What many had assumed would be a meeting regarding New York State Sheriffs’ Association concerns about New York’s strict new gun laws, turned into a verbal scolding from the Governor which included the threat of some people’s jobs if they didn’t toe the line and shut up about the SAFE Act.
Via the Times Union:
The sheriffs thought they were being summoned to the Capitol to discuss ideas for changes to New York’s gun control law, the SAFE Act. Instead, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told them to keep quiet.Opposition to the new law has simmered in upstate areas since Cuomo signed the law in January. Many county sheriffs oppose it, particularly its expanded definition of banned assault weapons, and have spoken out around the state. In January, the New York State Sheriffs’ Association wrote Cuomo with an analysis, and later suggested tweaks.
Cuomo invited its leaders to the Capitol last month, people briefed on the meeting said.
Rather than discuss the merits of the letter, Cuomo asked those in attendance to stop publicly discussing opposition to the SAFE Act.
One individual briefed on the meeting claimed that Cuomo had threatened to remove some sheriffs from office.
What has raised the ire of the Governor is a lawsuit the Association has joined in, challenging the Constitutionality of the SAFE Act.
Via Empire State News:
The New York State Sheriffs’ Association has joined as amicus curiae in a lawsuit brought by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association challenging the constitutionality of several provisions of SAFE Act. Sheriff Maciol has been a member of the NYS Sheriff’s Association since taking office as Sheriff in 2011, serves on many of their committees, and is currently serving as the association’s Sergeant at Arms.
The amicus brief will support the main suit by setting forth legal arguments against the SAFE Act specifically from the view of law enforcement. Some of the arguments contained in the brief are that the law impinges upon the 2nd Amendment to a degree that renders it unconstitutional, that the law is fatally vague, and that the law does not provide sufficient guidance to law enforcement.
Much as he did when ramming the gun legislation through in January by avoiding a three-day public screening, Governor Cuomo is simply trying to silence opposition.
Silencing opposition is a good way to flesh out one’s Democrat credentials for national office, no doubt. If his presidential aspirations fall through, there may be a position available for Cuomo at the IRS.
The Albany Police Officers Union, a group that consists of approximately 370 members, has blasted Governor Cuomo’s recent gun-grabbing legislation as “flawed”, “shameful”, “purposely burdensome on law-abiding citizens”, and morally wrong.
According to the letter, it is the union’s belief that the law was passed for political reasons and ideology, not to make anyone safer.
But aside from that, it’s a great bill Mr. Cuomo.
Here are some excerpts from the letter, via Tom Bauerle of WBEN:
The Albany Police Officers Union condemns and opposes the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (the “SAFE Act”). Substantively, we believe that it violates fundamental constitutional rights, that it is unduly and puropesly burdensome on law-abiding citizens, and that it will not deter criminals or mentally ill individuals from plotting and carrying out bloodshed and violence. Procedurally, we believe that the way in which the bill was rammed into law vi an unjustified and expedient “message of necessity”, which circumvented the right and the ability of the citizens of this State to voice their concerns about the bill and have them addresses, is an outrage. This flawed law, and the way in which it was rushed and passed, shows the apparent contempt that those who govern have for the governed, and calls into question whether we truly have a representational government. Morally, we believe that this law is about ideology and politics and not about making anyone safer. We respectfully demand that you do the right thing and repeal the law.
We as police officers are on the front lines of public safety. Respectfully, none of you are. We see, feel, work, and live with the effects of gun violence in ways that you do not. We believe that you see gun violence as a means to move your agenda and your ambitions forward. You know that the SAFE Act will not work in the way that you pretend it will…
The letter then goes on to show statistics which indicate that “less than 1% of New York Homicides” committed in 2011 involved the use of a so-called “assault rifle”, the very target of this legislation.
The letter (seen below) was sent to Cuomo, as well as the state legislative delegation – both Republican and Demcorat.
I’d go with anti-oppressive Constitutional realists. But that’s just me.
Referring to the NRA lawsuit against New York state which contests the constitutionality of the SAFE Act as “propaganda”, Governor Cuomo proceeded to lay into those who oppose the law as paranoid extremists devoid of facts.
Via Capitol Confidential:
What the extremists do is spread fear and unrealistic theories of conspiracies and the citizenry that needs to be armed because the government is possibly tyrannical, and they need their arms to defend themselves against the tyrannical government,” Cuomo continued. This is true: at gun rallies, I’ve heard this “slippery slope” line of argument from multiple attendees. They view the right to bear arms as a kind of check against government power.
Malarchy, Cuomo said.
“Common sense. Cool heads. Moderation. And remember there’s a majority of people in this state, this nation [that support gun control measures] and they have rights, too. It’s not just the Second Amendment right. People have a right to be safe,” he said. “Criminals and the mentally ill don’t have a right to a gun. They don’t. And you need a system and government regulation to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.”
“These people are spreading fear because the facts don’t work for them,” Cuomo said.
First off, the Second Amendment is an absoulte right guaranteed by the Constitution. It can not be trumped by a made up generalization such as “people have a right to be safe”. Assuming that Second Amendment advocates getting their way will result in people being less safe makes Cuomo sound … well … paranoid.
Second, you can’t complain about people “spreading fear” a few seconds after saying your anti-gun legislation grants people the “right to be safe”. That’s spreading fear.
Third, your strongest argument is in keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. But that was something insisted upon by Republicans in the bill, not you.
Fourth, it doesn’t matter whether or not people buy into the theory that they need a gun to protect themselves from a tyrannical government. The Second Amendment was put in place for that very reason, and whether or not you believe it is nonsense is completely irrelevant. The Founding Fathers were indeed referring to such a scenario when they granted this right – they weren’t debating the merits of deer hunting.
Fifth, I’ll take a paranoid extremist who follows the Constitution over a paranoid extremist who spits upon the Constitution any day.
The National Rifle Association has joined numerous other plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of New York’s strict gun control law.
The National Rifle Association’s New York state affiliate filed a federal lawsuit Thursday in Buffalo contesting the constitutionality of the SAFE Act, the sweeping gun-control bill Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law in January, the group announced in a press release.
The new laws fortify New York’s existing assault weapons ban, limit the number of bullets allowed in ammunition magazines and strengthen rules that govern the mentally ill, which includes a requirement to report potentially harmful behavior.
“Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature usurped the legislative and democratic process in passing these extreme anti-gun measures with no committee hearings and no public input,” Chris Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action said in the release.
“This obvious disrespect for New Yorkers and their Second Amendment rights will not be tolerated,” he added.
The complaint reads:
This is an action to vindicate the right of the people of the State of New York to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibits infringement of the right of law-abiding citizens to keep commonly-possessed firearms in the home for defense of self and family and for other lawful purposes.
Read the lawsuit below…
Apparently being in lockstep on their Constitution-trampling disdain for the Second Amendment isn’t doing President Obama and Governor Cuomo any favors in the Empire State.
To be sure, their numbers are still relatively high, but any drop is a little surprising in this true blue liberal haven.
First up, your current President, who longs to use executive orders in sidestepping the Constitution, and implementing his own version of federal gun control.
President Barack Obama’s approval rating in New York fell precipitously in the past month, according to a poll released Monday, and three-fifths of the state’s registered voters now believe the country is heading in the wrong direction.
Obama’s approval rating remains high in New York, at 56 percent, with 41 percent disapproving, according to the Siena College poll.
But the president’s approval rating was at 66 percent last month, with only 32 percent disapproval — so the change is a net 19 point decline.
“President Obama’s favorability rating dropped significantly this month,” Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said.
And even in one of the country’s bluest states, 60 percent of voters believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.
Next up, your 2016 Presidential hopeful and current Governor of New York, who sidestepped his state’s Constitution to avoid public scrutiny of his own gun grab.
The latest Siena poll shows Gov. Andrew Cuomo maintaining a 2-to-1 favorability rating (64-30 percent), although it is down from 67-29 percent last month and 72-21 percent in the post-Sandy glow of December 2012.
He’s now at its lowest level since he’s been governor, though those numbers are still the sort that state executives dream about.
Most of Cuomo’s hard leftward lurch in agenda items have strong support in New York. But one of the more notable items in which he experiences a decline is in opposition to the New York SAFE Act.
Support for the legislation upstate has dropped from 50 to 39 percent.
Opposition to the Act has been widespread, but Cuomo, trying to ride Obama’s coattails into the White House, will not yield on his unlawful legislation.
Will it continue to cost him?