Canandaigua, N.Y.— On Tuesday night, Ontario County leaders took their first step to express their opposition over New York’s new gun law.
The county’s Government Operations and Improved Methods Committee met to vote on an official resolution to bring to the Board of Supervisors on February 14.
About two dozen county residents were also there to express their discontent over the state’s gun control law and to see what course the county would take.
In the end, the committee approved a resolution drafted by the Inter-County Association of Western New York and the Inter-County Legislative Committee of the Adirondacks.
The resolution states that the new law is “ viewed by many citizens of the State of New York as being extremely controversial as those citizens view this legislation as infringing upon their rights guaranteed to them under the second Amendment.”
The resolution also states the disappointment about the process in which the NY Safe Act was passed. It calls for “any future legislation which addresses the ownership of guns and sale of ammunition in the State of New York to be conducted only after an open debate… in which the public is allowed to participate.”
Mary Luckern, the chairwoman of the committee and Geneva supervisor, said she isn’t opposed to the gun law in its entirety. She mentioned there are good aspects of the law, but she feels several items need a second look.
Luckern said there are similar votes are taking place across the state.
“What we do here in the county isn't going to change state laws, but this is occurring all over the state and they are taking action like we just did this afternoon,” she said.
Some supervisors hope there is power in numbers.
“If we can work as a group and have a unified expression of our dissatisfaction with the content [of the law], we may actually get people in Albany to listen,” said Rich Russell, the Canandaigua City Supervisor.
Some supporters of gun-rights at Tuesday meeting felt that the language of the approved resolution wasn’t strong enough.
They were in support of another resolution drafted by Seneca Supervisor John Sheppard. His draft resolution stated that the New York Sate Act is a violation of the Second Amendment. It also calls for the New York state legislature and governor to rescind the Safe Act.
Sheppard’s resolution was unanimously rejected by the committee. Russell said there were concerns regarding whether or not it was accurate to state that the Safe Act is unconstitutional.
This issue could be discussed at the Board of Supervisors meeting on February 14.
Geneva resident Woody Nepa was at the committee meeting Tuesday. He said that he’s glad the county’s supervisors are standing up for this issue.
“I'm very glad that our politicians are standing up for us, and they understand that we are very unhappy about what's happening in Albany,” Nepa said.
He doesn’t know what would come of this resolution if the Board of Supervisors were to pass it next week. However, he is glad he’s getting a chance to voice his opinion.
“I'm managing my expectation, because I don't think the political process is very efficient to say the least but at minimum I want our voice to be heard. Before we have to engage lawyers and class action lawsuits, which I'm sure other people I'm doing, I want our voices to be heard and I want to be a part of the process.”
The Ontario County Board of Supervisors will meet on Thursday, February 14 at 6:30 at the Ontario County Court House.