Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, made several stops Wednesday in Fulton County, speaking out against the state’s gun control laws and touting his campaign platform.
If elected in November, Moss said, his first move would be to try to repeal the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act. He believes the law hurts small gun shops and reduces sales tax revenue.
“One of the first things we will try to do is repeal the SAFE Act,” he said at the Fulton County Correctional Facility. “If the Assembly doesn’t agree to that, then we would start defunding it.”
Moss was joined by Fulton County Sheriff Tom Lorey, who has previously stated he does not fully enforce the SAFE Act in the county. When asked how he, as lieutenant governor, would react if a sheriff or local official decided not to comply with legislation that he championed, Moss said: “The majority of sheriffs in this state are elected. They are each entitled to their own opinion. That is why residents get to elect a sheriff, and their sheriff can choose to do what they want.
“I can tell you in my county, I prioritize what needs to be done, and enforcing the SAFE Act is low on my priority list.”
If Moss and his running mate for governor, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, intend to either repeal the SAFE Act or defund it, they may face an uphill battle. In the Assembly, Democrats — a number of whom pushed for the passage of the SAFE Act — outnumber Republicans nearly 2 to 1 and look poised to take control of the Senate if the Independent Democratic Coalition is disbanded following November’s election.
Moss added the state’s strict gun control laws hurt “law-abiding citizens,” and he wants gun legislation aimed at convicted criminals and individuals who have mental illnesses.
Currently, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his running mate, Kathy Hochul, hold a comfortable 32-point lead over Astorino and Moss, according to the most recent Siena Research Institute poll.
While visiting Frank’s Gun and Tackle Shop in Mayfield, Moss shook hands with the store owners and a number of patrons and discussed what he would do if elected. In an attempt to root out corruption in Albany, Moss said he would work to establish term limits for all statewide positions.
“We are looking to create two four-year terms for the Senate, Assembly, comptroller, attorney general, governor and lieutenant governor,” Moss said. “They get in these positions and the only thing they are worrying about is getting re-elected.”