Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 11:54:22 PM

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Crouch seeking support for SAFE Act repeal

(Source: Jeremy Donovan)

PORT CRANE -- There are far too many questions on the minds of the people regarding a law that's been passed for six months.

"The State Police know I have the firearm, the county knows I have it, so how do I register a registered firearm?"

That law is the New York SAFE Act, Governor Cuomo's gun control legislation, signed into law in January.  Assemblyman Clifford Crouch (R - Guilford) was in Port Crane Tuesday to inform people about the law and seek support for its repeal, which he admits is an uphill battle.

"You've got the Speaker of the Assembly who is pro-gun control.  We've got the governor who is obviously pro-gun control, so even getting something brought to the floor for debate in the Assembly, it probably won't happen," Crouch said.

But that doesn't mean he won't keep trying.  Crouch says that while many people oppose the SAFE Act for what they call Second Amendment violations, others oppose the way it was introduced and rushed into law.

"If you look at the way it was passed, it was a totally undemocratic process," Crouch said.

"The governor put it together too quickly, there was no input by law enforcement, a lot of other officials at all, there's a lot of problems with it," said Broome County Sheriff David Harder.  "There are some good parts, but there's a lot of bad parts."

Crouch and Harder both agree one of the bad parts is the law's limit on magazine capacity.  Under the SAFE Act gun owners can purchase magazines with ten round capacity so long as only seven rounds are loaded.  But Harder says that won't stop any criminals.

"The people that disobey the law, they don't care what the law says," Harder said.  "You think they're going to carry seven rounds when they can carry ten, 15, or 100?  No, they'll take whatever they can get in there."

Regardless of how much support Crouch gets there is already a lawsuit in the courts in regards to whether or not the law is constitutional, which Crouch thinks is an easy decision, but he's waiting with bated breath.

"Whether the law gets thrown out in its entirety, they may throw out parts of it, they may say its ok.  I really doubt that, but they may say its ok," Crouch said.  "It's hard to tell what judges are thinking."

If the courts uphold the law, the end of this year's legislative sessions means gunowners will have to play by the rules of the SAFE Act until at least next year.

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