Schoharie County supervisors vote to oppose gun-control law

Friday, February 15, 2013
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— The state’s new gun-control law is causing such a stir in Schoharie County that the Board of Supervisors took up a resolution out of order Friday assailing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tactics and his plans to spend nearly $40 million implementing the law.

Supervisor Larry Bradt, R-Carlisle, spoke with anger in his voice as he read the county’s resolution word by word.

The measure, opposing the process of the law’s enactment and some of its provisions, reads in part: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms for defense of life, liberty and property is regarded as an inalienable right by the people of Schoharie County.”

The resolution, supported by all supervisors except for J. Carl Barbic, D-Seward, states the Legislature’s approval of the law “has engendered significant controversy over both the process by which it was enacted and certain provisions contained within it.”

The resolution says there was no possible way all members of the state Legislature could have read the 25,000-word law in less than an hour before voting on it.

Bradt said he believes roughly $40 million is being appropriated for administering the new law, which requires registration to purchase ammunition, periodic relicensing for handgun owners, bans some semiautomatic rifles and restricts magazine capacity to seven rounds.

He said money could be better spent on other things — such as supporting mental health services.

“We’re already stressed out on resources,” Bradt said.

He read the resolution with Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond at his side.

After Bradt was finished, Desmond described the tenor of discussions he had recently at a meeting of the National Sheriffs Association.

He said he couldn’t repeat, in similar words, what sheriffs in Southern states like New Mexico had to say about New York’s new law due to their language.

Desmond, who doesn’t support the law either, read a resolution passed by the National Sheriffs Association into the meeting record.

That resolution reads in part: “Sheriffs strongly support our citizens’ protected right to bear arms under the Second Amendment and the National Sheriffs Association does not support any laws that deprive any citizen of the rights provided under the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

During discussion that followed, Esperance Supervisor Earl Van Wormer III said the manner in which the law was passed — overnight and without public comment — is “scary” because it means the state government can apparently make up its own rules and pass laws without public input.

“They can do it on anything they want to,” Van Wormer said, adding that Gov. Cuomo’s pressure on the Legislature makes him a “bully.”

“Law enforcement agencies are opposed to this,” he said.

Residents in Schoharie County are gearing up for a protest of the NY SAFE Act.

A “We the People Rally” is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, March 16, on the lawn of historic Lasell Hall, the Daughters of the American Revolution house, at 350 Main St. in Schoharie. The rally will include a recognition of military veterans.

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February 16, 2013
6:51 a.m.
tues8capt says...

Kudos to you people. Federal and State government don't seem to realize the very large can of worms that they have opened by trying to infringe on our Constitutional rights. Most of our elected officials in Albany and Washingon seem to be afraid to stand up and represent the law-abiding citizens who put them where they are; I guess it's easier to go along than to fight 'city hall'. It's too bad that these officials lack the foresight of the great men who conceived and brought to fruition The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States of America, and the Bill of Rights.

February 16, 2013
12:46 p.m.
mrssantulli says...

I agree. It seems most politicians are more worried about being able to maintain an agenda or good relations for the next deal they want rather than abiding by any kind of convictions they purport to have, at least when campaigning. Amazing the Oath of Office has become mere words instead of a heart felt promise to uphold the Constitution and to defend it. Infringing on any part of the Constitution should be grounds for removal from office.

February 16, 2013
3:16 p.m.
jerryrock says...

The resolution passed by the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors is a waste of the people's time and taxpayer money. This Republican agenda has no legal power and does not reflect the opinion of the majority. Doesn't the Board have more important issues to resolve, like rebuilding and recovering from the 2011 storm damage?

Elected Officials and Law enforcement are bound by oath to support the Constitution and the law of New York State. They are not qualified, nor is it their job to interpret the Constitution. That is the job of the US Supreme Court.

February 16, 2013
4:23 p.m.
tues8capt says...

Why must it always be Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative? Could it not be narrowed down to intelligence and common sense? Perhaps these people were expressing their opinion in support of the Constitution? It does seem that the Constitution and the laws of NYS are a bit at odds these days. I don't believe that the Constitution needs interpretation at all; it's pretty much right there in black and white. The Amendments, i.e., the Bill of Rights, originated with the idea of setting limits on government actions in regard to personal liberties.

February 16, 2013
9:17 p.m.
jerryrock says...

The "opinion" expressed by the Superviors and Sheriff is clearly against the New York State Law, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the US Constitution as interpreted by The US Supreme Court in Heller v. Distrct if Columbia.

As an elected official, you do not publicly bad mouth the government you represent by passing worthless legislation on the publics dime. You show opposition at the polls.

February 17, 2013
7:12 a.m.
tues8capt says...

Having lttle legal acumen, I researched Heller and found that the Supreme Court upheld the 2nd Amendment as re: "within the home and within federal enclaves", but did not address the issue of whether the 2nd Amendment extended to the States. In McDonald v. Chicago, the Supreme Court held that the right of an individual protected by the 2nd Amendment is incorporated by the due process clause of the 14th Amendment and does apply to the States.
From what I've read, it sounds like our great Constitution supercedes the hastily-enacted, feel-good legislation of NYS.
A worthless resolution? Perhaps just an affirmation of what we believe to be our Constitutional rights.
Elected officials represent the people, not the government (or they are supposed to!).
But that's just my 'opinion".

February 19, 2013
4:05 p.m.
jerryrock says...

You missed one key point: Heller left intact the ability of the government to determine what weapons the general public would be allowed to possess for self defense.

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