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County, state official debate SAFE Act

A slide from Essex County Sheriff Richard Cutting's presentation on the SAFE Act, which he plans to present throughout the county on an invitational basis.

A slide from Essex County Sheriff Richard Cutting's presentation on the SAFE Act, which he plans to present throughout the county on an invitational basis.

— Essex County officials have started to talk about one of the most debated pieces of state legislation in the tenure of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

During the Feb. 25 Ways and Means Committee meeting, county supervisors talked about pursuing a resolution that would be sent to the state concerning the SAFE Act, which set a band on guns deemed as assault weapons, magazine capacities and extends background checks on weapons and ammunition.

“Somewhere in the middle there should be a compromise,” Board Chairman and Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas said. “I would rather us have our own resolution because there are portions that I would be in favor of.”

Douglas said that, from the county’s perspective, the supervisors should express concerns to the governor’s office over the amount of money it would cost local counties and the effects it would have on law enforcement.

“We discussed the impact to the county, and if there was a cost factor associated to this and it looks like there will be an impact,” Douglas said. “I would rather attack it on that end. To oppose the whole thing, I do not know if that is good for us. Focus on the financial impact and the impact to our law enforcement would be the way to address this.”

North Hudson Supervisor Ronald Moore moved a resolution to support the opinions of the New York State Sheriffs Association. While supervisors were split, the motion was passed on to the full board meeting.

“There are 26 that have passed resolutions that are in opposition is some way,” Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said. “What I am hearing from the majority of people is that they are concerned with the way that things were done.”

“Because there is so much emotion attached to this, I have been trying to get feedback from my constituents,” Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret Bartley said. “Just saying that we are against an act that has 14 separate positions is just too vague.”

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