On January 15th, 2013, Governor Cuomo signed his signature gun-control policy into law. The SAFE Act was and is a heavy-handed attempt at gun control, passed through the middle of the night in direct opposition to New York state’s own Constitution.
Governor Cuomo: “It is appropriate to sign the NY SAFE Act here in Rochester, where just weeks ago a gunman senselessly murdered two first responders as they responded to a fire in Webster,” Governor Cuomo said. “This new law will limit gun violence through common sense, reasonable reforms that will make New York a safer place to live. When society confronts serious issues, it is the function of government to do something, and the NY SAFE Act will now give New York State the toughest, strongest protections against gun violence in the nation.”
Now however, the firefighters of Webster are speaking out against the controversial law, stating that Cuomo tried to “capitalize” and “push an agenda,” even going so far as to say that they were used as “pawns.”
News10NBC has an eye opening viewpoint about the SAFE Act. It comes from local firefighters. They want to set the record straight.
The law was signed shortly after two West Webster firefighters were murdered in 2012. For the first time, a group of local firefighters “opens up” about the controversial gun law and whether it has made their jobs any safer.
Every day, firefighters are out in the community, taking calls and helping people. They’re like a brotherhood. There is one thing that many are standing against. It is the New York SAFE Act.
Steve Sessler, volunteer firefighter, said, “To try and capitalize to push an agenda, especially for a politically ambitious governor, who is looking at the presidency. That doesn’t sit well with me.”
Craig Akins, former Webster Fire Chief, said, “The governor took it upon himself to use us as a pawn and I think most of us are not very happy about that.”
Akins goes on to explain that Webster firefighters and many other oppose major portions of the SAFE Act, and that it does not change the mentality of first responders going out on a call. Sessler agrees. When asked if the SAFE Act made he and his colleagues feel any safer, he responded, “Not at all, not at all, not at all.”
He added, “No, in fact, the SAFE Act ironically named doesn’t make anybody any safer.”
Akins also said that one of the victims was “a big gun advocate” and that “he wouldn’t be happy right now knowing that these laws were enacted because of anything he had involvement with.”