SAFE Act encourages responsible ownership

I am writing in response to a letter printed on Dec. 17 regarding the NY SAFE Act. The State Legislature passed the SAFE Act in response to the public call for responsible gun ownership. The Senate approved the measure 43 to 18 and the Assembly 104 to 43. The writer states that the legislators did not have time to “read and understand” the bill, however, more than 11 months later not one legislator has repudiated his or her vote.

The NY SAFE Act may have flaws, but it does a lot of good. It helps protect the victims of domestic violence; keeps guns off of school grounds and buses; requires the safe storage of guns; sets tougher penalties for the illegal use of guns; and provides for universal background checks while closing the private sale loophole. The law will eventually track the sale of high-volume ammunition purchases (the Aurora, Colo., shooter had more than 6,000 rounds) and require pistol permit holders or owners of assault rifles to be recertified every five years to assure they remain legally and responsibly able to own guns.

As citizens we must understand that all rights, constitutional and otherwise, are ultimately secured by fulfilling our responsibilities. Responsible gun owners understand that with each mass shooting, the tide of public opinion shifts toward tighter restrictions. A cooperative approach by gun owners versus resistance is the wiser long-term strategy.

Wayne Whitaker