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Guns and the NY SAFE Act


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PRNDI 2014 - CONTINUING COVERAGE - North Country reaction to New York's SAFE Act

New York's legislature passed the SAFE Act, one of the strictest gun control measures in the nation, Jan 15, 2013, just weeks after the deadly shootings in Newtown, Conn. It phases in a total ban on assault rifles and large ammunition clips. It also establishes strict new rules for buying and selling guns and ammunition in New York.
Pressure from the governor's office to pass the bill was intense. Reaction to its accelerated passage was also intense, and deeply divided across the state.

North Country Public Radio's listening area is largely rural, and gun ownership is common. There are over 200 small gun retailers. Hunting and hunting clubs are a way of life for many families here. We tracked the implications of the SAFE Act's provisions for the region's culture, economy, and politics.

Reactions in the region ranged from personal to conceptual, (as did our stories) with a preponderance of opposition to the law. In the months that followed its passage, several of our country legislatures called for its repeal. The New York State Sheriffs' Association and five individual sheriffs joined a lawsuit seeking to block enforcement of sections of the new law. More than one of our county sheriffs questioned whether he would enforce it locally.

We have not included other SAFE Act stories with a primarily broader, statewide focus in this entry.


Gun control fight shapes bitter Saratoga sheriff primary

Today's is primary day across New York state. There are big races in New York City and western New York.

One of the biggest contests in our region is the Republican battle for the sheriff post in Saratoga County.

Mike Zurlo, a former sheriff's lieutentnat, had been seen as the Republican frontrunner in that contest. He's been endorsed by the county GOP and by retiring sheriff James Bowen.

But he's faced a stiff challenge from Jeff Gildersleeve, a former state police
investigator who currently works for the Warren County sheriff's department.

Gildersleeve gained momentum after promising not to enforce New York's tough new gun control laws.

Brian Mann reports that the bitter Saratoga primary has emerged part of a wider debate over sheriffs and their response to the SAFE Act.  Go to full article
Gun rights activist Richard Mack (L) and Clinton County Sheriff David Favro (R) at a press conference earlier this summer in Plattsburgh, opposing the New York SAFE Act. Photo: Brian Mann

Cuomo: sheriffs can't pick and choose among laws

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says law enforcement officials don't get to pick and choose which laws to enforce.

Speaking yesterday in Ausable Forks, Cuomo said that includes county sheriffs who've publicly opposed the state's new gun control measure.  Go to full article
Gun rights activist Richard Mack (L) and Clinton County Sheriff David Favro (R) hold a press conference in Plattsburgh, opposing the New York SAFE Act. Photo: Brian Mann

Will upstate NY cops, sheriffs enforce gun control laws?

New York's tough gun law, known as the SAFE Act, was pushed through last January by Governor Andrew Cuomo, winning support from the Democratic Assembly and the...  Go to full article
A demonstrator's T-shirt makes his views clear at the Lowville rally opposing the NY SAFE Act. Photo: Joanna Richards

NY gun control law protest draws crowd in Lewis County

People climbed up the bleachers in the grandstand at the Lewis County Fairgrounds in Lowville on Saturday for a rally opposing the New York SAFE Act. More than 400 people...  Go to full article
Robert Schulz has organized marches and rallies across the US. Photo: <a href="">We The People's web site</a>

Bob Schulz: dangerous radical or voice for liberty?

Next week, Governor Andrew Cuomo's tough new control law will face its first court challenge. The case was brought by Bob Schulz, a long-time conservative activist who lives...  Go to full article
Robert Schulz from Queensbury announcing his lawsuit in Albany. Photo: Karen DeWitt

Are court challenges to NY's tough gun law DOA?

Conservative activists, legal experts and many Republican lawmakers are gearing up to try to roll back key provisions of the New York SAFE Act.

That's the tough...  Go to full article
Darius Gibbs, a former soldier and member of the Watertown Sportsmen's Club, aims a rifle at the range. Photo: Joanna Richards

How soldiers feel about the gun debate

The gun control debate has reached a new pitch following the passing of the SAFE Act in New York state. But how do the Army and soldiers -- who work with weapons every day --...  Go to full article
Jeff Rabideau and Suzie Thaller. They ran a gun shop in Altona for 18 years. Photo: Sarah Harris

How will new laws affect North Country gun dealers?

This week we're looking closely at some of the consequences of New York's new gun control law.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls the law's provisions "common sense." It...  Go to full article
Miles Manchester's aim was a little low.  But all ten rounds from his WASR-10 would have struck a human body. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Should an AK-47 be legal? Listen for yourself

Last summer, months before the horrible shootings in Newtown, Conn. that took place in December, 2012, Miles Manchester of Potsdam, NY, was browsing the gun listings in the...  Go to full article

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