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Town of Masonville resolution opposing the SAFE Act



WHEREAS,the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States states:  A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed;and

WHEREAS, the right of the people to keep and bear arms for defense of life, liberty, and property is regarded as an inalienable right by the people of Delaware County and the Town of Masonville; and

WHEREAS, the lawful ownership of fire arms is, and has been, a valued tradition in the Town of Masonville,and the rights protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution are exercised by many of our residents and visitors;and

WHEREAS, it is estimated that over 60 million individuals, representing over half of the house holds in America, have chosen to exercise that right by owning one or more fire arms; and

WHEREAS, gun bans, registration, and licensing of fire arms and their owners, has had little or no effect in such urban areas such as New York City, California, Chicago and Washington, D.C. and has not prevented violent criminals from obtaining fire arms illegally and committing crimes; and

WHEREAS, the people of Masonville derive economic and environmental benefits from all safe forms of recreation involving fire arms, including, but not limited to, hunting and target shooting while utilizing all types of fire arms available under the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, members of the Masonville Town Board, being elected to represent the people of Masonville, are duly sworn by their oath of office to up hold the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, members of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate, being elected by the people of New York State, are duly sworn by their oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the enactment of the NY SAFE Act (Chapter I of the Laws of 2013) has engendered significant controversy over both the process by which it was enacted and certain provisions contained within it; and

WHEREAS, it is our understanding that many State Legislators had less than an hour to read the legislation, which contained approximately twenty-five thousand words, before being forced to vote on it; and

WHEREAS, having reviewed the legislation and time constraints, it is our conclusion that there is no possible way any individual could have read the entire bill and understood its full implications prior to voting on it; and

WHEREAS, our State Legislators most certainly could not have had the time to request, and receive, the input of their constituents regarding this matter; and

WHEREAS, this legislation has 60 sections, of which only three take effect immediately and in our opinion, there was no reason for the Governor to use a message of necessity to bring this bill to vote immediately and bypass the three-day maturing process for all legislation; and

WHEREAS, law-abiding gun owners are required to verify owner ship of certain types of fire arms every five years, in addition to registering them on their permits, which now also must be renewed every five years, does not increase the safety of the public and is unnecessarily burdensome to the residents of New York State; and

WHEREAS, there will be a significant negative financial impact due to the approximately 14,000 Delaware County permits that will have to be renewed requiring additional man power and computer systems and is another un-funded mandate; and

WHEREAS, this legislation prohibits the sale of firearm magazines with a capacity larger than seven rounds.  Those firearm magazines with a capacity larger than seven rounds, which are authorized to be retained by existing owners, may only be loaded with seven rounds and eventually must be permanently altered to only accept seven rounds or be disposed of, thus constituting a seizure of legally-owned personal property with no provision for compensation; and

WHEREAS, few or no low capacity (7 rounds or less) magazines currently exist for many of the firearms commonly possessed by law-abiding residents of New York State; and

WHEREAS, Governor Cuomo has proposed spending $36 million dollars in his 2013-2014 Executive budget for the implementation of the NY SAFE Act at a time when New York State residents are crying out for tax relief; and

WHEREAS, Delaware County Sheriff Tomas E. Mills has said that he “fully understands his constitutional obligations and the concerns of his citizens” and further states “under this new legislation, if called upon to go door to door to confiscate newly classified assault weapons, will not do so”; and

WHEREAS, while there are some areas of the legislation such as privacy protections for certain of pistol permit holders, by-and-large, we find the legislation does little more than negatively impact lawful gun ownership; and

WHEREAS, this legislation fails to offer any meaningful solutions to gun violence and places increased burdens where they do not be long, squarely on the back so flaw-abiding citizens.  This legislation effectively turns countless New York State law-abiding gun owners in to criminals; and

WHEREAS, the manner in which this legislation was brought forward for vote in the State Legislature is deeply disturbing to the Masonville Town Board; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Masonville Town Board does hereby oppose, and request the repeal of, any legislation, including the sections within the NY SAFE Act (Chapter I of the Laws of 2013), which in fringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Masonville Town Board considers such laws to be unconstitutional and beyond lawful legislative authority granted to our State representatives; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Masonville Town Board strongly encourages members of the New York State Legislature to hold public hearings to address the issue of gun violence in a way that will produce meaningful results; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Masonville Town Board requests the members of the New York State Senate and Assembly who represent all, or part of, Delaware County to reply, in writing, with their views on, and actions taken, in support of, or opposition to, the NY SAFE Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Chris Gibson, New York State Majority Coalition President and Leader Dean Skelos, New York State Senator Jeffrey Klein, New York State Senators James Seward, John J. Bonacic, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, New York State Senate Assembly members Cliff Crouch, Claudia Tenney , and Peter Lopez.