Residents packed the inside of the Ontario County court house Thursday as county legislators voted on resolutions to oppose or amend the NY SAFE act that was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo in January. Some residents are calling the law an insult to New York State taxpayers.
It's a law Governor Andrew Cuomo says is common sense and long overdue. But opponents of the NY SAFE Act see it as a sneaky attempt to pass one of the toughest gun laws in a matter of hours, purposely squashing any potential opposition.
"The public did not have an opportunity to see the bill, look at the bill, there was no discussion, that's not a democracy," said Assemblyman Brian Kolb, (R).
Two proposals were on the table Thursday night. The Ontario County Government Operations Committee proposed a resolution to ask Governor Cuomo to take a second look at the law. There was also a proposal to repeal it entirely.
"I went to bed a father, a husband, and a gun owner and I woke up a criminal. That's the only thing I could think of when the gun law was passed. The process used to move it into law would offend even anti gun owners," said one resident.
Some say the law violates Second Amendment rights and should be repealed entirely. Other residents and board members oppose the law because they feel it violated their Fourth Amendment right of due process.
"We need to go back to the governor and say the Sheriff's Association has a paper that's excellent, saying that they oppose the law but would like to work with him on some of the items," said Mary Luckern, committee member.
Ontario County legislators did not pass the proposed resolution to repeal the NY SAFE Act. However, seven other counties throughout New York State have done so, including Oswego County and Cattaraugus County.
"I think out of out frustration for our county residents we at the county have an opportunity for them to see how the democratic process works, have them voice their concerns," said Jack Marren, chairman of the board of supervisors.
Opponents of the law say this was a knee jerk reaction to tragedies like the Newtown Shooting and reminded the committee that even Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy has held public meetings before proposing any new gun laws.
To the dismay of residents, in the end the board decided to take up the issue at its next meeting on March 7th.