Reed adding name to Collins’ SAFE act repeal bill

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed is adding his name to a bill that would limit a state’s authority to regulate rifles and shotguns.

During a Tuesday conference call, Reed, R-Corning, said he’s cosponsoring U.S. Rep. Chris Collins’ Second Amendment Guarantee Act bill that would keep states and local governments from further regulating or prohibiting a rifle or shotgun. Collins unveiled legislation in July in a bid to do away with the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act in New York state.

Specifically, the bill would prevent states from implementing any regulations on weapons that are more restrictive than what’s required by federal law. That means states wouldn’t be able to require registration or licensing for the sale, manufacture, transfer or possession of a rifle or a shotgun.

If passed, Collins said most language found within New York’s SAFE Act, signed into law in 2013 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, would be void.

Joining in support of legislation, Reed said he’s standing with Collins to protect gun rights as fundamentally guaranteed by the Constitution. Despite courts upholding New York’s gun law, Reed said he believes it’s appropriate to make sure the constitutional right is protected further than “just a judicial review.”

“To me, it’s taking a prudent course to make sure that Second Amendment fundamental right is protected at the state level and that the states do not go beyond with excessive regulation or legislation such as what I believe the SAFE Act represents,” Reed said. “Law abiding citizens are entitled to protection of the Second Amendment and I will stand with those that stand with the Second Amendment as I have made my record very clear on this issue.”

Following the bill unveiling in July, Cuomo came out strongly against Collins’ proposal, calling it “disturbing” and a “blatant political ploy.” The SAFE Act came just after the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2013 as the state Legislature passed a bill that toughened gun safety laws. It was quickly followed by Cuomo’s signature to make it a law.

Reed said a lot of common ground could be made to address gun violence in areas of mental health and criminal activity. On the mental health side, Reed said there’s common ground to take on the issue in terms of treatment and getting the resources to help people. On the criminal side, Reed said he believes the fundamental right should be taken away from people who commit crimes with guns, in addition to severe punishment for violating the public’s trust.

“Removing that criminal element from the streets and environment upon which they do harm to me is a prudent course that can gain bipartisan support,” he said.

Reed is one of two cosponsors to Collins’ bill as of now. U.S. Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., is the other supporter. Legislation was referred and awaits action from the House Judiciary Committee.


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