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Westhampton, Hampton Bays React to New York Gun Control Bill

Local state lawmakers support the NY SAFE Act.

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday signed into law the first gun control bill to be adopted following the Dec. 14 elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. — with the support of the state lawmakers who represent Westhampton and Hampton Bays.

Sen. Kenneth P. LaValle, R-Port Jefferson, whose district includes the entire East End, voted in favor of the bill, as did Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr., I-Sag Harbor, who represents the South Fork and Shelter Island.

The Senate passed the legislation, called the NY Secure Firearms and Ammunition Enforcement (SAFE) Act, on Monday by a vote of 43 to 18. The Assembly followed suit on Tuesday by a vote of 104 to 43, and Cuomo signed it into law just hours later.

According to the governor's office, New York will be the first state to completely ban all pre-1994 high capacity magazines; to ban any magazine that can hold more than seven rounds, down from a limit of 10; and to conduct real-time background checks of ammunition purchases in order to alert law enforcement of high volume buyers.

The bill closes the "gun show loophole, which allowed sales of firearms without criminal background checks. The act also includes a tougher assault weapons ban and it requires mental health professional to report when they have reason to believe patients are likely to cause serious harm to themselves or others, among other provisions.

Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver said in a statement, "No civilian needs or should be able to purchase an assault weapon intended to kill as many human beings as swiftly as possible. Let us be perfectly clear — this bill is about protecting people. Protecting our children. Protecting our families. Protecting first responders, police officers, and firefighters."

The National Rifle Association called the bill "draconian."

"These gun control schemes have failed in the past and will have no impact on public safety and crime," an NRA statement reads. "Sadly, the New York Legislature gave no consideration to that reality.  While lawmakers could have taken a step toward strengthening mental health reporting and focusing on criminals, they opted for trampling the rights of law-abiding gun owners in New York, and they did it under a veil of secrecy in the dark of night."

Westhampton-Hampton Bays Patch asked the followers of our Facebook page what they thought of the legislation and its passage.

Stephanie Jiudice Parkinson wrote, "Assault weapons do not belong on the free market. Period. There is no need."

Staci Futoma-Nappi said, "Tighter on mentally ill , yes. But banning magazines that hold 7 rounds instead of 10 will not do anything but make illegal what was legal. The "bad" guys will not voluntarily surrender their clips ....which were probably obtained illegally....for nothing. It costs money to purchase these rounds and who will want to throw out paid for merchandise? 3 rounds does not define a good guy from bad. It just makes it harder to be a good guy."

Patch Wants to Know: What do you think of the NY SAFE Act?  Join the conversation by leaving your comments below.

Bojames January 16, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Assault weapons YES....in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Lebanon...........and every other place that wants to /needs to perpetuate the easy killing of others...in America? Are'nt we better than that?
Dennis January 16, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Our Founding Fathers knew that any government that does not trust its own citizens with guns, is NOT to be trusted. The reason we have a Second Amendment is NOT to "go hunting' or "target shooting." Do you think the founding fathers took their "well-regulated militias" out to go duck or deer hunting? How idiotic! We have firearms because that genie was out of the bottle hundreds of years ago, and even in your wet dreams of disarming law-abiding people, when "gun control" laws get passed, they do NOT make all the weapons in existence magically disappear. Criminals will be the only ones left with those weapons. Why? BECAUSE THEY'RE CRIMINALS! They don't OBEY laws, and only a total moron would think they do. NO ONE has the right to tell me that my GOD-GIVEN RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE is somehow revoked by executive fiat, or even an act of Congress, for that matter. The Second Amendment only CODIFIES what our Founding Fathers KNEW to be an inherent, God-Given right.
Ralebird January 16, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Even taking your assumption of what the founding fathers "knew" at face value we now know that we can not trust all citizens with guns. The Lanzas, Holmeses, Fergusons, et al. have proven that. The legislation does not eliminate the second amendment, only furthers the regulation thereof, after all the right is clearly to be "well regulated". These are common sense measures to address the problem you cite with criminals having weapons and are directed at those who would move a legally held weapon to the underground. I don't see how a law abiding gun owner can have a problem with this. You may believe you have a "GOD-GIVEN RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE", you may even be able to cite scripture which allows you to make that claim but you cannot cite a God-given right to own unlimited, unregulated, unlicensed firearms.
Dennis January 16, 2013 at 09:50 PM
ralebird said: "The legislation does not eliminate the second amendment, only furthers the regulation thereof..." Have you READ the 2nd Amendment? What part of "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED" do you not understand? I'm guessing it's the "not" part? You also said: "These are common sense measures to address the problem you cite with criminals having weapons and are directed at those who would move a legally held weapon to the underground." Wrong. As I've said, when you make legislation banning ANYTHING, the thing does not simply disappear. The weapons the legislation is aimed at will still exist and criminals will be the only ones that have them. If it happens, I NO LONGER want to hear cops gripe about how they're "outgunned," esp. since they have dreaded ASSAULT RIFLES in the trunks of their cars! WE will be the ones "outgunned." You also said: "You may believe you have a "GOD-GIVEN RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE", you may even be able to cite scripture which allows you to make that claim but you cannot cite a God-given right to own unlimited, unregulated, unlicensed firearms." Yes I can! Not only that, but I DID! It's called the U.S. Constitution and the 2nd Amendment.
Dennis January 16, 2013 at 09:58 PM
PLEASE, everyone - WATCH THIS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wt1Zy_ASNyA# ....and ask yourself what's wrong here.
Alan Rodriguez January 16, 2013 at 09:59 PM
Once again in the wake of a violent attack, the publice receives a knee-jerk reaction from the press and politicians. Contrary to the opinions and statements of some, semi-automatic rifles are often used to practice sport shooting, not hunting. Citing the "you do not need a semi automatic to kill a deer" mantra, is ludicrous and uninformed. NO ONE in new York State hunts deer with a high capacity magazine,semi-auto rile. They use them legally to engage in shooting sports. Citing the names of criminals who used guns THEY DID NOT LEGALLY POSSESS to color lawful gun owners as untrustworthy is another example of lies told to justify fear. Simple fact is that psychotic individuals commit mass murder, but mental health professionals shield their violent potential to protect their "rights", which unlike gun ownership, and mentioned nowhere in the constitution.
Ralebird January 16, 2013 at 10:37 PM
Infringe: Defeat, frustrate. That was the definition at the time the Constitution was written. This was the same time that "well regulated" was written as a key point in the Second Amendment. This legislation does nothing to defeat or frustrate you from owning a weapon, it does however, "well regulate" those who are not trustworthy enought to possess those weapons and also to a lesser extent the types of weapons permitted, certainly not to the extent of permitting only the "state of the art" musket at the time the Constitution was written. Your responses refer to criminals having weapons yet fail to suggest any possible method of correcting that abuse, in fact you disagree with measures here that would do just that. Do you really have a problem with background checks for ALL gun purchases regardless of the credentials of the seller? What about holding those responsible who have facilitated criminal activity by stealing, transferring, smuggling guns or simply failing to adequately secure those weapons? Or is that simply a price we must pay for our "freedom"?
mark hannan January 17, 2013 at 12:04 PM
Lavalle, Cuomo,Thiele et al will pay for their betrayal of the Constitution. They should start planning their alternative careers.
Dennis January 17, 2013 at 02:01 PM
Hey there, rale - I'm glad you realize that we need to interpret the words of the Constitution in the manner that the founders understood them at the time. You keep referring to the phrase "well-regulated" as if the word "regulated" meant "controlled." It simply did not mean that at the time. http://constitution.org/cons/wellregu.htm The word does not mean anything like "controlled." It means regulated, the way well operating machinery is "regulated." If it DID mean what you contend it meant, then it would directly contradict the phrase "shall not be infringed." I don't want to be called Tolstoy again, so I'll post a quote from the Federalist Papers in the next post.
Dennis January 17, 2013 at 02:02 PM
The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, nor a week nor even a month, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry and of the other classes of the citizens to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a ***well regulated*** militia, would be a real grievance to the people and a serious public inconvenience and loss. --- The Federalist Papers, No. 29.
Ralebird January 18, 2013 at 09:38 AM
Sorry, Dennis, your constant quoting of the Federalist Papers is meaningless, they are simply a collection of opinion pieces from the era and bear no legal weight whatsoever. Further, you don't really expect a quote from an opinion website, regardless of its official sounding name to be authoritarian, do you? Well regulated has always meant what it does today, even if it may have had a broader use by some less educated, or more poetic users 200 years ago. I note that you neglected to respond to my opinion that the legislation amounts to common sense measures to deal with the problem of criminals having unfetterred access to weapons but instead commented about "banning ANYTHING". Again, I don't see how any law abiding gun owner can have a problem with this. And you failed to cite the constitutional passage referring to your god given right to own any type of weapon you please - your statement alone is weightless.

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