100 Firearm Owners Attend Crouch Forum On NY SAFE Act

June 26, 2013

Assemblyman Crouch at his NY SAFE Act Informational Forum in Port Crane, New York.

Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch (R-Guilford) yesterday hosted an informational forum on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s controversial NY SAFE Act with Broome County Sheriff David Harder, Broome County Clerk Richard Blythe and S.C.O.P.E. President Steve Aldstadt. Roughly 100 people attended the event held in the Port Crane Fire Hall. Crouch, who voted against the NY SAFE Act and is on legislation to repeal it, said it was important for everyone to know the provisions of this law and how it will affect them as firearm owners.

“There are still too many questions surrounding the NY SAFE Act, and this is too big of an issue to just step aside and do nothing,” said Crouch. “The purpose of holding these events is to try to provide some clarity for firearm owners and for the public. It seems to be the norm that people are frustrated, and rightfully so – this law was jammed through the legislature without any public, law enforcement or relevant input, which effectively trampled on our constitutional right and put politics before common sense. Since it is unfortunately the law, it is important for everyone to know what is in the law to the best that we can interpret. It will impact them as sportsmen as well as in their efforts to protect themselves and keep their families safe. What really needs to happen is that this needs to be repealed.”

Crouch said that he wants to help people protect themselves by understanding the new law and to garner support to repeal the law, which was largely popular.

Broome County Sheriff David Harder said, “As a firearm owner and law enforcement officer, I took an oath to uphold the laws of New York State. I also took an oath to uphold the rights guaranteed to us in the United States Constitution. I share the same frustrations and concerns as everyone in this room. Due to the way the law was passed and the way it was written, there are still many unanswered questions. I strongly believe in protecting our Second Amendment right to own firearms, and I believe that right should never be infringed upon. I am here to serve the people of the county, to protect their rights and keep their families safe. As the law stands, I can agree with the mental health aspects and the background check portions of the law – I think those are necessary. Other parts simply do not make sense. I believe in full disclosure and transparency, which was violated in the way this law came about. The fact is, criminals are not going to abide by the law and will carry as many rounds as they want to carry. As far as keeping New Yorkers safe, this doesn’t do a whole lot. I am grateful, however, for the opportunity to help address concerns and answer questions, and I hope to continue a dialogue with the public as questions arise.”

Broome County Clerk Richard Blythe said, “When this law was passed, county clerks were supposed to be uninterrupted in their duties. Since then, much has changed and, as we, along with the public, learn about the provisions of this law every day, clerks are left with carrying the bulk of the workload. That having been said, this is a learning experience for all of us. Everyone knows that there are many problems with this law and many questions still need to be answered. As elected officials, it is our duty to maintain the public trust and keep their records confidential and safe, and that’s what I intend to do. Until we see action in the courts to repeal provisions of the law, we unfortunately have to live with it. I have a duty to protect the rights of the people, and I commend Assemblyman Crouch for his steadfastness on this issue and for bringing this to the people, which should have been done from the start. I also appreciate the opportunity to address this issue with the people of Broome County.”

S.C.O.P.E. President Steve Aldstadt said, “This law doesn’t protect New Yorkers, let’s not fool ourselves. This is a measure that clearly infringed on the Second Amendment rights of roughly 4.5 million firearm owners in this state. I have attended many of these events across the state and the message and concerns are consistent – there is anger and frustration with the governor and lawmakers who supported this gun-control law. I want to thank Assemblyman Crouch on his position to repeal the NY SAFE Act and for the opportunity to attend this forum.”

Crouch noted that he is co-sponsoring legislation to completely repeal the NY SAFE Act and also supports practical legislation that would significantly amend and roll back the law.

The Assemblyman intends to bring this forum to at least one more location on Saturday, July 20 in Walton.