Lack of public debate on gun law is appalling

The Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013, New York State’s newly enacted gun control law, has rapidly become the subject of discussion and debate in homes and public gatherings statewide, as well as social media.

Published polls indicate the content of this new law has gained the approval of a vast majority of New York’s residents. Various pro-gun organizations have been staging protests, and county legislatures have been passing resolutions, all of which would indicate quite the contrary.

Both sides of this issue appear to be in agreement, however, that the SAFE Act was rushed from bill to law in a manner inconsistent with the best interests of the public. It appears that the intent of our State Legislature and governor may have indeed been noble in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy. However, the lack of hearings and public debate on this matter prior to it becoming law has probably violated the most basic tenet of our system of government, that being representation of the people’s will by our elected Assembly and Senate members.

Perhaps the time has come for our State Legislature to repeal the SAFE Act and resubmit it intact to the people of New York as a referendum on the November ballot. Whatever the outcome, a portion of the population will be unhappy with the result, but that result will then be determined by a majority of New Yorkers.

Anthony Castelletti