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City council says no to state firearms law

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The Ogdensburg City Council on Tuesday took a stand on the state’s newly-enacted Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act.

Get rid of it.

The city’s lawmakers voted 6-0 to urge state legislators to overturn the controversial state law.

Mayor William D. Nelson, Deputy Mayor and sponsor Michael D. Morley and councilors Daniel E. Skamperle, William D. Hosmer, Wayne L. Ashley and R. Storm Cilley all voted in favor of overturning. Councilor Jennifer Stevenson was absent.

The summary statement in Mr. Morley’s resolution said it all.

“A resolution protesting the passage and enforcement of the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (SAFE ACT) because it is an infringement on the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the States.”

The Second Amendment guarantees the constitutional right arms.

“They weren’t thinking,” Mr. Morley said, referring to state lawmakers’ quick passage of the law in January.

Mr. Morley does agree, however, with the law’s requirement of mental health background checks.

Mr. Nelson said SAFE ACT’s quick approval represented “government at its worst.”

“It’s a bill with a lot of bad law,” the mayor added.

Mr. Ashley, a retired Ogdensburg city policeman, said the state was far from being fast and loose where firearms control was concerned.

“New York State’s got the toughest gun laws in the United States,” he said, adding that SAFE ACT was “craziness.”

Mr.Skamperle agreed.

“It does nothing to stop violent crime,” he said.

Enacted into law last month, SAFE ACT has been criticized by its opponents as too hastily-conceived, restrictive and confusing in its language regarding surrounding ammunition sales and the requirement of pistol permit recertification every five years.

On Sunday, more than 100 SAFE ACT opponents met at Wallace E. Rock Amvets Post No. 19, Ogdensburg, for a fundraising Freedom Fighter Breakfast to garner support for a rally in Albany on Feb. 28. Copies of the resolution will be sent to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and local representatives of the state Senate and Assembly, including Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Town of Oswegatchie, and Assemblywoman Addie Jenne Russell, D-Theresa.

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