Cortland senator says SAFE Act amendments are "common sense changes"

ALBANY, N.Y. – The Cortland area's representative in the New York State Senate says the amendments to New York's gun control law passed by senate lawmakers on Monday are "common sense changes."

Sen. James Seward [R-51st], who represents Cortland County and portions of Tompkins County, has been an outspoken critic of the SAFE Act, which was passed following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2013.

Seward sponsored the bill, which he said was designed to remove onerous regulations on gun owners.

"These are common sense, administrative changes to the SAFE Act," Seward said while speaking on the Senate floor Monday. "I urge its passage."

Legislators voted 35-26 to approve the changes. The Senate is controlled by Republicans.

The SAFE Act has been criticized by state lawmakers and law enforcement officials as being overly burdensome on gun owners and police agencies.

The bill makes five changes:

– repeals requirement that every purchaser of ammunition undergo a background check
– allows continuation of ownership of registered weapons after that owner passes away
– makes individual pistol permit information confidential, removing opt-out process
– provides opportunity to appeal a decision when an individual is referred by their mental health professional as disqualified from possessing a weapon
– makes New York State Division of Criminal Justices–not state police–the keeper of statewide pistol database information

The bill, however, faces an uncertain future in the New York State Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats.


Follow The Cortland Voice on Facebook | Twitter