The Anti-SAFE Act groups have a single battle dry– “Repeal The SAFE Act”. We can see those signs almost everywhere. In New York State the method to repeal a law is just to pass another law to replace the unwanted one. With all the uproar the year old SAFE Act has created, some may think it would be easy to do. The process of turning a bill into a law is complicated, time consuming, and politically difficult.
Presently there have two “Repeal The Safe Act” bills introduced in the State Legislaure. Both bills have the needed sponsors from the House and Senate. The first bill was introduced in the Assembly by freshmen state assemblyman, Rep. David J. DiPietro (R-East Aurora). Sen. Kathleen A. Marchione introduce the same bill in the Senate. The second bill was introduced in the Assembly by Rep. Bill Nojay (R-133). His bill is being co-sponsored in the State Senate by Mike Nozzolio (R-54). The only difference in the two proposed laws is that the DiPietro-Marchione bill repeals the WHOLE Safe Act law; the Nojay-Nozzolio bill DOES NOT REPEAL the First Responder clause of the law.
Rep. David J. DiPietro explains “The Republican majority made this (SAFE Act) happen.” He blames the passing of the Act on moderate downstate republicans and especially Majority Coalition Leader Sen. Dean G. Skelos (R-C-IP, Reockville Centre). “He voted for the bill. He allowed the bill to come to the floor. Skelos and his Long Island delegation sold us out. It is unlikely Skelos will permit the repeal bill to be debated on the floor of the senate. Repeal of the law would leave egg on his face.” Watch a news report about a rally against Sen. Skelos, or read a Wall Street Journal article about the NYS GOP Squabbles.
Rep. Bill Nojay has always blamed Cuomo for the SAFE Act and other problems he sees in New York State. He feels that Governor Cuomo can be defeated in the general election in November. Nojay is the spark behind Donald Trump running for governor. He is also a plaintiff in the SAFE Act lawsuit that the Federal Court rejected the seven round limit but upheld most of the rest of the Act. Just in case Governor Cuomo wins re-election, Nojay has a petition trying to convince him to ““Repeal the SAFE Act, punish violent criminals and leave law-abiding citizens alone!” Watch a short video of Rep. Nojay at last year’s Yates County SCOPE Picnic, or read a news report about his proposed bill.
Yates County chapter of SCOPE also feels that Governor Cuomo can be defeated. At a meeting last summer, the leader explained that in 2010, Cuomo received 5 million votes, and there are 6 million hunters in the state. All they had to do was get every hunter out to vote, and he will be defeated. Let’s look at the facts. According to Wikipedia Governor Cuomo received 2,911,616 votes, noticeably less than the 5 million reported at the SCOPE meeting. Then it should be easy to defeat him–except there are not 6 million hunters in New York State. According to the DEC’s website, there are “nearly 700,000 New York Hunters”. SCOPE would need to do more than get all the hunters out to vote to defeat him.
In a poll taken in early in February by Quninipiac University, 59% of the New York voters feel that Cuomo deserves to be re-elected. “By a narrower 44 – 39 percent, voters approve Cuomo’s handling of the gun policy.” That means that 17% of those asked do not have an opinion on the topic. Believe it or not, not everyone is hyped up by the SAFE Act.
That Quninipiac University poll did not report the Upstate/Downstate results, but a January Seina College Research poll reported, “When asked whether voters would actually support Cuomo in November, Upstate support is tied – 45 percent of voters north of New York City and its suburbs say they are ready to support him while 46 percent say they’d prefer someone else.”
We need to realize that there are more registered democrats in New York City than republicans in the whole state. There are moderate republicans who have been turned off by the radical tea party extremism. The following is from the minutes of the Yates County Legislature of March 11, 2013 during the discussion of the resolution not to support the SAFE Act. Every Yates County Legislator was a republican when the resolution passed, including Mrs. Alexander.
Mrs. Alexander stated that she will not be supporting this. It did not go through committee. This repeal has just been proposed since Senator O’Mara was here. She has no issue with repealing parts of this. There are some good parts to this resolution. Why wouldn’t we want to do something about first responders being killed? There are also good parts pertaining to mental health issues. We are doing the same thing that the Governor did to us. The Public Safety Committee and all legislators should weigh in on this and make it known that there are good parts to this. That we recognize that fact and there are parts that should be repealed. Mrs. Alexander will be voting no on this and recommend that it be referred back to Public Safety.
- The leader of the NYS Senate, a Republican, will not bring a Repeal The Safe Act bill to the floor for a vote. (Kind of like Rep. Boehner not bringing bills up for a vote in the House of Representatives).
- Downstate residents of both parties and independents tend to support the SAFE Act.
- People who live near cities sees the benefits of the SAFE Act and supports it.
- There are more democrats in New York State than republicans.
- There are moderate republicans who may want to amend the law, but not repeal it.
- Governor Cuomo, state wide, is still a popular governor.
- Donald Trump
People who become politically active when they feel their rights have been violated have to be admired. It is too bad there that some people are benefiting polticially from the SAFE Act brouhaha– including the four state legislators who are sponsoring and co-sponsoring the bills to repeal it and, our congressman who attends rallys and fans the “unconstitutional” flames. There are few benefiting from it financially, including the gun industry and the Anti SAFE Act sign businesses. (The SCOPE meeting I attended they were selling them for $7 each. On-line companies advertise them for $19.99). Those do not want the Anti-SAFE Act crusade to stop.
Looking at Reapealing the SAFE Act critically, we see there is more hype than bite.