A minority of upstate legislators have introduced legislation to remove all of upstate NY from the protections of the NY SAFE Act. State Senators Robert Ortt and Patrick Gallivan introduced legislation to repeal the SAFE Act law everywhere in New York State except New York City.
We question why upstate should be treated any differently than New York City when it comes to gun safety legislation? Why should our children and grandchildren be exposed to the risks of gun violence in their homes, schools and at play?
Every reliable study on this issue has demonstrated, beyond dispute, that more guns equals more gun violence and that effective gun laws equates to less gun violence and fewer gun deaths in our communities.
You will recall that NY SAFE was enacted with overwhelming support by a large bi-partisan coalition of state legislators and to date, we have not heard any legislator publicly convey regret that they voted in support of the Act.
The SAFE Act has been upheld in every court that has heard a case involving the Act. In fact, the US Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal of a case challenging similar gun-safety-legislation in the State of Connecticut.
The most recent poll from Siena College shows that statewide the SAFE Act is supported by 60% of registered voters. And, despite the dissemination of “alternative facts”, each of the individual components of the SAFE Act receives overwhelming support from upstate voters. Background checks for all gun sales (81%); revocation of pistol permits for domestic orders of protection (78%); five-year pistol permit renewals (82%); assault-weapon ban (67%); ammunition background checks (56%); and limiting high-capacity magazines (52%).
It is also noteworthy that because of the low overall gun ownership across New York State (18%) and the SAFE Act, New York has the 3rd lowest gun death rate in the country despite a population of nearly 20 million people and more than 80 million visitors annually.
Moreover, in the grand scheme of things most New Yorkers are not overly concerned with debating the SAFE Act. Upstate voters, like the rest of the state, are more focused on education, the economy and jobs than opposing the SAFE Act. The Siena college poll referenced above shows that the issues motivating upstate voters are largely economic – 13% cite jobs, 12% each for taxes and education; less than 1% mention guns or the SAFE Act.
Legislators are being disingenuous when they assert that the SAFE Act is overwhelmingly opposed upstate.
New Yorkers, including those of us upstate, stand strong with the 90% of Americans who support basic and common sense gun safety laws, like our NY SAFE Act.
Patricia Tuz – Capital Region
Paul McQuillen – Buffalo
Gary Pudup – Rochester
Alexandra Dubroff – Hudson Valley
New Yorkers Against Gun Violence