The Schuyler County Legislature's Public Safety / Criminal Justice Committee voted unanimously Monday morning in favor of a resolution opposing the State's passage of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act -- a gun control law enacted on Jan. 15.
Nearly 50 people filed into the small confines of the Legislature chamber to support the resolution, which was crafted by Schuyler County Sheriff Bill Yessman and County Clerk Linda Compton (and can be found in its entirety here). The vote followed a brief presentation by Yessman, and drew applause from the audience.
Committee Chairman Phil Barnes noted that petitions with 300 signatures opposing the SAFE Act have been received
The gun law, Yessman told the gathering, "is an action that infringed on our rights" and one that was passed hurriedly, "in a way not done before. I think the county needs to move forward and take action on this." Some other counties, including Chemung, are passing similar resolutions.
After the vote, Yessman noted that another bill in the Legislature would "require owners of firearms to obtain insurance" of not less than $1 million "to protect against willful and negligent acts." But he said insurance companies have indicated they won't insure against "willful and negligent acts," so even if such a law is passed, "you can't get insurance." The bill, he added, "might die by itself, but we need to take a stance."
The committee gave its blessing to a resolution yet to be written on that issue by Yessman. It and the anti-SAFE Act measure will now go to the Legislature Resolution Review Committee on March 6. Final legislative approval is expected on March 11.