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State Legislature approves tweak to SAFE Act

By Lombardo David
Friday, June 21, 2013

Despite opposition from some Senate Republicans an amendment to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act was approved by the state Senate very early Friday morning.

The amendment, which passed the Assembly on May 23, would allow retired members of law enforcement, who served for at least 10 years, to continue to possess large capacity ammunition feeding devices and assault weapons. It is not clear whether the governor plans on signing the legislation.

UPDATE, The governor said in a radio interview on the Capitol Pressroom that he will sign the amendment.

One of the SAFE Act's most vocal critics in the state Senate, Kathy Marchione, R-Halfmoon, voted against the amendment, saying it would legitimize a bad law.

The unofficial vote total had 14 votes against the amendment, all coming from Senate Republicans who also opposed the SAFE Act, including Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna, and James Seward, R-Milford.

In the Assembly, James Tedisco, R-Glenville, Peter Lopez, R-Schoharie, and Marc Butler, R-Newport, were among the local members to oppose the change. These members opposed the SAFE Act when it passed.

Saratoga County Sheriff hopeful Michael Zurlo, R-Stillwater, echoed the opposition of Marchione and Farley, calling for a full repeal of the SAFE Act. "Allowing retired police officers an ammunition limit exemption is a step in the right direction, but we need full repeal of this flawed law immediately so the people of this County do not have their Second Amendment Right trampled on," he said in a statement on Friday morning.

Also weighing in was Saratoga County Sheriff Republican hopeful Jeff Gildersleeve, who blamed the Republican establishment with letting down the people of Saratoga County. "This ‘UNSAFE’ act needs to be repealed and never discussed again because it has put undue hardship on law-abiding citizens and undermines our constitutionally protected freedoms," he said in a statement.

"This exemption doesn’t accomplish anything, the ‘UNSAFE’ act is still infringing on the rights of Saratoga County residents and I will continue to oppose this act as long as it is in existence," Gildersleeve added. "If legislators are not working to completely repeal the SAFE Act then they’re not doing what needs to be done.”

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