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Two Niagara Lawmakers Oppose SAFE Act Funding

This week, two Niagara County legislators, Wm. Keith McNall and Anthony J. Nemi, sponsored a resolution opposing the "unfunded mandate of implementing provisions of the NY SAFE Act."

The two Republican legislators want the state to reimburse Niagara County its costs for implementing the SAFE Act.

Considered by critics Cuomo's "strictest anti-gun law," the SAFE Act requires universal background checks on gun purchases, increases penalties for people who use illegal guns, mandates life in prison without parole for anyone who murders a first responder, and imposes the toughest assault weapons ban in the country.

The resolution reads "the NY SAFE Act has resulted in an increase in the number of first time (pistol permit) applicants, an increase in the number of gun purchases, an increase in the number of amendments and requests to upgrade pistol permits, and an increase in phone calls and correspondence which have placed an undue burden on the staff and budget allocations of the County."

Additionally, a provision of the SAFE Act allows an exception to public disclosure of an applicant's or permit holder's application resulting in literally thousands of exception requests received via mail, email and facsimile.

This provision has caused county staff to spend countless hours copying blank forms to make them available in County Offices, and additional hours expended opening, sorting, and filing such requests; indexing records to prevent inadvertent disclosure; and repeating the process when permits are recertified.

The counties of New York State were promised there would be no additional costs to them to implement the NYSAFE Act.

Yet the Niagara County Clerk has estimated that Niagara County has already incurred costs to implement the provisions of the NYSAFE Act of $115,277 in the first year alone.

Nemi and McNall's resolution reads, "Niagara County (should) consider implementation of the NYSAFE Act as another unfunded mandate that local governments are not in a position to assume (and to) call upon New York State to (help) cover costs associated with implementing the NYSAFE Act.”

These funds would be reallocated from the money Albany has allocated to the New York State Police to administer the SAFE Act.

To date, 52 different county legislatures have gone on record opposing the SAFE Act.

While the counties that oppose it comprise about 90 percent of the land area of the State of New York, the 10 counties that support it include the counties of Greater New York City which, by population, outnumber the rest of the state.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Mar 18, 2014