Gun control was a hot button issue at the Feb. 12 meeting of the Brant Town Board, as the Board unanimously passed a resolution urging New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to suspend the recently enacted New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (NY SAFE ACT), which aims to ban high capacity magazines and assault weapons.
“On Jan. 14, the right under the second Amendment of our Constitution was infringed on without due process, and the NY SAFE Act was rushed through the Senate and Assembly without a single public hearing or input from the various law enforcement agencies through the state,” the resolution reads. “Even State lawmakers didn’t have time to review the bill as presented, leaving questions about implementation and regulation of this new law.”
The resolution also points out what the NY SAFE Act should be focusing on.
“This law should focus on increasing penalties for criminals who use firearms to harm and threaten law abiding citizens and address the issues of mental illness related to violence.”
Under the NY SAFE Act, New York will have the strongest ban on high capacity magazines in the country, with a capacity limit of seven rounds as opposed to the current limit of ten. The legislation also includes a ban on possession of pre-1994 high capacity magazines, and will require owners to sell the banned magazines out of state within one year.
“The Governor signed this bill, and no one had even an opportunity to look at it,” Supervisor Leonard Pero said. “Giving the people, the residents, the chance to speak out on this issue is good government, not suspending the rules as a meeting to push legislation through.”
Pero’s sentiment was echoed by town resident Neil Ross during a public hearing held regarding the proposed resolution.
“I think it’s very distasteful that a government could force a bill through such as the NY SAFE Act,” Ross said. “It’s scary the way they ignored due process. I don’t like all of the violence in this country, but I think it’s more of a social issue than it is a gun issue.”
“Gun control laws do nothing but penalize the average gun owner, and it’s not the guy with a permit that you have to worry about,” said Town Code Enforcement Officer Gary Brecker.
After the public had their chance to speak, Pero took the opportunity to again express his opinion.
“The people in this world, the people who want to harm you or cause evil, they are going to find a way to get the guns no matter what,” he said. “And if there were no guns, you’d have no way to protect yourself, and if those people knew that, and came pounding on your door, you’re not going to be able to do anything. And besides that, with some of these laws restricting how many bullets can be in a clip, which also presents problems for the police force.”
“One thing that was recently brought up was that in California there was someone that wanted to get even for something and did the same thing, just not with a gun, he used a car and drove into a group of people. Now, does that mean we have to get rid of cars? It’s the same sort of thing – there are people out there who are criminals and are there to hurt people, and I feel this is an aspect we needed to be paying closer attention to, rather than the kneejerk reaction of let’s just get rid of everything and make this a Polly Anna world where we sit around and sing Kumbaya.”
“The town is urging legislative leaders to suspend this law as soon as possible and to look at all of the aspects of gun control using the proper legal procedure to bring about a law that will address gun control in a more logical manner, focusing on the real issues related to gun control,” the resolution continues, “a law that will strengthen the effect on public safety and not infringe upon our constitutional rights.”
In other news:
• An Easter Egg Hunt will be held at the town hall on March 24 at 1 p.m. for three age groups, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.
• Buffalo Red was approved to construct a new 60x16 lean-to addition to the Town’s storage shed at an amount of $8,650.
• A special workshop will be held March 6 at 6:30 p.m. in order to discuss potential changes to the tn’s school tax collection.
• A monthly fee of $50 was approved to the Angola Pennysaver for calendar services.
• Joe Ostrowski was approved to conduct internal audits for the Town as needed at a rate of $50 per hour.