LOCKPORT – The Niagara County Legislature may vote Tuesday to urge the State Legislature to repeal the expanded gun-control law that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed Jan. 15.
The Republican-controlled Legislature had several anti-gun-control resolutions on its agenda that night, but they were all sent to committee, as the State Legislature’s hurried passage of the SAFE Act made most of them moot.
Now, a resolution calling for the act’s repeal is being presented by Majority Leader Richard E. Updegrove, R-Lockport, and Legislators John Syracuse, R-Newfane, and Michael A. Hill, R-Hartland.
The resolution says the state law “would appear to impinge on the rights of citizens” and also points to the lack of an exemption from gun restrictions for police officers.
There also was a resolution supporting more-stringent gun control, sponsored by Legislator Owen T. Steed, D-Niagara Falls. It died in the Community Safety and Security Committee on Jan. 30, as Steed did not attend, and no other member would make a motion for a vote.
Legislator Jason A. Zona, D-Niagara Falls, was listed on the paperwork as a co-sponsor of the pro-gun-control resolution, but Zona said that was an error by the Legislature clerk’s office. He said he does not support stricter gun laws.
The only surviving resolutions from the Jan. 15 batch to make it though committee also are on Tuesday’s agenda. One calls for a state law to exempt the names and addresses of pistol permit holders from disclosure, and the other denounces Cuomo’s proposal to require all pistol permits to be renewed every five years.
Assistant County Attorney John S. Sansone said at the Jan. 30 committee meeting that he believes county clerks may deny Freedom of Information requests for pistol permit holders’ information on the grounds of a personal privacy exemption in the law.
His opinion seemed to have been backed up by a Feb. 5 decision by the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, which ruled the New York City Police Department doesn’t have to give up pistol permit holders’ information requested by the New York Times.
The court relied on provisions of the Freedom of Information Law that exempt material from disclosure that “would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” or “if disclosed could endanger the life or safety of any person.”