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Desmond: SAFE Act is "Another Step Toward Total Gun Control"

Written By Editor on 4/21/14 | 4/21/14

Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond had plenty to say about the controversial SAFE Act at the April county board meeting held on Friday afternoon, but none of it was good for Governor Andrew Cuomo's signature piece of legislation that has faced stiff resistance across Upstate, New York.

Telling Supervisors that the measure is, "another step toward total gun control," Sheriff Desmond remained firmly in opposition to the unpopular restrictions. He would later go on to add that the department has not been questioning local citizens on whether they possess assault weapons as deemed illegal by the state, remarking that they, "don't have the time for that."

The Sheriff was invited to address the issue by Carlisle Town Supervisor Larry Bradt when a previously scheduled speaker was unable to attend the board meeting. Mr. Bradt has led legislative efforts opposed to the law since its conception and commented publicly Friday that, "the Sheriff's Office will not be going door to door," to enforce its restrictions.

Concluding his comments on the matter, Sheriff Desmond reminded the public and supervisors alike that, "Schoharie County is a little different than Schenectady, Albany, or Troy," whereas they are use to crime on a regular basis, we know how to both use and respect firearms in our rural confines.

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Unknown said...

Read this: our thought for today

Unknown said...

Understanding that there is a great deal of opposition to gun control in general and the Safe Act in particular in Schoharie County, a rural county with a long tradition of responsible gun use, the statements attributed to the County’s chief law enforcement officer are nevertheless disheartening and concerning.

While the Sheriff has some discretion, he is sworn to uphold the all laws of New York, not just the ones he likes. He is not empowered to make, change or repeal those laws. By implying he won’t enforce parts of the Safe Act, the sheriff is teaching our young emerging citizens that it is OK to selectively obey the law. Since the Sheriff chooses to ignore certain gun laws could a young person not conclude they too can choose to ignore laws they feel are unconstitutional – seat belt laws, laws against drunk driving, drug use, harassment, and so on?

The Sheriff is a hard working law enforcement official who certainly has a right to lobby as a private citizen for the repeal of the Safe Act or any other law he feels is unnecessary. But in his official capacity he has no right to oppose laws he is sworn to enforce. In fact, in 2013 A Federal District Court judge ruled against sheriffs’ lawsuit opposing a gun control law. The judge also ruled that while the sheriffs could sue as individuals, they had no standing to sue in their official capacity.

The Sheriff does a disservice to his office by suggesting he will refuse to enforce a law enacted by the legislature and legally applicable within his jurisdiction. He is also is teaching our young people that is OK to pick and choose what laws to obey.

some guy said...

There is a lot more to it than that. Have you mr./ mrs. upstateny1000 Ever read the constitution? Doesn't sound like it. How bout you give it a good read through then I'll bet you'd find the answer all on your own. Good day.

Unknown said...

To Some Guy - the Constitution does not grant authority to the Schoharie County Sheriff to selectively enforce the law. The Supreme Court has the authority to interpret the Constitution, the Schoharie County Sheriff does not. The Schoharie County Sheriff is bound by the laws of NY and his oath of office. The laws of NY include the Safe Act for better or worse. If the law is unjust, the remedy is to repeal it. If the law is unconstitutional it should be challenged in the courts. Until it is determined otherwise by the courts the law is the law and should be fairly and consistently enforced, just like not wearing seat belts, drunk driving and dumping chemicals into waterways. The fact that you don't like the law or the Sheriff doesn't like the law is irrelevant.

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