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NY SAFE Act recognizes Second Amendment rights

A recent letter claimed that NY’s SAFE Act creates criminals out of law-abiding citizens. The rationale behind this theory alleges that the SAFE Act, by requiring responsible gun ownership, ensures that only criminals will be beyond the reach of gun safety laws. Of course, such is not the case. Responsible gun ownership laws create responsible gun owners. Only a criminal can make a criminal.

The writer correctly notes that a gun owner must register certain assault-style weapons. That is not a restriction to ownership, nor is it an attempt by the government to come after your guns. The SAFE Act specifically prohibits the state from compiling a gun ownership registry (unlike the NRA’s database).

What seems to be forgotten in all of this hysteria is that ours is a representative government where the elected are to represent the will of the electors. That is exactly what has been accomplished with the SAFE Act. The will of the majority has been heard. Background checks for all gun sales are supported by nine out of 10 Americans.

The SAFE Act recognizes the Second Amendment while requiring background checks. There is no prohibition to “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” within the SAFE Act.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has weighed in on the right of government to regulate gun ownership. In DC v. Heller, Scalia held, “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

Linda Rowley

Hamburg