County goes on record opposing new state gun laws

OBSERVER Photo by Gregory Bacon Will Conta with SCOPE expresses his opposition to the new state gun regulations during the recent county legislature meeting.

MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County officials are going on record that they oppose New York state’s revised gun laws.

During the recent county legislature meeting, officials passed a motion entitled “Opposition to New York State Actions Restricting Second Amendment Rights.” Motions do not carry any legal authority but are designed to show a position of a governing body. The county requires at least two-thirds majority back a motion to pass.

The motion notes that on July 1 Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law the Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA) that was drafted in close collaboration with the New York State Legislature. It went into effect Sept. 1. Some of the provisions include taking a 16-hour safety training curriculum to get a pistol permit, new regulations for safe storage of handguns, raises the age to buy semi-automatic weapons, and bans guns from “sensitive areas” including government buildings, libraries, bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, houses of worship, public parks, playgrounds and more.

The changes were made after the Supreme Court struck down a state law making it harder to obtain a concealed carry permit. That law had been on the books since 1911.

County officials believe the state went too far. “Chautauqua County Legislature also recognizes and respects the inherent right of our private law abiding citizens to ‘keep and bear arms’ as a means of protecting their property, self and family; therefore let it be known that the Chautauqua County Legislature is vehemently and with full resolve opposed and requests the immediate repeal of the CCIA as being unjust, ineffective, vague, and an impingement on Second Amendment rights,” the motion stated.

Before the vote, Will Conta with Shooters Committee On Political Education (SCOPE) expressed his opposition to the state law.

He gave examples of people who may want to carry guns for protection, including: a grandfather who takes his grandchildren to a local park; a volunteer firefighter who responds to a call to later learn that it is at a “sensitive location;” or a pastor, who has a private security team at a church.

Mattie L McIntyre, Brocton Post Commander, noted that the Sept. 11 service in Mayville couldn’t have a gun salute because it was on government property. “It (the law) appears very selected as to who and why organizations can carry and why they can’t carry,” she said.

There were a number of other veterans who expressed concern that gun salutes would no longer be permitted during funerals.

Legislator Susan Parker, D-Fredonia, said she called the state to find if gun salutes are banned or not. “What was explained to me was that in fact, cemeteries are not considered a sensitive area,” she said. She added that includes church cemeteries as well.

During the vote, Parker was the only legislator to vote against the motion.

After voting against it, The Post-Journal/OBSERVER why she voted the way she did. “I think we need reasonable gun laws. According to Pew Research, 63% of Americans think this, too. The Supreme Court just dismantled a 111-year old New York State reasonable gun law. In response, the governor and the legislature worked to put a reasonable gun law back in place. If the law contains specific problems, they can be addressed with the help of our state representatives. It is not reasonable to completely repeal the law as the county motion requests,” she said.


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