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Bill Would Repeal SAFE Act Upstate

Written By Editor on 2/5/17 | 2/5/17

Proposed legislation would keep the SAFE Act's provisions legal-- but only in New York City. State Senator Rob Ortt cited several differences between Upstate and Downstate laws, including on the minimum wage.

Senate Bill S879A is also co-sponsored by Senator John Bonacic. The Bill would repeal the statewide license and record database established by the SAFE Act. It would also outlaw one type of gun seizure in Upstate New York mandated by current law. The proposal would allow large capacity magazines and repeal penalties for not registering assault weapons.

Ortt's statement within the bill says that the SAFE Act "infringes on the rights of lawful gun owners and that "the diversity of New York State demands that laws are tailored to accomodate each region."

Ortt's proposal has the backing of the New York Rifle and Pistol Association.

Ortt was involved in a number of proposed changes to the SAFE Act in 2015 in Senate Bill 5837. These would have included local control over handgun recertification and stronger due process provisions. The bill was sponsored by Senator Jim Seward. The Assembly declined to vote on the proposal.

Time Warner Cable News cited Manhattan Assemblyman Brian Kavanaugh as stating, "New York City residents would not be safer by allowing gun sales with no background checks in Westchester County, just across the border from the Bronx," He added, "The SAFE Act was passed with a vote of more than 70 percent in the Senate and more than 70 percent in the Assembly. It was not a close vote and it was not driven just by folks in New York City."

While the bill has a strong chance of making it through the Republican-dominated State Senate, it appears unlikely to pass the Assembly. Should it make it through both chambers it would need Governor Cuomo's signature to become law.

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