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February 12, 2013

Legislature Votes to Support Second Amendment and Oppose NY Safe Act

The Rensselaer County Legislature voted tonight at the February 12 legislative meeting in support of the Second Amendment and to state opposition to the NY Safe Act.

The resolution makes Rensselaer County the latest in a growing number of counties and municipalities who have stated opposition to the NY Safe Act.

The resolution stating opposition was approved before a packed legislative chamber. There were a number of speakers who spoke in support of the legislative resolution, and said the state action was unfair to law-abiding citizens. State Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin was among those speaking in support of the county resolution.

“New York State already has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. This new state law will do very little to make our state safer,” said Legislator Alex Shannon.

“Since the NY Safe Act was passed, I have gotten so many calls and correspondence from residents outraged by this legislation and the impact on their constitutional rights. They feel like their rights are being trampled on,” said Legislator Judith Breselor.

“The Second Amendment, as written by our founding fathers, is very clear, and supports the rights of law-abiding citizens. The residents who have spoken here tonight are very eloquent in their defense of the Second Amendment,” said Majority Leader Ken Herrington.

In introducing the county legislation, county lawmakers said the state and federal legislation and proposals will unfairly infringe on the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens and also do little to improve public safety. Legislators said that a comprehensive approach to dealing with mental illness would be an effective way to begin dealing with recent incidences of violence. Legislators have introduced a resolution for the February meeting seeking an expansion of Kendra’s Law, which allows for treatment of dangerously mentally ill persons.

Legislators also note the state legislation was adopted in a hurry and with little public comment or review. The federal proposals may be enacted via executive order, a move constitution and legal scholars have called into question. Legal challenges are being readied to challenge the state legislation.

“These laws are being introduced and adopted in a rush and the rights of residents deserve better. Since these laws were introduced, I have heard from hundreds of residents who are upset and feel as though their rights are being ignored,” said Legislator Leon Fiacco.

“This new state law is legislation that impacts law-abiding citizens, and does little to disarm dangerous criminals or deal with the problems of the dangerously mentally ill,” said Legislator Lester Goodermote.

Along with passing a resolution supporting the Second Amendment and stating opposition to the NY Safe Act, the County Legislature also approved a resolution seeking an expansion of Kendra’s Law to expand protections and treatment for mentally ill persons.

The resolution supporting the Second Amendment and opposing the NY Safe Act was approved by a 14 to 4 margin, with four members of the Democratic minority voting in opposition.

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