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Essex County to make SAFE Act stance today

Meeting set for 6 p.m.

— Essex County Lawmakers will decide today if their voice will join the growing number of counties that have called for state legislators and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to re-think the SAFE Act.

The full Board of Supervisors will meet March 18 at 6 p.m. in the Old Courthouse to discuss and vote on a resolution calling for the state to repeal the hotly-debated law. The SAFE Act task force passed the proposed resolution onto the full board during its lone meeting March 11.

"We have had a lot of emails, phone calls and visits from people since this committee was formed," Chesterfield Supervisor Gerald Morrow, task force chair, said last week. "Every person that I have talked to is in favor of repealing the SAFE Act."

Morrow and North Hudson Supervisor Ronald Moore both introduced draft resolutions to repeal the law. Both were similar, and the task force voted to use the draft by Morrow.

A third option, which asked for the state to look at amending the law, was presented by Elizabethtown Town Supervisor Margret Bartley but not accepted by the group.

Sheriff Richard Cutting will present a law enforcement view on the law.

"This was done so rapidly," Cutting said. "A lot of our winter business at the annual Sheriff's Association meeting got set aside for this issue. The general feeling was that this law lacks. This law would have done nothing to prevent Sandy Hook or Columbine or any of those massacres. All of these things are what I see as simple, rush-through errors."

Board Chairman Randy Douglas said that the meeting will include the presentation by Cutting, a chance for the public to speak and then board discussion before a vote is made. Douglas said that public comment would be limited to three minutes per person.

Below is a draft of the Essex County resolution:

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