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Lisbon Town Council wants gun law reform legislation repealed

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LISBON – The Town Council voted unanimously this week to support a resolution calling for the repeal of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act that passed earlier this year.

“It was done without doing any research at all,” Town Supervisor James W. Armstrong said.

The law is a comprehensive gun law reform package that includes background checks on all ammunition purchases and private firearm sales, the registration of guns with one or more military feature and a ban on magazines capable of holding more than seven rounds.

County Legislator Mark H. Akins, R-Lisbon, said, “It’s a huge Second Amendment issue. The problem with the law is that it was pushed through under a necessity bill.”

Mr. Akins was referring to the message of necessity that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo placed on the NYSAFE Act, allowing it to skip the three-day aging process most bills have to go through before being brought before the state legislature for a vote.

Mr. Akin said he didn’t believe “a 600 page document introduced and then 20 minutes later voted on and approved” was good enough for such a massive reform.

Mr. Armstrong said, “They should have had input from a lot of different entities.”

“I’m a hunter and most of my family is,” Mr. Armstrong said, adding that he doesn’t think the state legislature understands guns as well as they should.

“It’s a different area,” he said of the north county as compared to urban centers.

Mr. Akin said, “There are parts of it that are good and parts of it that are horrendous. It’s going to make every gun owner a felon the eyes of the law.”

NYSAFE does increase the penalties for murdering a first responder and possessing a firearm on school property to an automatic felony charge. It also stiffened penalties for criminals who possess firearms.

Assault weapons owned in the state prior to the passage of NYSAFE have to be registered by April 15, 2014. According to the law, anyone who knowingly fails to register their assault rifle will be charged with a misdemeanor.

“It’s not a hunting or safety issue,” Mr. Akin said, “It’s a Second Amendment issue.”

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