Repeal the S.A.F.E. Act outside New York City?

Posted at 3:42 PM, Feb 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-06 19:14:59-05

New York State Senator Robert Ortt (R-North Tonawanda) is now sponsoring legislation that would repeal many parts of the Secure Ammunition Firearms Enforcement Act (S.A.F.E. Act) for areas outside New York City.  

The legislation is meant to remove obstacles to people living in rural areas, far from police coverage, who want to purchase a gun for protection.  

"The law should affect the criminals, not the honest people.  This law only affects the honest people because the criminals don't obey the law," said Harold "Budd" Schroeder, Chairman Emeritus for SCOPE in Erie County.

NYS Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-Elma) is also supporting the legislation.

Gun owners tell 7 Eyewitness News that the burdensome requirements of the law have made it very difficult for people to get a gun for protection in a timely manner.

"Here in Erie County, it could take a year.  It could take that long to get all the paperwork to go through," said Carl Ossman, a target shooter from the Town of Tonawanda, who wants to get a pistol.

Surveys show that a majority of people in Upstate New York oppose the S.A.F.E. Act.  However, the margin of difference between those who support New York's gun law and those who oppose it is only separated by a few percentage points in upstate New York.  The S.A.F.E. Act has wider appeal in New York City where gun ownership is much lower than rural areas.

"More guns in the hands of more people, more unlicensed people, fewer restraints and fewer restrictions doesn't make our community safe.  It puts us more in danger," said Paul McQuillen from New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.

7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly headed out today to get reaction to the idea.