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Law’s focus is safety, not gun confiscation

Much has been made of the one-year anniversary of the enactment of the SAFE Act. As the acronym implies, the act’s goal is to ensure safe ammunition and firearms, not to outlaw or confiscate legal guns.

Obviously, one year is not a sufficient period of time to gauge the impact of the act. The law is designed much as a marathon, for the long haul not the short term. Those who demand immediate results are deceiving themselves into believing the act will be deemed a failure after such a time period.

Here are a few SAFE Act facts:

The law has been upheld in both state and federal courts; the federal court holding that it “withstand(s) constitutional scrutiny” and the state’s regulation of “assault-style weapons” is related to the governmental interest of public safety.

Polls show that 90 percent of New Yorkers support background checks.

Almost eight American children are killed every day by guns.

A gun in the home triples the risk of suicide and doubles the risk of homicide.

An individual with access to firearms is three times more likely to commit suicide and almost twice as likely to be the victim of a homicide as someone who does not have access.

When firearms are accessible, women are almost three times more likely to be victims of homicide.

That is why responsible gun owners support the SAFE Act.

A 2011 report from the Violence Policy Center found that $38.9 million was contributed to the NRA over a six-year period from the firearms industry. Donors included the Freedom Group, manufacturer of the Bushmaster gun used at Newtown, and Smith & Wesson, manufacturer of the gun used at Aurora. So, who does the NRA represent?

Paul McQuillen

Hamburg