A chance to be heard

The state of New York and Gov. Andrew Cuomo could take a lesson from the Essex County Board of Supervisors regarding how to pass legislation.

On March 11, the board held a special SAFE Act Task Force Committee meeting where the new state law banning certain assault weapons and placing restrictions on magazine capacities, among other things, was discussed.

Three versions of a resolution that criticizes the state for the way it handled the passage of the law were presented, one asking for the measure to be amended and two calling for an outright repeal of the law. After discussion and debate, the committee voted to put forward a resolution to the full Board of Supervisors that will call for the repeal of the SAFE Act. That vote will take place at a special meeting called by Board Chair Randy Douglas Monday, March 18, at 6 p.m. in the county supervisors chambers in Elizabethtown.

What Essex County has done is exactly what opponents of the law have been slamming the state for not doing, taking their time and getting feedback from their constituents on how to address the matter.

Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret Bartley, who motioned for amendment of the SAFE Act, printed out the law and presented it to members of her town, asking them to check what they liked in the law and cross out what they did not. Gerald Morrow of Chesterfield, who chairs the committee, talked with residents and local sporting organizations. Douglas, who confesses that he does not own a gun, said he has learned more than he ever wanted to about them and the subject of gun violence in relation to this highly-debated law.

When North Hudson's Ronald Moore presented the board with a resolution backing the New York State Sheriff's Association and their stance on the matter, Morrow said that not only did the county need their own voice, they needed to do it the right way.

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