Robertson/Reed May 18 OP Eds–NYS SAFE Act

Martha Robertson

I oppose the NY SAFE Act. I voted against it more than a year ago in a Tompkins County Legislature resolution and signed a pledge to support its repeal.

Rep. Tom Reed and others who claim that I support the SAFE Act are lying about my record.

At the Tompkins County Legislature last year, we heard more than 10 hours of public comment on the SAFE Act, which was 10 hours more than the state Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo heard. Before voting on this important issue, we listened to every member of the public who wanted to weigh in.

Perhaps because the SAFE Act was passed in such a rush, the resulting law infringes on the rights and privacy of responsible, law-abiding gun owners. It compels burdensome restrictions on the actions, choices and rights countless New Yorkers have taken, made and exercised legally and safely for generations.

The law includes arbitrary and confusing constraints. For example, the law’s broad, overreaching definition of assault weapon makes various modern sporting rifles illegal, including various guns used for hunting. Even for such guns that are grandfathered in, the SAFE Act prevents parents from passing them down to their children, a treasured tradition in many families.

Worse still, the SAFE Act is a move in the wrong direction when it comes to taking meaningful action to reduce gun violence. Criminals will not register their guns or use small magazines. Meanwhile, the restrictions will take up critical time and resources from law enforcement that should be focused on enforcing laws that do target criminals.

That’s what we should be doing: enforcing the laws directed at criminals and keeping guns out of their hands. Additionally, we should get serious about stopping repetitive crime and addressing issues with mental illnesses.

Unfortunately, to the contrary, various mental health experts have warned that the SAFE Act threatens their effectiveness because of the new reporting requirements. Their concern is that gun owners may conceal critical information during therapy or not seek treatment at all because they don’t want to risk losing their weapons.

As for the federal role in gun issues, the federal government should focus on enforcing existing laws and prevention measures. For instance, it should work to improve the accuracy of databases of criminal and mentally ill individuals and make sure they are kept up to date — which is important to ensure that background checks work. Like most responsible gun owners, I am in favor of universal background checks.

In Congress, I will work to ensure that law enforcement resources are not diverted to arbitrarily restricting responsible gun owners but are rightly directed at criminals, and that the federal government works closely with local and state law enforcement on prevention and enforcement. Americans have a right to expect that movie theaters, shopping malls, and schools will be safe places for their families.

I oppose the NY SAFE Act and voted against it. I have a voting record on the NY SAFE Act and Reed does not. He is lying about my record.


Tom Reed

I’ve been hunting since I was a kid, and I’m 100 percent committed to maintaining the right to keep and bear arms for all of us here in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes.

I like to head out to the field with my son each season, and spend the day with a great group of people making memories. The things you learn out on the field can’t be taught in a classroom, and this tradition is supported by something incredibly important — our fundamental right to keep and bear arms, recognized by our Founding Fathers and expressly protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Many states are attempting to legislate those rights away. That should be stopped. The NY SAFE Act is an example of overreach at a state level that motivates me at the federal level. I don’t support the SAFE Act because it unfairly burdens law-abiding citizens and infringes on our constitutional rights while demonstrating a clear trajectory of future anti-gun legislation.

Fifty-two counties in upstate New York have passed resolutions to repeal or amend the SAFE Act, with Tompkins County the lone holdout among the eleven in the 23rd Congressional District. My opponent was chairwoman at the time of passage, giving her an opportunity to stop the legislation. She chose not to do so. My opponent had also chosen to unfairly restrict the rights of sportsmen by banning rifle hunting in Tompkins County long before the SAFE Act.

It’s no surprise to hear my opponent refuse to go on record opposing the SAFE Act while she was accepting generous donations from anti-gun extremists in Washington. I signed the SCOPE anti-SAFE Act pledge because I care about western New York values and I have no problem putting my views on paper. My opponent has yet to sign the pledge.

Gun ownership is a right, and with that comes great responsibility. Our rights need to be protected, but we must also be responsible with our firearms and ensure that proper safety measures are taken at every turn. Because I care, I taught my children at a young age to remain diligent and respectful of firearms. The same must be done for our rights in western New York.

We need to focus our efforts on safety measures and doing everything possible to keep weapons out of the hands of children and criminals. In addition, we need to attack the root cause of gun violence and ensure we provide help for the individual behind the gun and care for individuals with mental health needs in America.

I took an oath to uphold the rights of all U.S. citizens, including the law-abiding citizens of western New York. I will stand firmly in protecting our Second Amendment rights and fight the many one-size-fits-all proposals out of Washington that jeopardize these rights on a regular basis. This is the right thing to do.

Note: the newspaper links evaporate after 30 days.



About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
This entry was posted in 2014, Congress, Environmental, Gun Violence, Political, Reed's Views and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Robertson/Reed May 18 OP Eds–NYS SAFE Act

  1. whungerford says:

    I am dissatisfied with both candidates statements. Neither takes a responsible position on the need to reduce firearm violence or recognizes that inadequate firearm regulation is at the root of it. In addition, I don’t want candidates to sign or agree to pledges other than the oath of office.


  2. solodm says:

    Tom Reed’s “folksy” generalizations (whether or not one agrees with him ) left me with five observations:
    1) he disagrees with the SAFE Act
    2) he offers no specific reasons on why he disagrees, other than the usual “scare” rhetoric
    3) he offered no specific plan on how to improve status quo gun regulation abuses, and seeks no new regulation
    4) he signed yet another pledge, that has since backed off of – as he has backed off of all other pledges he’s taken since being elected ( pledge of office, Norquist pledge, No Labels Pledge, etc.)
    5) he hunted as a kid, and still does

    Martha Robertson’s straightforward statement ( whether or not one agrees with her) also left me with five observations:
    1) she disagrees with the SAFE Act
    2) she gave at least four specific reasons on why she disagrees: pushed through too fast, too restrictive in some cases (hunting), arbitrary “grandfathering”, and misuse of law enforcement emphasis.
    3) she is in favor of universal background checks
    4) she did not sign a superfluous pledge, but instead, used the appropriate action – she voted her conviction
    5) she does not appreciate being lied about.


  3. BOB McGILL says:

    there are a lot of people in Chicago and Washington DC. that will disagree with you


  4. BOB McGILL says:

    In contrast, Martha Robertson voted in support of the SAFE Act and served as chair of the only county legislature in upstate New York that has yet to oppose the legislation. It’s no wonder she’s getting thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from anti-Second Amendment extremists like Nancy Pelosi. We call on Martha Robertson to sign the pledge today.”
    aint the lansingstar one of whungerford’s favorite papers ?

    Read more:


  5. WNYPlanner says:

    Martha Robertson DID NOT, I repeat, SHE DID NOT VOTE TO SUPPORT the Safe Act. Open your ears and eyes.


  6. WNYPlanner says:

    Tom Reed stating that Martha Robertson voted to support the Safe Act (clearly a false statement) in quotes does not make it a fact and clearly shows that his integrity is impaired.


  7. whungerford says:

    The NYS SAFE Act will never be a winning issue for Martha Robertson given Tom Reed’s negative campaigning. It matters little though–most SAFE Act opponents probably prefer Tom anyway. Martha echoing NRA propaganda may turn away some potential supporters.


  8. Deb meeker says:

    Is she in fact “echoing” NRA rhetoric or stating her reasoned beliefs? Mrs. Robertson (unlike Mr. Reed) has given no indication of being a fabricator of feel-good rhetoric to appease voting blocs.


  9. whungerford says:

    All nonsense in my opinion; completely trivial, even if partly true, compared to the terrible toll of too many guns.

    “the SAFE Act … infringes on the rights and privacy of responsible, law-abiding gun owners.

    It compels burdensome restrictions on the actions, choices and rights (of) countless New Yorkers

    the law’s broad, overreaching definition of assault weapon makes various modern sporting rifles illegal, including various guns used for hunting.

    the SAFE Act prevents parents from passing (guns) … down to their children

    Criminals will not register their guns or use small magazines.”


  10. pystew says:

    I don’t feel that Martha will lose much by being against the SAFE Act. People who support the ACT will not jump to Reed–some MAY be turned off from voting, but I think that would be rare. I see that some SAFE Act Repealers, who realize Reed’s voting record against Women, for the Ryan Budget, Social Security, Pro-Fracking, the Shut Down, not paying the Nation’s debt, etc, will feel that Martha would represent them better than Reed.

    The fact is that she, as Chair of Tompkins County Legislature had more than 10 hours of comments (between her regular Legislature Meetings and the Public Safety Meetings). She followed the proper steps. Yates County had ZERO minutes of public comments. The Resolution didn’t even go to a committee- a legislator sponsored it, a few minutes discussion and BINGO, the Resolution was passed, and Yates County became 52 counties who want to repeal it.


  11. josephurban says:

    Which citizens lose their right to a weapon under the SAFE Act?


  12. Deb Meeker says:

    Whether or not we agree with the SAFE Act, or Martha Robertson’s interpretation of same, I am satisfied that she gave her own answers for her actions, to enable people to make a judgement on her decision.
    We will NEVER hear or read of Tom Reed calling for universal background checks, or any other considerations toward further gun legislation.


  13. whungerford says:

    I wonder why it is that Republicans, Tom Reed for example, feel it necessary to cater to their base by continually reaffirming their commitment to the wildest ideas, but Democrats seem reluctant to adopt progressive views. Governor Cuomo, while he has achieved notable success, has traded off support for education, fair redistricting, the women’s rights bill, and perhaps more to achieve that.


  14. Anne says:

    The other issue with this piece: if Reed is lying here (and he is), where else is he lying? We already know he lied about his involvement with Mr. Keister. And lying is an ingrained habit.


  15. BOB McGILL says:

    give me time, meanwhile here’s one for you- Ms. Robertson is turning out to be yet another of those political hopefuls who apparently wasn’t aware that we had cameras way back in 2009 and methods of storing the images and sounds they record. As Professor Jacobson reports at Legal Insurrection, Martha was caught on camera just a few years back supporting something different than Obamacare… she was ready to go all in on a national single payer plan.


  16. WNYPlanner says:

    I have done the research. I am more concerned with the high cost of health care which can eliminate bankruptcies…63% of bankruptcies are due to medical debt today. The ACA does nothing to lower the cost of healthcare…therefore, I fully support the single payer option. A Report by the Boston Federal Reserve makes the case:


  17. whungerford says:

    I don’t think it likely that the cost of health care will go down, but ACA has already slowed the rate of increase in health care costs, and that is important.


  18. BOB McGILL says:

    WETM-TV reached out to Martha Robertson’s campaign Wednesday, and they responded, releasing a statement that said, “ …. Martha opposes the SAFE ACT and voted against it – period.”

    Again, Robertson voted against a resolution in support of the SAFE Act in April of 2013. But according to the Tompkins County Meeting Minutes, Robertson voted against an amendment that opposed the SAFE Act.

    The minutes also show that Robertson “yes” on a motion to refer the resolution in support of the SAFE Act to committee, but then voted against it on final vote….


  19. BOB McGILL says:

    Now, now, lets not start picking on liars here, do you want to offend everybody.


  20. WNYPlanner says:

    Guess what Bill. I know Mr. Reed personally and would agree that he is indeed certainly capable of lying to gain the advantage and will exploit people to gain the upper hand at any cost. That my friend can be simply marked up to “lack of integrity”.


  21. josephurban says:

    I have seen summaries of the SAFE Act and I don’t see what the fuss is all about. Guess I am missing something. Who is going to have their guns taken away ? How are the new regs going to prevent folks from getting guns? Just curious.


  22. Pingback: Guest Opinion: Ten Facts Every Voter Should Know About Martha Robertson | New NY 23rd

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