Onondaga County is latest to call for repeal of gun control law

Mar 6, 2013

Onondaga County is the latest county government in New York state to call on Albany to repeal the SAFE Act.  The county legislature voted Tuesday to ask the state to scrap the new state law, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called the toughest gun control law in the country.

Onondaga County is now one of more than 30 counties in upstate New York telling Albany, as Legislator Casey Jordan said:

"The only appropriate way to deal with this is repeal the law, go back to the drawing board, allow for public comment  and public input and come up with a law that actually accomplishes what it is it's supposed to accomplish."

Jordan, along with the rest of the Republican majority, agreed with the prevailing sentiment at a public hearing Monday night, that the law infringes on Second Amendment rights, and beyond that, doesn't touch gun violence that comes from illegally owned guns.

"This law does absolutely nothing to address that. And it's very disappointing. State officials had a chance to do something about that," said Legislator Danny Liedke.

Democrats opposed asking for an outright repeal. Legislator Linda Ervin is looking for a more piecemeal approach to dealing with the legislation.  

"Even if they were going to listen to us, I'd rather have a positive approach, which means lets change this or lets change that," said Ervin.

The issue -- which brought hundreds out to legislature chambers for a public hearing Monday night, mostly opposing the SAFE Act -- is like no other that long-time Republican Legislator Kathleen Rapp has ever seen.

"I've very seldom had an issue as emotional as this one have such a one-sided response from across my entire district -- from senior citizens, to young people, from immigrants to businessmen.  It seems to have touched a visceral cord in people about their rights," said Rapp.

In the end, Republican David Knapp wonders how this groundswell of opposition will make a difference.

"Do I see an outright repeal?  That's probably a long shot, but if we could get some common sense changes, I think we'd be definitely going in the right direction," said Knapp.