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LETTER: Board members back off SAFE Act

Since it became law, the SAFE Act has been the subject of a robust public debate. The NRA and others opposed to the law have pressured local legislative bodies to pass resolutions demanding repeal of the SAFE Act. At the Bethlehem Town Board meeting on February 27, it was requested that we add our voices to those demanding repeal. However, because we believe that the SAFE Act represents a rational approach to the problem of gun violence, during that meeting we discussed (but took no formal action on) a resolution expressing support for the Act and other measures being proposed by President Obama at the federal level.

In the time since that meeting, we have been reminded of the passions evoked by this issue. Although we believe that a majority of Bethlehem residents support strong gun control measures and the SAFE Act, we acknowledge that there are also many in our town who are strongly opposed to some or all of its provisions. A debate on the specifics of the SAFE Act including consideration of technical amendments is already occurring at the state level. We strongly support the SAFE Act, stand in solidarity with those who enacted it, and certainly do not support its repeal. However, we also do not see the advantage in a protracted discussion at the town level on the details of the Act.

As citizens concerned with gun violence, we are proud to give our support to the SAFE Act, but we are local officials, and our duty and priority is governing the Town of Bethlehem. Because we do not wish to distract from the important town business we must address, we will express our support for the SAFE Act in this forum and will not pursue further consideration of a Town Board resolution on the subject. We expect that debate will continue on this topic at the state and federal levels, and we hope that despite the strong feelings involved with this issue on both sides, that the debate will be civil and constructive, and that people will listen to and consider opposing positions. We can disagree without disparaging the perspective or motives of those who express contrasting views.

Bethlehem Town Board members Jeffrey Kuhn, John Clarkson, Kyle Kotary and William Reinhardt

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Comments

eduardobibm 1 year, 1 month ago

Here’s a copy of a letter I have been sending to my representatives Opposition to NY SAFE ACT

I will be brief.

I do not support the NY SAFE ACT. I find the majority of the provisions in the law unconstitutional and am certain they will have no positive impact on gun violence. The provisions within this act are simply a knee jerk reaction with no empirical evidence to back up any assertion that lives will be saved. In fact, only evidence to the contrary exists. I find the fact that I cannot hand my rifles down to my own children unacceptable. The fact that I have to register rifles I already lawfully own is an infringement on my rights as an individual. The fact that NYS is further limiting the number of rounds in a rifle or pistol is proof that the gun control agenda is progressively escalating infringements on our second amendment rights. Standard capacity in many of the now banned rifles is 30 rounds. NYS had already limited the rounds to ten and is now further limiting them down to seven. There were already limits on cosmetic features which are also being further limited down to one. What’s next? I will fight this new law with all of the resources at my disposal. The manner in which this law was enacted and it’s over zealous provisions has polarized opposition to this law. This of course is going to hamper any real attempts at making life saving changes. This law was a mistake, and it needs to be repealed Thank you,

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