Local lawmakers bash ruling on SAFE Act

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Local politicians have voiced their displeasure with the recent ruling regarding the SAFE ACT.

The U. S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit has ruled that the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement act, which regulates the use and sale of semi-automatic firearms, is constitutional.

“The latest court ruling is not the final chapter in the legal process, and we will continue to oppose the SAFE Act until it is fully repealed because I believe our communities are not any safer as a result of this legislation,” State Senator Joseph Griffo, R-Rome, said.

Local members of the state assembly weighed in as well. Anthony Brindisi asked for respect of the state law.

“While many of the constituents I represent continue to find several of the SAFE Act provisions burdensome, we must respect the decision of the court,” Brindisi said. “The Appeals Court’s ruling yesterday comes as no great surprise; however, I am sure that there will be continuing challenges to its legality.”

“This law has stripped law-abiding New Yorkers of their fundamental constitutional freedoms and does nothing to cure the real problem of gun violence in New York,” Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R, C-New Hartford) said.

Tenney is hopeful the Supreme Court will rule against the SAFE ACT during an appeal.

“I expect that once this case goes to the Supreme Court that our Second Amendment rights will be upheld and much of this unconstitutional law will be overturned,” Tenney said.

Assemblyman Marc W. Butler (R, C-Newport) echoed Tenney’s sentiment.

“I am disappointed in the decision made by the U. S. Court of Appeals on the so-called SAFE Act, although we expected this (ruling) from this court,” Butler said.

The rights of gun owners still may have a chance, Butler said.

“I look forward to seeing this brought to the U. S. Supreme Court, which I believe will uphold our Second Amendment rights,” he said.

The court did rule that New York State’s ban on firearms which contain over seven rounds and Connecticut’s prohibition on non-semi-automatic Remington 7615 rifles are unconstitutional.

“Although I am glad to see that the seven-round limit has been deemed unconstitutional, the court’s decision to uphold the entirety of the remaining statute remains a clear violation of our Second Amendment rights,” Tenney said.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the law in January 2013 in response to the shooting of several students and teachers by a mentally ill individual at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012.

The act has come under fire from those who say it limits civil liberties guaranteed under the U. S. Constitution, specifically the Second Amendment, which guarantees American citizens the right to keep and bear arms.

The SAFE Act has also caused some controversy among mental health care workers who say that individuals with mental health issues will be dissuaded from seeking treatment.

“Until we are ready and willing to honestly confront all of the many factors that contribute to violence in our society, including mental illness, then nothing will change, and we will continue to face these horrible tragedies,” Griffo said.

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