Supervisors call for repeal of NY SAFE Act – Hudson Catskill Newspapers: News

| March 14, 2013 | 0 Comments

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 12:30 am | Updated: 11:11 am, Thu Mar 14, 2013.

COLUMBIA COUNTY — Following passionate speeches by the public, which cited Thomas Jefferson and the Greco-Persian Wars, the full Columbia County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday night on a resolution calling for the repeal of the NY SAFE Act.

About 100 opponents of the act were in attendance and cheered the passage of the board’s resolution, which had been in the works for weeks. The supervisors agreed to allow a half hour public comment session before the vote, after an agreement by both parties, though such comment is not typically allowed at full board meetings without a prior request and a vote by the supervisors.

Ed Kahle, of Hudson Valley Americans for Freedom, was among about a dozen gun rights supporters who assembled outside the Supervisors Chambers at 401 State St. in Hudson Wednesday night to express their support for the repeal of the NY SAFE Act. “It violates our Constitutional rights,” said Kahle. He said it was a pattern of an infringement by the federal government on the Bill of Rights, including the First and Fourth Amendment.

Ray Keeler, said “our government has disregarded the Constitution.” He said “you can not give up your freedoms for the sake of security.”

Leah Wilcox of Ancram was the lone member of the public to voice opposition to the board’s vote during the public comment session. Wilcox asked what was wrong with taking away the availability of guns or limiting their availability to felons, those who are considered a threat to themselves or others or those convicted of domestic violence charges.

Todd Williams of Claverack wanted to know who was going to enforce the NY SAFE Act. He said that the law had to be changed before a “day of reckoning” happens and to “avoid bloodshed and tragedy.”

Supervisor Thomas Garrick, R-Gallatin, read a letter from Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, expressing his opposition to the NY SAFE Act. Gibson wrote that the Second Amendment was “born out of our experience with King George and the desire to prevent such abuses of power in our Republic.”

Speaking for himself, Garrick said he took an oath to protect the Constitution when he was in the Army and as an elected public officer. “I am not just an oath taker, I am an oath keeper,” said Garrick.

Supervisor Art Bassin, D-Ancram, a gun owner and veteran, said he believes in the Second Amendment but said he wanted to approve a resolution backed by the New York State Sheriff’s Association, which also backs keeping certain specified parts of the NY SAFE Act which they believe are worth keeping.

Minority Leader William Hughes, D-Hudson4, a gun owner and believer in the Second Amendment agreed with Bassin. Like Bassin, Hughes voted against the board’s resolution, but said the board should also send a message to the State Legislature that it opposes the message of necessity used by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in requiring the vote to happen within 24 hours. That method was also used for redistricting, a new pension tier and a new teacher’s evaluation requirement. At the same time, Hughes also faulted state legislators for not doing more to prevent the message of necessity from being enacted.

Supervisor Raymond Staats, D-Clermont, called the NY SAFE Act “barbaric” and “as unconstitutional as it gets.” He said he has spoken to hundreds of people in his town who oppose the law.

Supervisor John Porreca, R-Greenport, a state gun safety instructor, relayed a personal story when speaking on the issue. He said he had defended his home with a handgun during an attempted burglary. “I don’t know what would have happened,” without the gun, said Porreca.

Voting in favor of the resolution were supervisors Lawrence Andrews, R-Ghent; Robin Andrews, D-Claverack; Art Baer, NOP-Hillsdale; Michael Benson, R-New Lebanon; Jeffrey Braley, R-Austerlitz; Roy Brown, R-Germantown; Edward Cross, D-Hudson2; Jesse DeGroodt, NOP-Chatham; Garrick; Richard Keaveney, R-Canaan; Ron Knott, R-Stuyvesant; Kevin McDonald, R-Livingston; Jeffrey Nayer, I-Copake; Porreca; Raymond Staats, D-Clermont; Elizabeth Young, R-Taghkanic. Supervisor Matt Murell, R-Stockport, was absent but left a letter in support of the resolution. His town board also approved a resolution opposing the NY SAFE Act.

Voting against the resolution were supervisors Bassin, Hughes, Richard Scalera, D-Hudson5; Sarah Sterling, D-Hudson1 and Ellen Thurston, D-Hudson3.


To reach reporter Nathan Mayberg, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2513 or email


Supervisors call for repeal of NY SAFE Act – Hudson Catskill Newspapers: News.

Category: NY & CT Firearm News

Leave a Reply