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 NYS SHERIFF"S ASSOCIATION RESPONSE TO CUOMO
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MFI
Advanced Member

6767 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2013 :  08:13:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
New York State Sheriffs’ Association, Inc.
27 Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207
Phone: (518) 434-9091 Fax: (518) 434-9093
E-mail: sheriff@nysheriffs.org
Peter R. Kehoe, Executive Director
Thomas A. Mitchell, Counsel
January 24, 2013
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224


Dear Governor Cuomo:
Since enactment of the NY SAFE Act the Sheriffs of New York have been
carefully reviewing its numerous provisions. This week, 52 of the 58 Sheriffs met in
conference to further consider the law and to formulate the formal position of the
Association. That position statement is attached.
There are a number of provisions in the law which our Association finds to be
helpful to law enforcement and to our citizens. Those are pointed out in our position
statement. There are also a number of provisions which cause us concern, and which
we think should be revisited. Those we also point out in the position statement.
We commend you for your willingness to take on this difficult and complex
problem. Because it is so complex it does not admit of an obvious or simple solution.
Many of the provisions of NY SAFE Act contribute toward a solution. We hope that
you will recognize that our comments and suggestions are offered, also, as a
contribution toward a solution to the problem.
We pledge to continue to work with you and the Legislature as revisions and
additions to the NY SAFE Act are considered
Very truly yours,
Donald B. Smith
President
Legislative Committee Chairman
OFFICERS
Donald B. Smith, President
Putnam County
Patrick M. O’Flynn, 1st Vice President
Monroe County
Christopher J. Moss, 2nd Vice President
Chemung County
Jack S. Stenberg, 3rd Vice President
Seneca County
Christopher Farber, Secretary
H erkimer County
James Voutour, Treasurer
Niagara County
Timothy S. Whitcomb, Sgt-at-Arms
Cattaraugus County
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
John M. York, Chairman
Livingston County
Gary T. Maha
Genesee County
Kevin E. Walsh
Onondaga County
Carl E. DuBois
Orange County
Reuel A. Todd
Oswego County
Jack Mahar
Rensselaer County
Nathan “Bud” York
Warren County
TRUSTEES
Joseph A. Gerace
Chautauqua County
Michael J. Amato
Montgomery County
Barry Virts
Wayne County
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE
David Harrison, Jr., Chairman
Columbia County
David E. Harder, Vice Chairman
Broome County
Christopher J. Moss
Chemung County
Ernest Cutting
Chenango County
Thomas E. Mills
Delaware County
Adrian H. Anderson
Dutchess County
Timothy B. Howard
Erie County
Thomas J. Lorey
Fulton County
Patrick M. O’Flynn
Monroe County
Robert M. Maciol
Oneida County
Donald B. Smith
Putnam County
Vincent F. DeMarco
Suffolk County
Michael A. Schiff
Sullivan County
Nathan “Bud” York
Warren County
Barry Virts
Wayne County
Farris S. Heimann
Wyoming County
Ronald G. Spike
Yates County
Your Sheriff: The People’s Choice for Public Safety

Sheriffs’ Response to NY SAFE Act

Following passage of the SAFE Act by the State Legislature and approval by the Governor, the
Sheriffs now have had the opportunity to review the language of the new law and wish to
make our comments available. The Sheriffs of New York state support many of the provisions
of the SAFE Act, and believe that they will enhance public safety and help to shield citizens
from gun violence. However, there are also some parts of this new law that need clarification,
and some that we think should be reconsidered and modified to meet the concerns of the law
enforcement community and the public at large.
We have identified the following six provisions of the new law which we believe are helpful
and will increase the safety of our citizens. These include:
• Restriction on FOIL requests about pistol permit holders. By granting citizens the
option of having their names and addresses withheld from public disclosure, the new
law does provide a mechanism to allow people to decide for themselves whether their
personal information should be accessible to the public. We believe, however, that no
one should have to explain why their personal information should remain confidential.
A better procedure, we believe, is simply to exempt all this personal information from
FOIL disclosure.
• Killing of emergency first responders. The new law makes killing of emergency first
responders aggravated or first degree murder, enhancing penalties for this crime and
requiring life without parole. First responders need this protection, evidenced all too
often by attacks on them when they attempt to provide help, and in special recognition
of the terrible attacks on two firefighters in Webster, NY and attacks on first responders
in Jefferson County.
• Requirement of NICS checks for private sales (except between immediate family). We
believe that this will ensure that responsible citizens will still be able to obtain legal
firearms through private transactions, with the added assurance that private buyers are
approved by the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System. We
remain concerned that this provision will be very difficult to enforce and will likely only
affect law abiding citizens.
• Comprehensive review of mental health records before firearms permits are granted
and review of records to determine if revocation of permits is required. Sheriffs
believe that there is an urgent need to increase funding for mental health care. The
new law imposes reporting requirements on many mental health care professionals and
others who may make a determination that a person is a danger to himself or others.
The law further gives needed authority to courts or others who issue firearms permits to
deny permit applications or to revoke permits already issued. We believe that this issue
demands a much more full and detailed discussion about how to keep guns out of the
hands of such people. The Sheriffs of New York want to pursue these issues with the
Governor and the State Legislature.
• Safe storage of firearms. The new law provides that guns must be safely stored if the
owner lives with someone who has been convicted of a felony or domestic violence
crime, has been involuntarily committed, or is currently under an order of protection.
We agree that firearms owners should have the responsibility to make sure that their
weapons are safeguarded against use or access by prohibited persons, and the new law
adds these protections to ensure that weapons are safely and securely stored.
• Increased penalties for illegal use of weapons. The new law adds several increased
sanctions for violation of New York gun laws and creates new gun crimes which did not
previously exist. These new provisions will provide added tools for law enforcement to
prosecute such crimes. We further believe that the new provisions should help deter
future misuse of firearms. We also suggest that the legislature consider limitations on
plea bargaining for all gun crimes.
We have reviewed other provisions of the new law, and strongly believe that modifications
are needed to clarify the intent of some of these new provisions and that revisions are
needed to allow Sheriffs to properly enforce the law in their counties.
• Assault weapon ban and definition of assault weapons. We believe that the new
definition of assault weapons is too broad, and prevents the possession of many
weapons that are legitimately used for hunting, target shooting and self defense.
Classifying firearms as assault weapons because of one arbitrary feature effectively
deprives people the right to possess firearms which have never before been designated
as assault weapons. We are convinced that only law abiding gun owners will be affected
by these new provisions, while criminals will still have and use whatever weapons they
want.
• Inspection of schools by state agencies. The new law transfers to state agencies the
responsibility to review school safety plans. We expect that funding will be transferred
to these state agencies to implement safety proposals. Sheriffs and local police provide
this service in all parts of the state and can perform these duties efficiently. As the chief
law enforcement officer of the county, Sheriffs are in the best position to know the
security needs of schools in their own counties, and the state should help to fund these
existing efforts by Sheriffs and local police departments to keep our schools safe.
Because Sheriffs and local police are already deeply involved with school safety plans,
have developed emergency response plans, and are familiar with structural layouts of
schools in their counties, they should be included along with state counterparts in any
effort to review school safety plans.
• Reduction of ammunition magazine capacity. The new law enacts reductions in the
maximum capacity of gun magazines. We believe based on our years of law
enforcement experience that this will not reduce gun violence. The new law will
unfairly limit the ability of law#8208;abiding citizens to purchase firearms in New York. It
bears repeating that it is our belief that the reduction of magazine capacity will not
make New Yorkers or our communities safer.
• Five year recertification of pistol permit status and registration of existing assault
weapons. The new law delegates to the State Police the duty to solicit and receive
updated personal information of permit holders every five years in order to maintain
these permits. Further, the law requires owners of certain existing firearms now
classified as assault weapons to register these with the State Police within one year.
The recertification and registration conflict with Sheriffs’ duties regarding issuance of
pistol permits. All records should be maintained at the local, and not the state level.
This information should be accessible to those who are responsible for initial
investigation of permit applications. Pistol permit information should be maintained in
one file at the local level, and forwarded to a statewide database for law enforcement
use. It bears repeating that it is our belief that pistol permit and any registration
information required by the law should be confidential and protected from FOIL
disclosure.
• Sale of ammunition. The new law imposes several new provisions regarding how, and
from whom, ammunition can be lawfully purchased. The law should be clarified about
the use of the Internet as a vehicle for these sales, out#8208;of#8208;state sales to New York
residents, and other issues. Businesses have said that they do not understand the new
provisions and are concerned that they will have to cease operations.
• Law enforcement exemptions must be clarified. The new law has many provisions that
might apply to law enforcement officers and there has been much confusion about
whether existing law enforcement exemptions continue to apply. We understand that
the Governor and Legislature have already agreed to review and modify these
provisions where necessary, and the Sheriffs want to be part of the discussion to make
the changes effective. Additionally, the exemptions should apply to retired police and
peace officers, and to others in the employ of the Sheriff and other police agencies who
perform security duties at public facilities and events.
• Method of bill passage. It is the view of the Sheriffs’ Association that anytime
government decides it is necessary or desirable to test the boundaries of a
constitutional right that it should only be done with caution and with great respect for
those constitutional boundaries. Further, it should only be done if the benefit to be
gained is so great and certain that it far outweighs the damage done by the constriction
of individual liberty. While many of the provisions of the new law have surface appeal,
it is far from certain that all, or even many, of them will have any significant effect in
reducing gun violence, which is the presumed goal of all of us. Unfortunately the
process used in adoption of this act did not permit the mature development of the
arguments on either side of the debate, and thus many of the stakeholders in this
important issue are left feeling ignored by their government. Even those thrilled with
the passage of this legislation should be concerned about the process used to secure its
passage, for the next time they may find themselves the victim of that same process.
Fortunately, the Governor has shown himself open to working with interested parties to
address some of the problems that arose due to the hasty enactment of this law. We
will work with the Governor and the Legislature on these issues.
• Sheriffs understand their Constitutional obligations and the concerns of constituents
Sheriffs and other law enforcement officers are not called upon by this new legislation
to go door#8208;to#8208;door to confiscate any weapons newly classified as assault weapons, and
will not do so.
Sheriffs represent all the people, and we take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the
United States and the Constitution of the State of New York. Sheriffs will continue to
enforce all laws of the state and will protect the rights of all citizens, including those
rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the
State of New York.

Proud owner of Marino Firearms Inc. Hancock, NY. Cancer survivor.. Now entering our 92nd year in family business !http://GunBroker.com/Auction/SellerAuctions.asp?User=37494

http://www.pressconnects.com/article/20071002/STBN02/110020006/If-s-outdoors-s-Marino-s


GunBroker MEMBER SINCE 1999 !!!!!!!

Edited by - MFI on 01/29/2013 08:28:29 AM

GuvamintCheese
Advanced Member

29599 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2013 :  08:27:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

"Sheriffs represent all the people, and we take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the
United States and the Constitution of the State of New York. Sheriffs will continue to
enforce all laws of the state and will protect the rights of all citizens, including those
rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the
State of New York."
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lead
Senior Member

USA
1850 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2013 :  08:39:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Frankly, I think the Sheriff's statements make more sense then some of the stuff coming out of politicians. They seem to at least understand that many of these new laws will only effect law abiding people, not criminals.
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wpage
Advanced Member

USA
8800 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2013 :  08:47:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good to know law enforcement has more sense then Gov in NY...

"You shall receive power"

Acts 1:8

W
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gregw
Senior Member

USA
1267 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2013 :  08:55:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
+1 but will Andy take it to heart or simply pass over it to achieve his own agenda and not even consider revoking any of the restrictions
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Spider7115
Moderator

USA
24079 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2013 :  09:19:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
King Andrew and the Knights of the "7-Round" Table


-"SPIDER"

ALLAH KA-BAR!


GunBroker.com Moderator
The Largest Auction Gun Store Online including Pistols, Shotguns, and Rifles

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A J Christ
Advanced Member

Switzerland
5588 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2013 :  09:32:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There may yet be hope.

A good example of a bad example
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Onehandude
Advanced Member

USA
3420 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2013 :  10:06:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cuomo is a far left radical liberal zealot and will tell the sheriff's to go suck a lemon, and they will go on their merry way.
I hope I'm wrong, but just watch and see.



We have to fight so we can we can run away.
Captain. Jack Sparrow
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US Military Guy
Member

USA
685 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2013 :  12:47:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It looked pretty good up to here -

"Law enforcement exemptions must be clarified. The new law has many provisions that might apply to law enforcement officers and there has been much confusion about whether existing law enforcement exemptions continue to apply. We understand that the Governor and Legislature have already agreed to review and modify these provisions where necessary, and the Sheriffs want to be part of the discussion to make the changes effective. Additionally, the exemptions should apply to retired police and peace officers, and to others in the employ of the Sheriff and other police agencies who
perform security duties at public facilities and events. "


In other words 'some parts of the law are OK - some are not - especially the part where it might affect us as LEOs.'
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MG1890
Senior Member

USA
1467 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2013 :  1:26:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Too many words, Sheriff's.

Just tell the SOB Governor that the Sheriff is the chief LEO in a County, and that they WILL NOT nor ALLOW the "Safe Act" to be enforced.

Further, The Sheriff has the authority to call up the local militia to protect the County residents from State or Federal authorities.
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