A grassroots movement attempting to tie any extension of New York City’s rent control laws with the repeal of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s SAFE Act has not picked up support in the Republican state Senate.
Although a watered down bill amending the controversial gun law passed the state Senate 35-26 last week, the bill is expected to die in the Assembly, something the Republican senators surely knew.
The proposed amendments to the SAFE act sound pretty on paper but since the Assembly will not pass it, it barely warrants the space needed to print it:
• Repeal of the ammunition database;
• Authorize inheritance of a registered assault weapon if inheritor holds a valid New York State gun license with background check;
• Allow gun owners to opt to keep public disclosure of personal information on firearms licenses applications private.
• Require notification if someone is placed on a state “hit list” alleging mental health concerns that could affect their right to own firearms. Right now, a person can be referred to authorities without their knowledge if they seek treatment for something as simple as insomnia.
• Shifting administrative control of New York’s pistol permit database from the State Police to county clerks.
New Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan --who voted for the SAFE act – assured upstate members he will push for some (minor) changes to the SAFE Act – but will not support its repeal.
Flanagan said changes to the SAFE Act were among the Senate GOP's top priorities.
"My Senate Republican colleagues and I believe it is time to make common-sense reforms to the SAFE Act," he said.
The idea that Republicans had a way to repeal the SAFE act (as so many said they wanted to do) was for them to not pass the Democratic Assembly’s extension of rent control legislation, unless the Democrats knuckled under and agreed to repeal the SAFE act.
But Republican Senators refused to play hard ball and the SAFE Act will remain unchanged.
The Reporter contacted leading Anti Safe Act advocate Rus Thompson for comment:
We want full repeal of the SAFE Act. It is seen by us as an affront and a full attack on the 2nd Amendment.
New York City wants rent control.
It was the biggest bargaining chip that needed to be used to finally give upstate a voice.
The senate ignored our plan, our pleas and our demands.
They (Flanagan) think passing minor changes to the safe act in a one house bill will once again appease us.
They could not be more wrong.
The days of the senate Republicans crying about losing control of the senate to the Democrats have come to an end. We don't buy it anymore. The SAFE Act never should have made it to the floor for a vote.
If they truly wanted to represent us then grow a pair, get a spine and finally stand up with no compromise.
NY City wants rent control? Do not pass it until we get full repeal of this unconstitutional SAFE act.
Rob Ortt are you out there??
The Reporter reached out to State Senator Rob Ortt and asked if he would play hard ball and refuse to vote for the rent control extension until the SAFE Act was repealed.
Ortt told the Reporter he declined to comment on that topic.
Instead he sent a press release stating he supported the Republican plan to modify the SAFE Act which he knows of course will die in the Assembly and never become law.