By Assemblyman Will Barclay
Remington Arms announced last week that it will open a large manufacturing plant in Alabama. It will create 2,000 jobs for the southern state.
While I don’t begrudge another state from securing these high-paying manufacturing jobs, I do begrudge our own leaders for forcing the “SAFE Act” upon its people and hindering economic development right here in New York. Its passage has undoubtedly affected Remington Arms, located in Illion, NY, for more than a century, from expanding in its home state.
The SAFE Act makes gun owners and gun manufacturers feel unwelcome, plain and simple.
I voted against the SAFE Act. The way it was rushed through our chambers last January was shameful.
The Governor and legislative leaders did not give the bill proper vetting time, which is typically three days, and he used the party-line votes to squeeze this by before the public had a chance to organize against it.
Since its hurried passage last year, it became clear there were many aspects to the bill which were problematic.
Indeed during this year’s budget hearings, the New York State Police Superintendent said that the state is not ready to perform background checks for ammunition purchases under the SAFE Act’s requirements.
It has been a year since its passage and no system has been developed.
This illustrates how ambitious, yet unrealistic the crafters of this legislation were.
It harkens too to the laws and policies that have been created as of late, namely Common Core and Obamacare, which were all rushed through and found later to be problematic.
Late last year, a federal judge struck down the 7-bullet restriction for 10-round magazines, saying this 7-bullet limit in a 10-round capacity magazine appeared to be an arbitrary number.
The judge unfortunately did uphold many aspects of the SAFE Act in his ruling, however.
This federal ruling is being appealed by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.
A rally is planned in Albany on April 1. Defenders of our Right to Bear Arms will be at the State Capitol, urging leaders to, once again, repeal the SAFE Act.
I will be among them, just as I was last year.
I sponsor legislation, A6094, that will repeal many provisions of the SAFE Act.
While we can continue to fight for a complete repeal of this onerous law, in lieu of that we should at least make the following amendments:
• Make sure that bills are not passed using the message of necessity–the clause the Governor used to push the SAFE Act through–between the hours of midnight and 8 a.m. unless two-thirds of the Legislature approves (A4762).
• Revert to previous definition of assault weapon which allowed for the possession of certain semi-automatic rifles, pistols or shotguns with newly-banned features such as a threaded barrel or a thumbhole stock. Under the SAFE Act, many of these rifles, pistol or shotguns are now considered “assault weapons” (A5280).
• Eliminate the costly, redundant, and unnecessary safe storage requirements.
• Clarify that the Family Court Judge can determine to suspend or revoke the pistol permit license when issuing an order of protection.
• Eliminate the need to recertify pistol permits every five years, creating unnecessary costs and paperwork.
• Eliminate the ban on the sale of previously legal weapons and requiring assault weapon registration.
• Eliminate the ban on sale of internet ammunition and requiring face to face purchases of ammunition.
I also sponsor legislation that would make it legal again for hunting with firearms on some 5,300 acres operated by SUNY ESF.
Provisions in the SAFE Act, once again, made hunting traditions for many not possible after the passage of the ill-conceived SAFE Act.
Many of these provisions are overreaching and difficult to enforce, and also make the public subjective to random police inspections and charges.
All in all, it’s government gone overboard.
If you have any questions or comments or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, NY 13069, by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling (315) 598-5185.