The Erie County Sheriff’s PBA is the organization that represents the men and women of the Erie County Sheriff’s Police Services Division. All are sworn Deputy Sheriff’s and certified New York State police officers engaged in criminal law enforcement throughout Erie County. All have taken an oath… to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Our membership, like many citizens of New York are outraged at Governor Cuomo’s unprecedented attack on our second amendment rights. Since 1977 three Erie County Sheriff’s Deputies have been murdered and three wounded by gunfire in the line of duty. In addition two deputies have been forced to use deadly force to defend themselves from lethal attack by criminals. There is a widespread misconception that law enforcement officers favor additional restrictions on firearms ownership by law abiding citizens. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rank and file police officers see every day the aftermath of violent criminal attacks on defenseless victims. The uniformed police officers paraded out as window dressing during the signing of these laws are simply lap dogs seeking to further their own political ambitions. The right of self-defense is an inherent right bestowed upon us by our creator. It is not granted to us by elitist politicians like Andrew Cuomo and Sheldon Silver to be denied when they see fit. Do not be misled; the second amendment is not about hunting or target shooting. It is about the right of law abiding citizens to defend themselves and is the last line of defense against an over reaching and tyrannical government. The NYS Safe Act was rammed through the legislature by Cuomo ignoring the usual three day requirement for elected representatives to be able to review the legislation and receive feedback from their constituents. It is nothing more than a tool used by Cuomo to further his personal political ambitions. This law will do nothing to reduce violent crime, as it is painfully clear that those intent on victimizing others will ignore its provisions. It will simply create more victims. It is time for all New Yorkers to wake up. We must confront the societal breakdowns which cause the type of horrific mass shootings incidents we have recently seen, many of which are directly caused by the very policies that politicians like Cuomo seek to advance. On January 24, 2013 the Erie County Sheriff’s PBA unanimously passed a resolution of non-support for the NYS Safe Act. We will work tirelessly to see this law overturned. We commend and will support those elected officials with the courage to oppose this misguided law and condemn those that did not. We are citizens first and police officers second. We do not pick and choose which amendments of the United States Constitutions we will uphold. Politicians who swear an oath to uphold the constitution should do the same.
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