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NY Senate Republicans pass SAFE Act reforms

Posted 8 June 2015 at 12:00 am

Press Release, State Sen. Robert Ortt

State Senator Rob Ortt (R-North Tonawanda) today joined his Senate Republican colleagues in passing a series of reforms (S5837) to the controversial NY-SAFE Act.

The legislation includes reforms that relate to transferring certain firearms to family members, reporting mental health issues, gun licensing applications and licensing recertification processes. The bill would also repeal a provision of the SAFE Act that requires a background check for a person purchasing ammunition. This is known as the ammunition database.

“I commend our new Senate Majority Leader, John Flanagan, for not only listening to the needs of Upstate citizens and representatives, but in responding to them,” Ortt said. “I urge the Assembly Democrats and the Governor to fight criminals, not guns.”

Since January, Ortt has sponsored eight bills to eliminate, or roll back some requirements of the NY-SAFE Act. Sen. Ortt says these reforms are a big step in the right direction.

“Today, the State Senate took a major step forward in restoring the rights of 2nd Amendment supporters and protecting our Constitution,” Ortt said. “The ‘SAFE Act’ was signed into law over two years ago, before I was elected to the State Senate, but rolling back and repealing this law has been my priority since coming to our state capital. The SAFE Act was supposed to be full of common-sense measures that never made any sense. It was rushed through both houses of the legislature in the dead of the night. It made criminals out of law-abiding citizens and infringed on constitutional freedoms, while doing absolutely nothing to protect New Yorkers. By rolling back elements of the SAFE Act, we’re restoring the rights ingrained in our nation and preserved by our Constitution.”

Amendments to the SAFE Act are as follows:

Full repeal of the ammunition database;

Authorize the inheritance of a registered assault weapon from the deceased to an immediate family member holding a valid New York State gun license. That family member would be required to undergo a background check;

Prevent public disclosure of personal information contained on firearms licenses applications. Currently, information on gun licenses is public, unless the gun owner opts to make information private;

Stronger due process provisions, requiring notification if someone is placed on any list alleging mental health concerns that could affect their right to own firearms. Right now, a person can be referred to authorities without their knowledge if they seek treatment for something as simple as insomnia;

Restoring responsibility to our local County Clerks to oversee handgun recertification, and shifting control of New York’s pistol permit database away from the State Police to an administrative, non-law enforcement agency.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.