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St. Lawrence County legislators will consider response to state gun law

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CANTON — Joel J. LaPierre and the dozen fellow gun enthusiasts he brought with him left the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators meeting Monday satisfied their concerns about the NY SAFE Act were heard.

Legislative Chairman Jonathan S. Putney, D-Waddington, named a committee of Legislators Joseph R. Lightfoot, R-Ogdensburg; Scott M. Sutherland, R-Pierrepont; Sallie A. Brothers, D-Norfolk; and Frederick S. Morrill, D-DeKalb Junction, to draft a recommendation for other lawmakers to consider next week.

Mr. Lightfoot, a retired state police investigator, said he has reviewed the law in preparation for drawing up a resolution that criticizes aspects of the statute. The committee is scheduled to meet Thursday, and Mr. Lightfoot said he hopes to introduce a resolution to legislators next week.

“I think there are certain things that are worthy of being passed. There are others that infringe on our rights,” Mr. Lightfoot said. “We certainly have the right to express our opinion. There is nothing else we can do except raise the din.”

Opponents to the law have criticized the speed of its passage, along with various opinions of its more restrictive provisions, such as a requirement that pistol permit holders undergo recertification every five years.

St. Lawrence County could join a growing list of counties unhappy with some of the law’s regulations.

“I don’t think this is a good law,” Mr. Lightfoot said. “Everybody knows that gun legislation has been a hot topic for years. I think this was an opportunity to seize the moment.”

One of Mr. LaPierre’s biggest objections was that state lawmakers approved the lengthy bill last month only hours after many of them received it. A three-day vetting period was waived because Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo issued a message of necessity.

“It’s not even a question of being for or against it. The manner in which they passed the bill is on the verge of treason,” Mr. LaPierre, Gouverneur, said. “There is no emergency.”

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