Will the SAFE Act Be Repealed?


by Sharon Rondeau

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the SAFE Act on January 15, 2013, a month after a mentally-ill man reportedly barged into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 first-graders and six educators, then himself.

(May 26, 2013) — As The Post & Email reported, on May 21, a march was held in Albany to protest the passage of New York State’s SAFE Act, which was passed on January 14 of this year in reaction to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14, 2012.

The law was passed after the customary public comment period was bypassed by the governor, who cited exigent circumstances which were challenged in court shortly thereafter.

A bill has been proposed in the New York General Assembly with numerous co-sponsors to repeal the act, and some county governments have indicated support for repeal after writing a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo detailing their objections. Several sheriffs have said they will not enforce the SAFE Act.  Many county sheriffs have joined a lawsuit claiming that the SAFE Act is unconstitutional.

Some counties have opted not to take action as of this writing.

Two months after the law was passed, Cuomo ordered a temporary change which raised the seven-bullet limit to ten “at gun ranges and in competitions.”

Last week, a Dutchess County resident was arrested for driving without a license and having nine bullets in the magazine of his firearm, which exceeds the SAFE Act’s limit of seven bullets.  The district attorney in the case, Paul Czajka, refused to prosecute the charge.

On the same day as the march in Albany, Cuomo held a meeting which included at least two members of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association, one of whom reported that Cuomo attempted to threaten sheriffs with the “threat of personal and prolonged political attack should they continue to speak out” and removal from office.

County-level protests against the SAFE Act preceded the May 21 rally in Albany.

After neighboring Connecticut passed a new firearms law on April 4, gun manufacturers began making plans to leave the state, which has been a major manufacturer of firearms for more than a century.  Some have also left Colorado, which passed new legislation in March.

Some gun manufacturers stopped doing business with any New York governmental entities after the SAFE Act was passed.

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