WASHINGTON — Rep. Chris Collins' proposed federal law to undo New York's SAFE Act didn't exactly receive a warm welcome before The New York Daily News editorial board.
From the headline — "Gunning for New York: The hypocritical upstate congressman" — to end, a Daily News editorial published Friday rips into Collins' legislation like a bear ripping into a piece of meat.
Calling Collins' bill "an abomination," the downstate tabloid argued that it's odd for a conservative states-rights advocate such as Collins to ever introduce a proposal aimed at overturning a state law.
"The bill, written by a man who claims to respect the rights of states to guide their own fate, wants to use the long arm of federal law to prohibit states like New York from taking any and all sensible steps to limit access to certain firearms," the editorial states.
The editorial went on to note that Collins' bill runs counter to the thoughts of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative icon who made clear in his ruling that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to bear arms that states can put limits on that right.
"At least Collins is consistent in his glaring hypocrisy," the editorial added, referencing Collins' proposed amendment that would have forced state taxpayers to pick up the tab that upstate counties now pay for a share of Medicaid costs.
"Be a champion for a smaller federal government, except when Washington can be used as a cynical cudgel against your political enemies," the editorial said. "That’s Chris Collins’ only principle."
Asked about the editorial, Collins, a Republican from Clarence, took aim not at the Daily News, but at Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
“The problem here is that Andrew Cuomo’s SAFE Act doesn’t respect the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution," Collins said. "I have a long history of respecting states’ rights and defending the constitutional rights granted to Americans, and this bill is further proof of that.”