Request Governor and Legislature to Repeal SAFE Act: A motion was made by T.J. Casamassima and seconded by Don Earle to adopt the following Resolution:
WHEREAS, the New York State Legislature recently enacted and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into Law the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (“NY SAFE ACT”); and
WHEREAS, this Legislation is viewed by many citizens of the State of New York as being extremely controversial as those citizens view this Legislation as infringing upon their rights guaranteed to them under the second Amendment of the United States Constitution; and
WHEREAS, each and every issue that comes before the New York State Legislature before an enactment deserves a fair and open discussion which incorporates all points of view in order to ensure that all citizens are heard and that the Legislation incorporates the various points of view expressed during that discussion and benefits all of the citizens of the State of New York; and
WHEREAS, the NY SAFE ACT was adopted after minimal public discussion, contains serious flaws, i.e., police officers are not exempt, and having been on the desks of the members of the New York State Legislature for only a few hours, thereafter was literally adopted in the night and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo; and
WHEREAS, in 2011, amendments were made to the Open Meetings Law (Public Officers Law Section 103), requiring a public body prior to a meeting to post on its website, to the extent practicable, for public benefit all records that may be considered or discussed at that meeting; and
WHEREAS, A.107 has been pre-filed before the New York State Assembly for the 2013-2014 Regular Session, to amend the Public Officers Law (Section 84 and 90) in relation to publishing records of public interest by agencies and the State Legislature, reading in part “…The people’s right to know the process of governmental decision-making and to review the documents and statistics leading to determinations is basic to our society. Access to such information should not be thwarted by shrouding it with the cloak of secrecy or confidentiality…”; and
WHEREAS, the State of New York has a tradition and long history of conducting its deliberations and debates in the public view and that in the enactment of the NY SAFE ACT, the New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo acted in contradiction of this long time honored tradition of an open government; and
WHEREAS, the Town Board of Seneca Falls at a Meeting held March 5, 2013 at Seneca Falls, NY wishes to express their concern that any legislation which addresses the ownership of guns and the sale of ammunition in the State of New York be conducted only after an open debate to which the public is allowed to participate and express their points of view.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board of Seneca Falls calls for the repeal of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (“NY SAFE ACT”); and be it further
RESOLVED, that the Town Board of Seneca Falls supports the positions adopted by resolution from the New York State County Clerks Association and the State Sheriffs Association; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the Town Board of Seneca Falls hereby directs that certified copies of this resolution be forwarded to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Members of the New York State Legislature, New York State Association of Towns, and each New York State County. Ms. Sauvageau stated the County already did this – she thinks the Governor and Legislature got the message. There are a lot issues that the State Government does and the Federal Government does that we may have an opinion of, but that we don’t legislate on. She thinks the Board’s job is to talk to those people if we have a personal issue; the Board has no independent jurisdiction over gun control at the Town level. Her concept is that this is out of the Town’s ballpark. Mr. Earle stated the way we have to express a desire to our Legislature is through a resolution or letter. He added this is a resolution expressing the way it was enacted. Mr. Moore said it’s not the issue itself – it’s the way it was written up and handled. Ms. Sauvageau stated that there is a lot of division in the Town, and this is something the Board cannot legislate.
The above resolution made by T.J. Casamassima and seconded by Don Earle calling for the repeal of the New York SAFE ACT of 2013 was carried 4 ayes, 1 nay; Councilwoman Sauvageau with the dissenting vote.