It is time to finally stop talking about repealing the SAFE Act
Every time I go by a “Repeal the SAFE Act” sign I still have to chuckle.
New York SAFE was enacted by a large bipartisan margin in both houses of the State Legislature and signed into law in January 2013 – more than four years ago.
Now there is even a proposal to repeal the SAFE Act upstate. Some Western New York legislators spend more time talking about repeal on the campaign trail than they do in the Legislature.
The Legislature has once again adjourned for yet another year without even considering a SAFE Act repeal or amendment. Despite protestations, the SAFE Act retains its support and New York remains the third safest state in the nation for gun violence.
The most recent poll from Siena College shows that statewide the SAFE Act is supported by 60 percent of registered voters. And, despite the dissemination of “alternative facts,” each of the individual components of the SAFE Act receives overwhelming support from upstate voters. Background checks for all gun sales (81 percent); revocation of pistol permits for domestic orders of protection (78 percent); five-year pistol permit renewals (82 percent); assault weapon ban (67 percent); ammunition background checks (56 percent); and limiting high-capacity magazines (52 percent).
Legislators are being disingenuous when they assert that the SAFE Act is opposed upstate.
Even Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan candidly acknowledged that repeal is done. “I think on a very practical level most people don’t believe the SAFE Act is going to be repealed.”
Another year has passed, so do us all a favor. Take down the signs; plant some flowers.