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North Country News
Thu September 5, 2013
Cuomo Advises Sheriffs Not to Choose Laws to Enforce
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says law enforcement officials must enforce the gun control law known as the SAFE Act enacted earlier this year. But sheriffs say the law must be reworked.
During Governor Cuomo’s visit to the Adirondacks Wednesday, he was asked for his stance regarding some sheriffs in the state not wanting to enforce the SAFE Act. He says it’s not up to law enforcement officers to pick and choose what laws they like and don’t like.
Clinton County Sheriff David Favro supports the governor’s effort to create a safer community, but does not believe the SAFE Act accomplishes that goal. He says the governor is correct that the law must be enforced, but not all the issues surrounding the SAFE Act are black and white.
Essex County Sheriff Richard Cutting agrees that as a constitutional official, he is obligated to enforce the law. But he cites numerous problems with the SAFE Act.
The NYS Rife and Pistol Association has filed a lawsuit challenging the law. President Tom King says the governor is wrong because county sheriffs are the only directly elected law enforcement officials in the state and therefore respond directly to the demands of the people.
King notes that for many sheriffs seeking election this year, the SAFE Act is the primary issue in the campaign.
Sheriff Cutting notes that there remains considerable confusion regarding the law.
The governor’s office drafted and pushed through the gun law in January. It bans sales of some semi-automatic rifles and gives owners a year to register those they already own.
The New York State Sheriffs' Association and five individual sheriffs are suing to block enforcement of new bullet limits for magazines and firearms restrictions.