they will be unemployed when that happens.
—J. Dobbs, Rochester

Laws should never be passed under the dark of night and certainly not before elected officials read the proposed legislation. It is an abdication of duty to do so particularly when the new law flies in the face of rights protected by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Will Free Speech be next if those in Albany disagree with dissenting opinion (see Gov. Cuomo's recent speech saying "extreme conservatives" have no place in New York). All voters should be concerned about the dysfunction in Albany and should "retire" those who so readily trade our freedoms for political convenience come Election Day.
—C. Benedict

Cuomo seems to write laws that are created from whatever the winds are blowing without much thought. The law punishes law abiding citizens and not criminals.
—Dan Zarpentine

This law only restricts law-abiding citizens. A gun is a gun, and no matter where you have a pistol grip or how many shells you can load in a magazine, it doesn't matter. You are restricted to seven from nine or 10; no problem. Carry three or more magazines, you'll be in compliance. It won't matter to the criminal. The right to bear arms was so important to our founders, it followed our right to free speech. Those men who wrote our Constitution were educated men who were well aware of the advancements of weapons throughout the ages and did not word our rights with restriction.
—Nigel Heaton

The SAFE Act is just another public relations scam by Cuomo and the other know-nothing politicians to try to make people think they care. Meantime, existing laws related to dangerous weapons and other acts of violence go unenforced. People who choose to kill others will continue to do so. The SAFE Act should be replaced with a law that simply says murder is illegal. Therefore we can all feel good that murder will be eliminated!
—Jim Weisbeck, Bloomfield  

The law should be repealed. Its creators were biased, created it on a napkin at a meeting of their choice. There is no doubt that there needs to be change. My Second Amendment rights are mine, and politicians—crooks like (Sheldon) Silver, (Gov. Andrew) Cuomo, (Dean) Skelos, (Sen. Charles) Schumer, (Sen. Kirsten) Gillibrand, (David) Gantt—have no right to make laws to take them away. The whole law needs to be repealed and rewritten.
—Bill Lansing  

There have been all kinds of well conducted academic studies that show that areas with tight gun restrictions have more gun crime (only criminals have guns). The SAFE Act is an abomination— it will achieve nothing but being an incredible hassle for law-abiding citizens. Criminals and crazies will still get their guns and do their mayhem. And anything passed in the dark of night is the mark of a deceptive tyrant.
—Bob Worden, Penn Yan

What kind of bonehead would pass a law in the middle of the night because it was an emergency. He seems to think he is Mr. Executive Order and can pass whatever law he wants. I wear a hat that says, “Cuomo must go.”
—Daniel Mossien, architect

Something is wrong with legislation that is passed in the dark of night without a full, open public discussion! Even the sponsors of this bill didn't know exactly what was in it, were misinformed as to what constituted “automatic” or “magazines” and had no idea how the law could actually be enforced. I suspect they haven't read the Constitution, either! Shades of Nancy Pelosi and her, “We'll just have to pass it to find out what's in it.” There does not appear to be any due diligence and transparency required when it comes to Cuomo's administration! But can we expect any less from a governor who thinks freedom and liberty minded conservatives who believe in less government should leave the state? And we thought that Cuomo should be the governor for all the citizens of New York!
—Keith B. Robinson, Diamond Packaging  

The benefits of private ownership of assault weapons and magazines with more than 10 bullets are far outweighed by the instances of harm caused by these weapons. It's also time to be honest about the Second Amendment. It came about to oppose or control a tyrannical government. Unless private ownership of nuclear weapons is established, our government cannot be controlled by force. So the second amendment has outlived its original purpose. I am only addressing the present justification for small arms, not the fact that they are permitted, and probably should continue to be.
—David Rubin

This legislation does absolutely nothing to make anyone safer. It is mindless knee-jerk reaction of a group of legislator's whose ignorance and narcissism far exceed their knowledge of firearms and their proper and safe usage by law-abiding individuals who are, by law, allowed to possess and use them for their own pleasures and personal protection. These inane provisions of the so-called “Safe Act”—create a new class of “criminal”—previously law-abiding citizens, whose only “crime” is to choose to participate in a hobby or pastime that involves the use of legal firearms. This entire piece of legislation will be thrown out as unconstitutional.
—William Rogers, retired firefighter

This law did nothing to protect anyone in New York. I truly wish it had. Among numerous egregious actions, it banned a whole class of semi-automatic rifles based on a created definition of "assault weapons.” As with many other laws, this will not impede criminals from attaining firearms or committing crimes, no more than outlawing drugs has stopped people from getting them. However, unlike drugs, firearms are protected by our Second Amendment and necessary for protection. Can anyone truly say that had this law been enacted in Connecticut prior to the Sandy Hook tragedy it would have stopped it from happening? Would a person intent on massacre, be in any way deterred by the fact that owning the weapon is illegal? At best, an argument can be made that the weapons would be harder to attain, but the reality is that due to the number of weapons that exist and the inability for law enforcement to regulate them, they will remain easy to attain. Let's assume for a moment that the SAFE Act does make it harder for someone to attain these weapons. At what cost? You have now disarmed the populace of their most commonly used rifles for the sake of hopefully making it slightly more difficult for potential mass murderer to attain. But they will happen just the same. Also, think of how much more confidence you’ve given criminals by assuring them you have removed these weapons from law-abiding citizens. And then there is the more dire fact that if we were able to snap our fingers and make these weapons disappear from planet Earth, mass murders will continue to happen through various other means and weapons. Guns play an enormous role in our world, and rightfully so, because evil still exists in the absence of guns, and without guns, people are at the mercy of those who are physically superior or just plain meaner and wish to impose their will on others. We had a world without guns for thousands of years and history showed quite consistently that it was brutal and violent. Guns certainly didn't end this violence but I would argue that it did limit the violence and certainly helped create equality between those who wish to do harm and those wishing to live peaceful life. Please try and remove the emotion and make a logical decision based on facts. In closing, consider this: More people die year to year in boating accidents than in mass murders, but no one is taking a stance on outlawing boats. It may seem like a ridiculous argument on the surface but it is very valid question I challenge you to ask yourself. Boating is a recreational activity that is certainly not protected by the Constitution and does nothing to protect our society, yet is very deadly. Why not outlaw this, as opposed to a class of firearms that are protected by the Constitution and necessary for a free country? Please lead and vote using facts and critical thinking and not wishful thinking and emotion. These are not easy questions or problems to solve and I implore both sides to respect the difficulty in coming to consensus on them and take the most serious and respectful approach in addressing them.
—Gregory M. Moore

"Assault weapon" ban is indiscriminate and outlaws many of the most popular firearms used in marksmanship competition and taking them out of the hands of sportsmen will not improve safety of schoolchildren. Beyond that, it outlaws certain firearms (as an example, a .22 caliber, semiautomatic target rifle with a thumb-hole stock and muzzle brake) that are used only in target shooting and have likely never been implicated in a crime. More generally, with any right, Second Amendment included, comes responsibility, but there needs to be, at a minimum, an arguable direct link between new prohibitions—and, especially, the creation of new crimes—and a substantial improvement in public safety. This is NEVER the case with laws whose only effect is to inconvenience law-abiding citizens.
—Peter Samek

Rifles I legally owned cannot be passed down. I've spent thousands for magazines and accessories that are now arbitrarily ruled illegal. I cannot find 10-round magazines for many of the rifles I own; they are not made by anyone (try finding a 10-round for a Sterling Mk6. SAFE Act impacts historic firearms and many WW2 rifles are now considered "assault weapons." For example , only here in New York is an SVT40 considered an AW. The new ammunition law is insane; 52 New York counties have passed resolutions against the SAFE Act. Majority of law enforcement have spoken out against the law. SAFE Act restricts only the law-abiding and is forcing people and companies to leave the state. Finally, the criminals will never comply with this.
—Mike Peters

I support the U.S. Constitution including the bill of rights. I will never support any law passed in the middle of the night without having been read by any of the lawmakers voting on it. I guess the governor wants me out of the state for these extreme conservative views.
—George Dounce

I was a big fan of Gov. Cuomo until he forced through this law. Pure politics over good policy, exploiting a tragedy to grind his own axe—does nothing to make us "safer" and further gets government in the way in a state that already had the strictest gun laws in the country. President Cuomo? I think not.
—Duane Piede

Feb. 13, 2013, my Executive Committee adopted a resolution that strongly condemned the New York State SAFE Act. As this law impinges upon the right of a citizen of the United States of America to “keep and bear arms,” we unanimously approved the resolution that was read to the Ontario County Board of Supervisors. The SAFE Act is a sham that only serves to attempt to disarm law-abiding citizen without address how to control weapons and firearms used by criminals. I have yet to hear of a single criminal who has complied with ANY gun control legislation from any level of government. Limiting magazine capacity is a farce, arbitrarily classifying some weapons as assault weapons and requiring background checks on every purchase of ammunition will not and has not restrained criminals but instead has harmed law abiding citizens. My party wants to see New Yorkers vote out of office every representative who voted for the law and want to see the governor too, voted out of office.
—Michael F. Kloppel, chairman, Ontario County Conservative Party

I agree with requiring 100 percent background checks when purchasing guns at a public or private sale. I also agree with the need to halt illegal sale of guns. However, I strongly oppose all other aspects of the law as the focus needs to be on stopping criminals and people who have serious mental and emotional health problems from buying guns and not on the guns themselves. All other aspects of the current law are irrational fears of the people who passed this law and infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners in New York State. If this law is a good example of what the governor and state legislators can do for the people of New York State, this state is in big trouble. New York State is losing population and investors for a variety of reasons, high taxes on the middle class being just one of them. We have historically been a state of people who take initiative and look after themselves and their communities. This law takes responsibility away from good and responsible people and gives it to the state government. That is wrong. It is time for the citizens of New York State to demand that this obnoxious law either be repealed or substantially changed. If this does not happen in the next election those people who oppose the SAFE Act as written should leave the state as the state does not reflect the values of responsible people who desire to look after themselves, their families and communities rather than looking to government to tell them what they can and cannot do.
—Doug Flood

The secretive, middle-of-the-night way in which this bill was passed illustrates that this law does not represent the beliefs of the majority of the people.
—Frank Gerham Jr.

Purely an "I-want-to-be-president" political chip thrown in the pot by Prince Andy Cuomo.
—Jim Kinney

Very poorly written questions. I oppose parts of the law and support other parts. The seven-round magazine limit needs to be repealed. Small amounts of ammunition sales shouldn’t need background checks. Private gun sales should be background checked.
—Steve Lipson

We need to keep funding in place for the mentally ill instead of blaming good citizens and trashing the Second Amendment!
—Carl LeClair

While certain portions of the SAFE Act appear to be well intentioned, the manner in which it was forced through overshadows any good it may have done. There are too many flaws. It needs to be repealed in its entirety. A law with regards to first responders should then be written independently, perhaps in the name of the heroes who have died in the line of duty. This law has done nothing to make upstate any safer, and the facts of that are very clear in the governors own statistics.
—Daniel Wegman II

Like any piece of legislation, this law is probably not perfect. But it goes a long way toward curbing the madness of American unlimited gun ownership. The NRA does a great job in framing the opposition as "taking away Americans gun rights and opposing the Fourth Amendment." This law does none of that, but rather imposes realistic limits on what kinds of weapons every citizen has a reasonable right to own. No serious hunter needs an assault weapon or a multiple round magazine. To do so would change the "sport" of hunting into a slaughter.
—Alan Ziegler, Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation

“King” Cuomo recently made statements that are extremely disturbing. He basically told all people who do not agree with his policies to leave the state: "There is no place in NYS for you." Just change his use of the word “conservative” to anything else, such as “Jew,” “Christian,” “black,” “white,” “gay,” etc. The Cuomo has brought us within inches of the next Progromme. He is himself an "extremist," and he has the nerve to call others extreme! The Cuomo…Feh!
—Alan Chwick, editor, Nassau County News Flash

The N.Y. SAFE Act is poorly written legislation that completely ignores the problems to be solved. The law applies, too, and only affects those who legally own weapons. Meanwhile, deaths occur across the state daily committed by those who ignore most if not all laws. Those who are responsibly trained and licensed owners of weapons are ridiculed by self-serving media, obliged to interpret the vagaries of the law as to the number of cartridges in a clip, and worry as to any action under which their expensive investment may be confiscated while criminals continue to kill and injure. If as much effort was put into addressing the real issues of mental health, culture and poverty, as in harassing law abiding gun owners, there is a better chance of saving lives. Now I discover that my beliefs may label me as a person that after 40 years of living in New York State is no longer welcome. Interesting that I seem to fall into the same category as a B. Thomas Golisano who departed while disputing taxes, taking away one of our greatest philanthropists or Rush Limbaugh leaving New York City as a broadcast entertainer who turned the business of AM-terrestrial radio around. I am certainly not in their league, but then years have passed and they are now coming for the rest of us! It is sad that New York State is ruled rather than governed according to the Constitution and that the citizens refuse the concepts of independence, responsibility, entrepreneurial and informed critical thinking.
—R. Scott

If the government succeeds at "controlling" our firearms, how then are we to defend ourselves against the excesses of a tyrannical government?
—Tom Shea, Thomas P. Shea Agency Inc.

This constant assault by those who would try to control us must stop. Their constant attempt to remove weapons of self-defense from the citizens of this country is nothing more than an attempt to weaken the citizens and leave us at their mercy.
—Curtis Adams, Wild Steed Worx & Services

It is an abomination that the state is restricting the rights of its citizens to defend themselves. It is our right under the constitution the we the people have the right to bear arms and raise a militia. Delinquents on the streets possess illegal and stronger firearms than the ethical citizen in society. I do not think this is a fair way of life.
—Andrew Pietropaolo, Hunter Machine Inc.

The law infringes on the Second Amendment and makes law-abiding citizens into felons overnight. It was passed, in a 20-minute "Message of Necessity" session in the middle of the night where arms were twisted and pressure applied. It does nothing to apprehend real criminals and exposes mental health records, in violation of the HIPAA laws, to the State Police. It raises the cost of ammunition if the ammo-background checks are enacted. It makes the weak more vulnerable and women, who may want a self-defense weapon, but need medication for PTSD, won't be able to get it. Expensive and burdensome. Unconstitutional. Repeal it.
—Leah Davis

The law does nothing to prevent crime. In fact, it places law-abiding persons at a disadvantage to criminals by limiting one's ability to defend him/herself. It's unconstitutional and immoral.
—Jim Arendt, Shiners Floor Care Inc.

New York State needs only to enforce the laws that are currently in place and stop their posturing for their own political agenda. They work for us; we don't work for them.
—Robert Mannix, Macedon

This law represents all that is wrong with the New York State legislature. It was poorly thought out, written by people who were clearly unknowledgeable about firearms (seven-round clips?), and rushed to passage without any public discussion (does the old smoke-filled room sound familiar to anyone)? It is puffery and needs some serious attention. That said, I certainly like the fact that anyone caught with an illegal gun now faces felony charges. As for the whole assault weapon ban and registration of ARs, why? When only a tiny, tiny percentage of crime is committed with these firearms, what's the real reason for this specific aspect of the law? All provisions like that really do is drive businesses from the state (we already lost two and Remington is on the fence). Do I feel more S.A.F.E? I'd feel safer if we could get together regionally, or even nationally, to prevent illegal guns from ending up in the hands of criminals. But last I looked most of the law isn't aimed that way, but rather at the law-abiding. Do I hear presidential ambitions, or appeals to the party's whacked outside? Hmmm. Thought so.
—Bob Fischl

Unconstitutional legislation passed in the middle of the night by a Socialist Nazi who bullies the legislature to get his own way. The legislature didn't even have time to read what they were voting on, that's why they had so many “fixes” shortly after passage. We have federal NICS checks when we purchase a firearm from a federal firearms license dealer. We don't need New York State background checks to by ammunition. That is just “Adolph” Cuomo's way of making it harder and more expensive to purchase ammo. The pistol permits do need to be renewed every five years. If we are arrested, at any time, they check for permits and suspend or revoke them until legal issues are completed. The definition of an “assault weapon” cannot just be an arbitrary set of words thrown on a piece of paper. If that is allowed then any firearm could be named an “assault weapon” based just on the fact that a crime committed with a firearm is an assault. Registration of firearms is required for only one thing—confiscation. They say “We The People” cannot have a “high capacity” magazine. There are, at least, two things wrong with that statement. First: If a manufacturer produces a magazine for a firearm, regardless of capacity, that is the standard capacity magazine for that firearm. Whether it is six, seven, 10, 15, 17, 19, 20, 30, 60 or 100 rounds, that IS the standard capacity. Second: The criminals don't care what law is passed. They will keep their magazines at full capacity. If they come at me with 30 rounds and I have only seven, or 10, how is that giving me an even chance? What part of "shall not be infringed" do they not seem to understand. I served in the US Army for more than 20 years. During that entire time, not one person stood up and said I cannot have that assault weapon. A true assault weapon because it is capable of firing in a fully automatic mode. Now that I have retired from active duty I am deemed not responsible enough to own a semi-automatic lookalike of that assault weapon. Not one of my firearms has EVER been used in an offensive or defensive mode against another human being. Therefore, not one of my firearms is a weapon. "Not all firearms are weapons; and, not all weapons are firearms" –Unknown. I could go on for days. That's the view from my side of the fence.
—Mark Houghtaling, U.S. Army, Retired

I will not comply.
—David Givens, Owego

The change that is needed in the law, not restrict the amount of bullets that a law enforcement officer can have in his/her weapon.
—Stu Porter

When making a choice between the Second Amendment and one of the Ten Commandments, I'll opt for the latter.
—Ken Maher

The N.Y SAFE Act needs to be repealed as it is just another example of government run amuck. This law was passed in secret in the middle of the night by law makers that did not even read it. Sound familiar? See Obamacare. Due to Gov. Cuomo's Message of Necessity, the law did not receive the proper three day public review and debate that most laws receive. Due to the path that Gov. Cuomo took, we now have a very badly written law that has made criminals out of law abiding citizens and the vast majority of this law does nothing to keep us safer or work to put and keep criminals behind bars. Fifty-two counties and 335 municipalities have passed resolutions opposing the SAFE Act. Many State agencies have written to the governor regarding bad parts of this law and the unfunded mandates that the tax paying public will end up paying. If you agree with this law and how it was passed please remember that the Message of Necessity can be used by Gov. Cuomo to take away other rights that you may hold near and dear.
—Barry Alt

It is our individual God-given right to keep and bear arms in order to keep all forms of tyranny small or large, from restricting our freedoms given by God himself. It is preferable to not have violently oppose tyranny. But it is everyone's duty to be ready for such a time so there can be liberty and justice for all.
—Daniel Jacobs

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

What You're Saying 

michael thornton at 8:17:36 PM on 1/24/2014
I am not a gun fan. Yet this new law seems to do little or anything to lock up those who commit crimes with guns. Any criminal convicted of a crime using a gun should get at least five years prison time. Guns kill, and the penalties for using them illegally should be harsh. ...  Read More >
john impellizzeri at 10:42:30 PM on 1/24/2014
This is in response to Miss Lola Kelly: I think you would have a completely different outlook on keeping, owning and using firearms as a moral and law-abiding member of society if, God forbid, you were a victim of a crime at gunpoint. There will always be bad people looking ...  Read More >
Barry Hirsh at 3:30:12 PM on 1/25/2014
"[I]t was a necessary step to help protect New Yorkers against gun violence."

Liberty comes first. Security comes SECOND.

Any "protecting" the government does must happen within the constraints of Constitution limitations.

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