County Officials Take Aim At New York's Gun Control Laws

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How is the SAFE Act, New York's strict gun laws, affecting county officials?

That was the subject of a hearing at the Italian American Club in Watertown on Friday.

"A fact finding mission on exactly what - now that it's in law - what is the cost of administrating this SAFE Act," said Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R - 117th District).

"It was pushed through with no input from the professionals that are involved," said Assemblyman Michael Montesano (R - 15th District).

The professionals involved gave their input.

"There is nothing about this law that makes my community of St. Lawrence County any safer," said St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells.

Sheriffs, county clerks and mental health officials are all voicing their displeasure with the SAFE Act.

"Generally, the whole act is just, it doesn't fit with the citizens of the state of New York need to have work for them," said Lewis County Sheriff Mike Carpinelli.

For Oswego County Clerk Michael Backus, his office has seen a significant increase in people applying for gun permits in just the last four months.

"We're over $10,000 in increased cost that this act has taken on to our office. So it's a significant burden to all of us," said Backus.

Armed with all the facts, what's next for lawmakers?

A repeal of the bill is unlikely, meaning a court battle may be on the horizon.

"Probably the best way to repeal this law is through the courts," said Blankenbush.

Even then, no matter how many officials speak up, overturning the SAFE Act will be a difficult fight for everyone involved.

Friday, October 24, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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