Much good in SAFE Act that foes refuse to acknowledge
While discontented gun owners pop off their guns in the woods and at sportsmen’s clubs in mock protest of the anniversary of New York’s SAFE Act, we need to remember how important this law is.
And perhaps how misunderstood. Only the most menacing guns — assault weapons and large magazine guns — have to be registered anew under this law, not the pistols, rifles and shotguns used by most gun owners. And these owners can still buy ammunition for all these.
Besides, sellers of ammunition don’t have to register with state police until Jan. 15, and the way that ammunition is sold and transferred still provides access to dealers, shooting ranges, hunting clubs and youth safety programs. Furthermore, the state still hasn’t set up a database allowing retail sellers to do background checks and record sales, among the main purposes of the law, according to the SAFE Act webpage. It says the database isn’t yet operational despite a year’s lapse since the bill was signed.
Aside from this poor startup, the New York law deserves our support for these reasons:
The law makes us safer. It takes guns off the street. It bans sale or transfer of assault weapons and possession of newer ones restricted by the new criteria. It bans large-magazine weapons and makes police officers register their older, now illegal guns.
It tightens background checks for all gun sales, including by private sellers, and makes ammunition dealers do these checks, too. It requires safe storage of weapons from any household member who has been convicted of a felony or domestic violence crime, has been involuntarily committed, or is currently under an order of protection. It bans Internet sale of assault weapons and increases sentences for gun crimes.
It requires pistol permit-holders or owners of registered assault weapons to have them renewed every five years. It allows law enforcement officials to pre-emptively seize a person’s firearms without a warrant if they have probable cause that the person may be mentally unstable or intends to use the weapons to commit a crime. For all these reasons, the law works for many of us.
It helps identify the small minority of truly dangerous among those who have serious mental illnesses. It adds protections in domestic violence cases. It should help thwart suicides.
Families should speak out in support and not let the gun lobbies water down the law.
The writer is co-president of NAMI [National Alliance on Mental Illness] of Schenectady.
Residents should be able to park near Ellis
I am completely angry and perplexed at the Parkwood Boulevard parking situation.
My son lives on Parkwood Boulevard and has received three parking violations in the last six months. He is a college graduate who needed a co-signer because of no credit history, hence my involvement.
I realize the main objective in ticketing is to keep Ellis [Hospital] employees from parking there. Is there no way to distinguish a resident from a nonresident? Isn’t this supposed to benefit the residents so they’ll have parking available? Many of these homes do not have parking, other than on the street!
I called to inform the Schenectady Traffic Services Division that he is a resident working odd hours and cannot go out to move his car every two hours (a simply ridiculous notion!). I was told that these tickets cannot be reviewed or disputed because they are more than 20 days old. What a horribly sneaky way for the city to profit!
Is it really that hard to issue resident permits to hang in cars so the residents aren’t getting punished for simply parking where they live? I guess these tickets will have to [be] paid, but it certainly puts a foul taste in my mouth.
Same old story with City Council appointment
It is too bad Schenectady Councilwoman Denise Brucker did not resign from her council term before the November election inasmuch as she is moving to Niskayuna.
Perhaps there is a reason she did not? If she had, the voters would probably have been able to vote for her replacement, instead of the Democratic council members choosing her replacement — with a Democrat.
Margaret King, council president, emphasized in the Jan. 8 Gazette that, “I’m leaning more toward someone with experience. There’s not a lot of veterans on the council anymore. When you’re dealing with some of the complex issues we’re dealing with, it just helps to have someone with experience.”
My opinion: The above is not always correct.
Everyone should write the mayor and council members that they should fill the vacancy with [Republican] Joseph Kelleher to have some diversification and have a democratic government.
Newtown killer used assault rifle, too
Re Kevin O’Shell’s Jan. 7 letter, “Stop making honest gun owners criminals”: Tell the whole story and not just half-truths?
The whole truth is that [shooter] Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster XM-15 assault rifle with 30-round clips, not “two handguns,” as the writer stated.
After shooting out the protective glass, he murdered all those innocent young children and adults by firing over 154 rounds in under five minutes before cowardly taking his own life with a handgun.
I guess this was hunting to this disturbed young man who got his assault weapon legally and easily from his mother.
As a true sportsman, there is no need or reason to use an assault weapon for target shooting, trap shooting or hunting. No one is trying to take away your shotguns, hunting rifles or handguns — just asking responsible gun owners to register and abide by the laws to possibly save at least one life — maybe even yours or someone you know.
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