In a unanimous vote Thursday, county legislators adopted a resolution that says the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013, approved on Jan. 14, “effectively turns countless New York State law-abiding gun owners into criminals” and “fails to offer any meaningful solutions to gun violence.”
The resolution repeatedly asserts the Second Amendment rights of Americans to keep and bear arms and calls the lawful ownership of firearms “a valued tradition in Franklin County and the State of New York.”
The resolution doesn’t spell out the specific provisions of the SAFE Act that county leaders take issue with, which some legislators suggested they take time to do.
But others, like Legislator Guy “Tim” Smith of Fort Covington, said their constituents are getting impatient.
“The public is getting restless,” he said. “I think they want us to make a decision and make it quick.”
Legislative Chairman Billy Jones of Chateaugay said the resolution was drafted after legislators held a work session on the SAFE Act two weeks ago.
"We have been working on it, and we didn’t want to go with a knee-jerk reaction like New York State did and pass a bill at 11 o’clock at night and do that. We wanted to bring in our professionals, our sheriff, our mental health professionals, our county clerk, sportsmens groups, everything to discuss it. I think we’ve done a prudent job and a good job doing that.”
The board ultimately approved the resolution opposing the SAFE Act Thursday and later plans to draft more specific recommendations on how the law should be amended.
A public forum on the SAFE Act, hosted by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Malone Middle School.
Meanwhile, gun rights advocates will be hosting what’s been described as a “peaceful and informative” rally on the SAFE Act from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Harrietstown Town Hall in Saranac Lake.