At a news conference Wednesday, state Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-I-C-Rome, state Assembly members Marianne Buttenschon, D-Marcy, Brian Miller, R-I-C-New Hartford, Robert Smullen, R-C-I-SAM-Meco, and John Salka, R-C-I-Ref-Brookfield, and Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. joined with Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol and Madison County Sheriff Todd Hood to express concerns with gun-related legislation recently signed into law.
The legislation significantly alters training procedures, licensing requirements and the background check process while also limiting where an individual may carry concealed. It was created by the governor and the leaders of the Senate and Assembly and was passed with the overwhelming support of the legislative majorities.
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 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.
Sen. Griffo said, “We all want to end gun violence and we agree that there is a real need to get illegal guns off the street. However, the legislation passed by the legislative majorities in a nontransparent fashion and signed into law by the governor, which we and the public were given little time to scrutinize, is confusing and crafted without input from important stakeholders such as law enforcement. This legislation will further burden local governments, hurt small business owners and adversely affect the men and women throughout New York, especially those in upstate communities, who safely and responsibly utilize firearms.”
Assemblyman Salka said, “The majority in the State Legislature has proven once again they care little for the opinion of those effected by their onerous legislation. Their latest law, restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, was done without any input from law enforcement, district attorneys or good government groups. This is another example of Governor Hochul pandering to the extreme left to get elected and proves she has no regard for the ruling of the highest court in the land. Disgraceful.”
Assemblyman Miller said, “Gov. Hochul’s rushed gun restriction laws have put an excessive burden on law-abiding citizens and will do little to curb the violence we as a society are truly concerned about, especially violence carried out byillegal firearms. There was no time afforded by the governor to have any public input from individuals, law enforcement, prosecutors or interested parties on either side of the conversation. My concerns about the hastily-crafted regulations remain, and Gov. Hochul is proving to be similar to her predecessor, Gov. Cuomo, when he misstepped with enacting the SAFE Act.”
Assemblyman Smullen said, “These new firearm restrictions are the SAFE Act 2.0. Downstate politicians have egregiously usurped our constitutional right to bear arms and protect ourselves, which was just reinforced by the highest court in the land. The nation’s top court was clear, yet the governor and radicals in Albany are sending the message that they don’t believe in the U.S. Supreme Court. This law will be swiftly overturned.”
Assemblywoman Buttenschon said, “Intelligent, effective policy requires the participation of all affected stakeholders. I voted against the recent gun legislation during the extraordinary session because it ignores every affected stakeholder in the 119th Assembly District. It’s expensive, unconstitutional and unenforceable.
Oneida County Executive Picente said, “In the blind rush to be ‘first’ in the nation, we have another gun law that turns law-abiding citizens into criminals. Passed with no consultation with law enforcement or sportsmen, this is just another example of how out of touch Albany is with real New Yorkers.”
Oneida County Sheriff Maciol said, “Unfortunately, New York State has once again quickly passed rushed through legislation without consulting any of the experts with expectation that these new laws will make our state safer, when in fact, they will do just the opposite. Pistol permit holders in New York are some the most upstanding, genuine, law abiding citizens and these laws will only affect them and not the criminals. I wholeheartedly believe that guns must only be in the hands of stable, law abiding citizens, but this is not the way to do it.”
Madison County Sheriff Hood said, “This ill-conceived legislation strips away the rights of law-abiding citizens and makes our communities less safe. These new criminal justice laws were proposed and passed with no transparency and lacked important input from law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders. I’m not surprised. Over the last several years, we’ve seen flawed policies coming out of Albany like so-called bail reform that handcuff law enforcement and give more rights to criminals. I thank those legislators who stood against this nonsense and for protecting our communities.”