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Howard should uphold laws of New York State

Imagine my chagrin reading that Sheriff Timothy Howard, the county’s top law enforcement officer, planned to travel to Albany on April 1 to participate in a National Rifle Association rally to protest the New York SAFE Act.

Now, I may be mistaken, but isn’t it the job of the sheriff to enforce our laws? You know, do the job he was elected to do. Did he speak as a representative of the people of Erie County?

Does he know that polls continue to show 90 percent of New Yorkers, including a majority of NRA members, support background checks? Does he know that almost eight American children are killed every day by guns? That a gun in the home triples the risk of suicide and doubles the risk of homicide? That an individual with access to a gun is twice as likely to be the victim of a homicide? That when firearms are accessible, women are almost three times more likely to be a victim of homicide?

Does he know that a recent Siena College poll found that two-thirds of New Yorkers support the SAFE Act?

It was only a few weeks ago that dozens of law enforcement officers were fired upon responding to a domestic call in the Town of Concord. We haven’t heard a peep from Howard regarding that shooting.

Does he know that the SAFE Act has withstood legal tests in state and federal courts? That the SAFE Act remains the law of New York? A law he swore to uphold when he took the oath of office. Yet he is off to Albany to rail against the law that would keep assault weapons out of the hands of cop shooters. Will he encourage others to burn gun registration forms and refuse to register their weapons?

Paul McQuillen

Western New York Coordinator

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence