In Support of Jefferson County Resolution Protesting State’s New Gun Law

Legislative Column by Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R,C,I-Black River)

I want to thank and show my support for members of the Jefferson County Legislature who passed a resolution protesting New York’s latest round of restrictive gun laws. Back in June, Gov. Hochul rushed lawmakers back to Albany to push her latest round of over-restrictive and unconstitutional gun restrictions. Not only were the laws rushed but they caused a great amount of confusion for law-abiding gun owners statewide. Her broad definition of ‘sensitive locations’ has severely limited Second Amendment and concealed-carry rights. Look no further than Civil War re-enactments that have existed for years being forced to stop operations because of their use of firearms; this is Gov. Hochul’s New York.

Gov. Hochul loves to tell the media how she looks at the data before coming to consequential decisions, well let’s look at the numbers. According to the Department of Justice, among prisoners who possessed a gun during their offense, 90% did not obtain the weapon from a retail source. According to New York State Attorney General Letitia James, nearly 9 out of 10 handguns recovered by our law enforcement are from out of state. Even as Albany Majority lawmakers continue to pass restrictive gun legislation, DCJS reports that since June 2021, gun violence is up 35% in Albany, 22% in Syracuse and 26% in Rochester.

Majority’s obsession with gun legislation that undoubtedly hurts law-abiding citizens more than criminals is only contributing to the crime crisis our state is facing. Criminals are exactly that; criminals, they do not respect the rule of law. They have only been emboldened by our broken criminal justice system largely due to bail reform passed in 2019. When criminals fear no recourse, what do Majority lawmakers think will happen? If we want to decrease gun violence, we need to re-instill confidence within law enforcement and return the tools needed to adequately keep our streets safe. Judges need their discretion back to determine the danger an individual poses to the community.

Jefferson County has it right. The Second Amendment is one of our inalienable rights. Our right to keep and bear arms is second only to our freedom of speech. I know the gun owners in our area are among the most responsible and knowledgeable in the country.

As always, please feel free to reach out to my office at 315-493-3909 or email me at