Sen. James Seward other Republican state senators promoted their support this week for a bill that would continue their efforts to rescind new gun regulations imposed by the SAFE Act in 2013, this time with the caveat that the rules could remain in effect in New York City.
Everywhere else in New York outside the city’s five boroughs, the bill would cancel requirements that followed the school massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012 and that have infuriated gun owners and advocates ever since. Among other things, it would restore the narrower definition of banned assault rifles that predate the SAFE Act; cancel a mandate that pistol owners renew their permits every five years; and restore the ability for family owners to transfer firearms to one another through estates.
All four Republican senators representing Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties – John Bonacic, Bill Larkin, George Amedore and Seward – are co-sponsors of the bill, which was introduced in January. Seward, whose district includes part of Ulster County and who is a vocal critic of the SAFE Act, joined a press release this week touting the legislation.
“The NY-SAFE Act tramples on our Second Amendment rights and has failed to make us safer,” Seward said in the statement. “The entire package is an attack on responsible gun owners who meticulously follow the law – rather than ignore it like the criminal element. I have consistently called for a full repeal of the NY-SAFE Act, and passed legislation in the Senate to reform several of the most onerous portions of the law. I am proud to stand with Senator Ortt and law abiding upstate citizens in this latest effort.”
Larkin, in a separate statement on Friday, said: “In the past we have crafted laws that make important distinctions between the needs of upstate and downstate. The SAFE Act shouldn’t be any different.”