Hundreds Pack Crouch Forum On Controversial NY SAFE Act

May 3, 2013

Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch (R-Guilford) yesterday hosted an informational forum on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s controversial NY SAFE Act with Chenango County Sheriff Ernest Cutting, Jr., Chenango County Clerk Mary C. Weidman and S.C.O.P.E. President Steve Aldstadt. Over 300 people attended the event, which was held at the Oxford Rod and Gun Club. Crouch, who voted against the NY SAFE Act, said it was a well-attended event, and it was important for everyone to know the provisions of this law and how it will affect the safety of their families.

“The purpose of holding this event was to try to provide clarity. Not all of the questions could be addressed and we are looking to the governor’s office to provide the answers to those specific concerns,” said Crouch. “There has been significant push back from upstate New Yorkers to this controversial law, that much is clear from the attendance at last night’s forum. Law-abiding firearm owners and New Yorkers who oppose this measure have every right to be upset about how this law came to fruition. This is a law that was passed with no public discussion, no public debate, no input from law enforcement or affected parties, was clearly a political move that trumped common sense and infringed on the constitutional rights of law-abiding firearm owners across this state. It was an important event for everyone, so they can learn about the law’s implications and how it will impact them in their efforts to protect themselves and keep their families safe.”

Crouch said that in the spirit of transparency and protection, he had two simple objectives in planning this event: to help people protect themselves by understanding the new law; and to garner support to repeal the law, which was largely popular.

Chenango County Sheriff Ernest Cutting, Jr. said, “As a firearm owner and resident of New York State, I share the same frustration and concerns as everyone in the room. Due to the way the law was passed and the way it was written, there are still many unanswered questions. As the chief law enforcement officer in the county, my department is here to serve and protect families and to make sure that their rights are protected and represented under the law and the constitution. I was grateful for the opportunity to help address concerns and answer questions that residents had about the new law, and I hope to continue that dialogue with them when other questions arise.”

Chenango County Clerk Mary C. Weidman said, “This is an ongoing learning experience for all of us. The more we know about the law, the better we will be able to serve the residents of the county. With that said, there are still ambiguities in the law that need explanation, and that’s why we are holding this forum – to hear and help address questions and concerns about the law. As time goes on, if we have to live with the law or if we see its repeal, having the most comprehensive understanding of the law is important to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens and to make sure that their concerns are adequately met. I want to thank Assemblyman Crouch for the opportunity to listen to all of the concerns and questions that were asked.”

S.C.O.P.E. President Steve Aldstadt said, “Having attended many of these events across the state, the message and concerns are consistent – there is anger and frustration with the governor and lawmakers who supported this hasty new law. This law really doesn’t do a whole lot to protect the rights of firearm owners or to keep families safe as the title of the law would suggest. Until this law is repealed, we will continue to see demonstrations against this law and an outcry of support for our legislators, like Assemblyman Crouch, who boldly voted against this law to protect the rights of the law-abiding, uphold the Second Amendment and stand up for common-sense ideas.”

Crouch noted that he is co-sponsoring legislation to completely repeal the NY SAFE Act and is also supporting practical legislation that would significantly amend and roll back the law. He discussed the possibility of amendments (if they are brought to the floor for a vote) and changes to the law in the event repeal and court efforts do not prove favorable.

The Assemblyman intends to hold more of these forums across the district, with dates and locations to be determined.