The Erie County Legislature, led by the Minority Caucus, today became the largest county to vote for repeal of New York State's SAFE Act. The resolution, asking for full repeal of the law, passed the legislature in a 7-4 vote.
Democrat legislators Terry McCracken (Lancaster) and Thomas Loughran (Amherst) crossed the aisle and voted in favor of repeal.
"Today's resolution lets Albany know that Erie County remains a place in the state where one's Second Amendment rights are respected," said Minority Leader John Mills. "The SAFE Act lacked transparency, lacked input from constituents, and lacked common sense. Counties throughout New York State are in opposition to this bill. We are hopeful Albany will repeal, revisit and revise this bill so that we have legislation that doesn't infringe on the rights of legal gun owners."
The resolution was co-sponsored and introduced by Minority Leader Mills (Republican), Legislator Joseph Lorigo (Conservative), Legislator Kevin Hardwick (Republican), Legislator Edward Rath (Republican), and Legislator Lynne Dixon (Independent).
"I received hundreds of calls and emails in opposition to the SAFE Act from Erie County residents. Unfortunately, the state didn't allow residents that same opportunity," said Legislator Joseph Lorigo.."The law was jammed through Albany by executive legislative gimmicks and without input from New York State residents, leaving gun owners unsure of what this law actually means to them. It created more questions than answers and that's unacceptable."
"Reason and common sense is allowing the public to review legislation and give their input, that's democracy. Forcing through a bill in days is what we've come to expect in Albany. It's disappointing to me and the residents of New York State," said Legislator Edward Rath.
"I want to thank the community for all of their calls and emails over the past few days on our resolution in opposition to the SAFE act," said Legislator Kevin Hardwick. "I also want to thank those New York State legislators who stood up for the rights of law-abiding gun owners and voted against this legislation in Albany. It was the right thing to do and they should be applauded for taking a stand."
"We need to make sure the concerns of law enforcement officers and the general public are addressed. Repealing this law would allow our state leaders to address the problem and go after the real issues involving gun violence." said Legislator Lynne Dixon.
The resolution is largely symbolic - nobody believes the NY Safe Act will be repealed. Very little of the bill will be changed even in the amendment process, where mostly technical edits are being made. However, with nearly half of New York's 62 counties now calling for repeal, it sends a not-so-subtle message to Governor Andrew Cuomo that his gun control bill has cost him.