Swanson joins others in not enforcing part of SAFE Act

MAYVILLE — Like some of his colleagues in Western New York, Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson said his office is not enforcing part of New York State’s SAFE Act that was found unconstitutional.

“I have recently been contacted by various residents of Chautauqua County regarding my office’s position on the seven round limitation imposed by the SAFE Act. All of those constituents have indicated that they have recently seen announcements of other District Attorneys indication that they will no longer prosecute under the seven round section of the SAFE Act. I want to be clear that my office has not prosecuted under that section since I have had the role of District Attorney.

“In 2013, a federal court in the Western District of New York indicated that that provision was unconstitutional. The decision was appealed, and in 2015 the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision. Since becoming the acting district attorney in 2016, I have not prosecuted under the section deemed unconstitutional.

“I am not aware of any cases that fall under the ‘seven-bullet’ section being charged or prosecuted in Chautauqua County during my time as district attorney. While that section of the SAFE Act is still technically on the books, I have no plans to enforce it given the federal court’s declaration that it is unconstitutional,” he said.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn and Niagara County District Caroline Wojtaszek have both gone on record saying they will not enforce the “seven-bullet” provision of the SAFE Act.

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