Cairo, Durham oppose SAFE Act – Hudson Catskill Newspapers: News

| April 3, 2013 | 0 Comments

Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 12:30 am

By Kyle Adams

Hudson-Catskill Newspapers | 2 comments

Posted on April 3, 2013

DURHAM — The towns of Cairo and Durham have joined New Baltimore and Greene County in passing a resolution stating their opposition to New York’s controversial gun control law known as the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act.

The law, passed in January in less than a day using a message of necessity from Governor Andrew Cuomo, is one of the most restrictive guns laws in the country. It broadens the definition of banned “assault” rifles, imposes a seven-round limit on magazines, increases penalties for illegal gun possession, expands background check requirements, reduces public access to gun permit information and allows mental health professionals to report gun-owning patients they fear might harm themselves or others.


The vast majority of New York State counties have passed resolutions opposing the measure, and many law enforcement agencies, including the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, have spoken out against it— particularly for the glaring oversight of not initially providing an exemption for law enforcement.

“In my view, it infringes on the rights — whether it’s hunting, whether it’s sport shooting, whether it’s personal protection — of every resident of this town,” said Durham Town Supervisor William Carr, Jr. “It just seems that it was a very, very significant piece of legislation that was put forward with no opportunity for comment from the public, really no opportunity for review from the legislature. It seems that it was almost a matter of political expedience and person preference instead of a well-thought out piece of legislation that people could support.”

Like many opponents of the SAFE Act, Carr suggested that problems of gun violence have more to do with mental health and criminal access to guns than the existence or availability of one type of gun. Further, he said it was unrealistic to restrict magazines to only seven rounds when they’re commonly manufactured to hold ten.

“It just suggests at every level that this was a piece of legislation that might look good to some unknowing people, but I’m not sure it was ever intended to solve a real problem,” he said. “And I think there are some real problems.”

The resolution calls for the repeal of the SAFE Act and lays out several criticisms, including the hasty way it was enacted (the message of necessity waived the standard three-day waiting period for review of a bill); that it infringes upon Second Amendment rights; that it is burdensome to gun owners; that criminals will not comply with it; and that it fails to offer any meaningful solutions. The resolution does not offer any solutions of its own.

Both Cairo and Durham town boards passed the resolution unanimously (Cairo Town Councilman Tony Puorro was absent for the vote).

“I think it was responsible for the town of Cairo to address the concerns of our residents,” said Town Supervisor Ted Banta. “We’re a recreational county. Tourism is the most important factor in our county’s economic scheme. And hunting is a huge part of Cairo’s economy as well. We have a lot of recreational hunters, so it is extremely important, not only to our residents, but also to our visitors.”

The resolution does support a few aspects of the SAFE Act, like increased penalties for assaulting first responders, privacy protection for pistol permit holders, and addressing the mental health system.

While the resolution is entirely symbolic, Cairo Town Councilman Raymond Suttmeier said, “at least it shows the opposition and shows that people aren’t happy with it. Whether it will change anything or not, who knows.”


To reach reporter Kyle Adams, call 518-943-2100, ext. 3323, or e-mail

via Cairo, Durham oppose SAFE Act – Hudson Catskill Newspapers: News.

Category: NY & CT Firearm News

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