State gun legislation continues to prompt local outcry
Regional elected officials banded together at a Wednesday news conference to weigh in on recently passed gun legislation, which lawmakers say alters training procedures, licensing requirements and the background check process while also limiting where an individual may carry a concealed firearm.
The measure was an overhaul of licensing rules signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul and is largely set to take effect Sept. 1. Among other provisions, it will require people applying for a handgun license to turn over a list of their social media accounts and will prohibit carrying firearms at a long list of “sensitive places,” including schools and airports.
Also in the mix, Supreme Court struck down a 109-year-old state law that required people to demonstrate an unusual threat to their safety to qualify for a license to carry a handgun outside their homes.
However, looking at the state legislation, officials say its passage was unfair.
The legislation was passed with, “overwhelming support of legislative majorities,” notes a statement from the office of State Sen Joseph Griffo, R-47, Rome, who was among those in attendance at the news conference.
“New York’s not going to be any safer because of this legislation,” Griffo said.
“While the legislators and law enforcement officials agreed that it is important to take proactive measures to address gun violence and related issues, they said that the ambiguous legislation rushed through during the recent extraordinary session fails to address violence, especially illegally possessed guns, burdens local governments and businesses, creates confusion and infringes upon the rights of law-abiding gun owners,” a release continues.
In attendance at the news conference in addition to Griffo was state Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-119, Marcy; Brian Miller, R-101, New Hartford; Robert Smullen, R-118, Meco; and John Salka, R-121, Brookfield.
The consensus of the lawmakers — who said they all voted in opposition to the legislation — was that there was no public input or input from law enforcement in the crafting of the legislation.
“This is political posturing by the governor,” said Griffo, who added there needs to be more cooperation between the governor’s administration and that gun-safety-related issues such as mental health initiatives need to be explored. He added that lawmakers are working to repeal the measure. Also in attendance were Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. as well as Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol and Madison County Sheriff Todd Hood.
Addressing the speedy call to vote on the measure, Picente weighed in asking, “What was the rush about? … Was it, New York had to be first? … New York is first in a lot of things,” he said, going on to say that the focus when crafting wide sweeping state legislation should be on being “right” instead of being first.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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