Ortt, Hawley among state legislators pushing SAFE Act repeal outside NYC

Staff Reports Posted 1 March 2017 at 6:04 pm

Photo courtesy of David Godfrey, Niagara County legislator: Orleans County Lynne Johnson , Tom Reynolds (new president of NYS SCOPE) and Assemblymen Steve Hawley attend a news conference about repealing the SAFE Act outside New York City.

ALBANY – Two state legislators who represent Orleans County – State Sen. Rob Ortt and State Assemblyman Steve Hawley – were part of a news conference today calling for a repeal of the SAFE Act outside New York City.

Ortt (R-North Tonawanda) also was joined by State Sen. Jim Seward (R-Oneonta), Assemblyman Marc W. Butler (R-Newport) and other lawmakers and gun rights advocates to unveil legislation to repeal elements of the NY SAFE Act throughout the state except for the five boroughs of New York City.

Lawmakers are calling on both houses of the state legislature to reform several onerous measures of the gun control law in Upstate and on Long Island.

“New York City plays by its own rules on so many issues,” Ortt said in a statement. “It has its own regulations when it comes to ride-sharing services and minimum wage increases, so it only makes sense to let New York City progressives keep the SAFE Act and reform the law everywhere else. The divide in our state is clear and since the un-SAFE Act was signed into law, that divide has only deepened. Its sweeping overreach turned yesterday’s law-abiding citizens and sportsmen into today’s criminals. Separating gun regulations between New York City and the rest of the state will help to relieve the unnecessary burden placed on gun owners and begin to bridge the divide.”

Tom King, President of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, said, “I’m honored to join my friend and defender of the 2nd Amendment, State Senator Rob Ortt, in pushing for good, sensible proposals to defend New Yorkers and safeguard their constitutional rights. Rob ran for office as a combat veteran who took a strong stand against the SAFE Act. As a state Senator, he’s been a leader in putting forward common sense proposals to protect and restore our freedoms.”

Orleans County Legislator Lynne M. Johnson, R-Yates, also spoke at the news conference. She is a member of the Orleans County Shooters Committee on Political Education.

“Senator Ortt is taking the right steps to repeal the unconstitutional SAFE Act,” Johnson said. “An Act passed in the dark of night that proved to be an example of government at its worst. We must protect our right to keep and bear arms and not allow any infringement on this right. Senator Ortt is fighting for our constitutional rights, alongside his Niagara and Orleans County Legislatures and chapters of SCOPE.”

The proposed bill would keep the SAFE Act in New York City’s boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island.

The legislation would reverse elements of the SAFE Act including gun licensing recertification requirements, storage mandates, firearm seizures and registries, and information collected on gun owners.

Specifically, some of the measures include:

• Repealing the five-year recertification requirement for pistol permits;

• Fully repealing the ammunition database;

• Repealing the statewide License and Record Database that has not yet been implemented; and

• Authorizing the transfer of firearms, rifles, and shotguns to family members as part of an estate.

The bill was introduced in January.

Hawley (R-Batavia) also stated his support for repealing the SAFE Act outside of NYC.

“It is long beyond time for the unconstitutional SAFE Act to be repealed in Upstate New York,” Hawley said. “Setting aside the facts that this bill was passed secretively in the middle of the night and is in direct violation of the Second Amendment, upstate families and businesses are less safe because of this law. Unlike in New York City where police are readily available, upstate citizens deserve to be able to protect their families in the event of an intruder, especially in rural areas where law enforcement may be many miles away.”

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