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Hawley: Federal court infringes on gun rights with SAFE Act decision

Staff Reports Posted 20 October 2015 at 12:00 am

A day after a federal court upheld most of provisions of the controversial gun control law known as the SAFE Act, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, has issued a statement saying the court infringes on the rights of gun owners.

The SAFE Act was passed in January 2013, after the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., when 20 first-graders and six educators were killed when 154 rounds were fired in less than 5 minutes.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said the main parts of the SAFE Act did not violate the Second Amendment because of the relationship between bans on assault weapons with large-capacity magazines and controlling crime.

Hawley issued this statement:

“I am deeply disappointed in the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals’ Second Circuit to uphold the core provisions of the NY SAFE Act. This legislation infringes on the constitutional rights of gun owners across New York State and is clearly unconstitutional. My district alone is filled with thousands of law-abiding citizens with firearm ownership as part of their family’s traditions. This law disrespects their way of life and hinders their ability to defend themselves in the unfortunate event of a burglary or break-in.

“Aside from the facts that this law is arbitrary to a fault and lacks the enforcement mechanisms to make it effective, the process by which it was passed through the Legislature is deeply troubling. The SAFE Act was passed under cover of darkness on one of the first days of the legislative session, and I can attest to the fact that few members of the Legislature had even read the bill before it was voted upon.

“As lawmakers, we are supposed to hold transparency and accountability in the highest magnitude. The SAFE Act was forced through the legislative process with complete and utter disregard for these objectives and should be repealed immediately. I will continue to sponsor legislation that repeals this unconstitutional measure and places integrity above political ambition.”