Tag Archives: TownOfElmira

Elmira Police Department Retired Officers Association

The Elmira Police Department
Retired Officers Association
247 Jackson Creek Road
Erin, New York 14838

February 23, 2013

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo,

The Elmira Police Department Retired Officers Association (EPDROA) is
comprised of approximately sixty (60) former police officers from the City
of Elmira, and surrounding agencies. As such the members have over 1,500
years of combined law enforcement experience. The membership of the
Association have asked that this letter be sent and approved the following

The members of the EPDROA are very concerned about the passage of the
New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act. After thoughtful
study, we find that there are a few commendable parts to the law. Allowing
pistol permit holders to opt out of having their names released pursuant to
a F.O.I.L. request, and tighter scrutiny of persons who are dangerously
mentally ill are steps in the right direction. Enhanced background checks
might also be good, as long as the pedigree information of the weapon is not

The remainder of the SAFE Act however is seriously flawed. These serious
flaws are understandable in light of the hap-hazard and reckless manner in
which this legislation was hastily cobbled together. As officers who have
for years had to read, understand and enforce the laws of this State, it is
inconceivable that no one thought to include a law-enforcement exemption.
Additionally, officers cannot enter school grounds without becoming

One of the most offensive aspects of the manner in which this assault on
our rights was accomplished was your use of a ‘message of necessity’. There
was no legitimate reason for this. You stooped to this parliamentary
slight-of-hand for the sole purpose of circumventing the three-day maturing
process. Many legislators had only twenty (20) minutes to read and try to
understand the fifty-six (56) sections of this bill. Having reviewed this
legislation, it is clear that no one could have read and comprehended the
bill and understood its many implications in such short time. Further, none
of the legislators had the opportunity to get input or feedback from their
constituents, or other stakeholders. Even members of law enforcement were
not consulted. This is one of the most basic tenets of a representative
democracy. This entire process was one of deception, secrecy, withholding of
information and exclusion of the public. These are the actions of a banana
republic dictator, not the Governor of New York State. Your actions may have
been illegal, and were certainly unethical. We the members of the EPDROA
denounce this behavior in the harshest manner.

The SAFE Act is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to regulate
lawful gun ownership out of existence. We note with serious concern that you
have previously stated that outright confiscation of weapons was a
possibility. Therefore we completely understand the fear that the citizens
of New York State have when told that they will have to register their
weapons. As any student of history knows, registration always precedes
confiscation. There is now a well-advertised resistance movement to oppose
this law. The citizens of the state of New York are saying NO! As citizens
begin to distrust their law enforcement officers, there will be ever
increasing confrontations, needless confrontations. There will be no

The simple fact is that restricting the rights of law abiding gun owners
will do nothing to stem the gun violence that we now face. The $35 million
that you wish to spend on this unconstitutional law will be a complete
waste, just as the $44 million was for the Combined Ballistic Identification

Not only are the gun rights of every citizen of New York State
guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, they are also
codified in the New York Civil Rights Law, Article 2, §4. Governor Cuomo, if
someone opposed the rights of a black person to exercise the civil right to
vote, they would be called a racist bigot. If someone opposed the rights of
a Jewish person, to exercise the civil right to attend their Synagogue, they
would be an anti-Semitic bigot. If someone opposed the civil right of a
woman to attend a college that she was otherwise qualified for, they would
be called a sexist bigot. In light of your attack on our gun liberties, why
should we not refer to you as a liberty bigot?

We, the members of the EPDROA are well acquainted with all kinds of
violence. We are the ones who have had to stop the bleeding of wounded
victims before the EMT’s arrive. We are the ones who have chased armed
criminals through back yards in the dark of night. We are the ones who have
seen the puddles of blood, and yes sometimes it has been our own blood. We
are the ones who have had to notify the next-of-kin in many types of
tragedies. Yes, we are well acquainted with violence, and we don’t like it.
However, every one of us understands that crime and violence comes from the
human heart, not an inanimate object.

In closing the membership of the EPDROA perceives that you used the
events at Sandy Hook Elementary and Webster New York as an excuse to
sledgehammer this unconstitutional, unethical, and mistake laden law through
the Legislature in the middle of the night. We believe that you have
violated your oath of office. It is appalling to think that you would
capitalize on the deaths of children, and savage the constitutional and
civil rights of the citizens of New York State.

Yours truly,

Christopher F. Kamas Thomas P. Breitung
President Vice President

James E. Wandell Patrick J. Pariso
Secretary Treasurer

cc: Elmira Police Benevolent Association
Chemung County Executive
Chemung County Legislature Representatives
Congressman Tom Reed
Senator Thomas F. O’Mara
Assemblyman Christopher S. Friend