Erie County lawmakers call for repeal for SAFE Act and amendments to new gun law
County lawmakers Thursday approved a resolution calling on state lawmakers to repeal the tough new gun law, but as YNN's Kevin Jolly reports, the vote may not carry any real weight in Albany.
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — In a 7-to-4 vote, Erie County became the latest and the largest county in the state to call for repeal of the SAFE Act.
The bill, which was introduced and sponsored by the five Republican, Conservative, and Independent members of the legislature passed with the support of two Democrats: Terrence McCracken and Thomas Loughran.
"I think it was hastily put together. It was done in the middle of the night and its flawed," said Loughran.
Loughran agrees with the argument the tough new gun law was passed without discussion or feedback from the public.
"I think there needs to be a conversation on this issue but I think it sends a message back to Albany that there's a process and the public should have input before they hastily put together a law that's so controversial," said Loughran.
Prior to the vote, gun rights advocates gathered in front of the Erie County courthouse to call for the laws repeal. Advocates say the vote sends a strong message to Albany.
"With Erie County passing this right now, that's 23 counties; there’s going to be another county voting on it this afternoon, that's 24. Thirteen more in the works. We get to that, we're over 35 counties which is well over halfway, which is sending a message that the counties don't support this, the constituents don't support it. So it's time to really reconsider this law, "said gun advocate Rus Thompson.
But Democrat Tom Mazur, who voted against the resolution, says the vote is merely symbolic because county lawmakers have no power to change state laws.
"Sometimes you have to look at, is it absurd to spend time to try to appeal something you have no power to do? I think that's true," said Mazur.
After the repeal resolution was passed, the legislature unanimously passed a separate resolution calling on the Governor to amend the SAFE Act.
Congressman Chris Collins is applauding legislators for adopting the resolution to appeal the act.
In a statement, Collins said, in part: "I know other local governments within the 27th Congressional District are also considering such measures. It is important that elected leaders at all levels of government stand together in support of the Second Amendment and the fundamental rights of law abiding gun owners."