Sheriff says Cuomo was clear: Don’t give opinion on SAFE Act


Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss said Gov. Andrew Cuomo was clear in his meeting with him and a handful of other local law enforcement: Expressing your opinion about the SAFE Act hurts its enforcement.

“He was adamant that sheriffs around the state should not be giving their personal opinions in reference to the SAFE Act because they wouldn’t be able to objectively enforce the SAFE Act if they did so,” Moss said in an interview today with Gannett’s Albany Bureau. The Times Union reported on the meeting in today’s papers.

Moss, who was the only sheriff in attendance, said he thought he and members of the sheriffs and chiefs’ associations were meeting with the Democratic governor a month or so ago to discuss potential changes to the gun-control law passed in January. Instead, Cuomo sought to shut down their vocal opposition, Moss said.

“We told the governor that we were elected officials and we had a constituency just like he did, and that we were responsible to them, and we had the right as elected officials to give our opinion on the act,” Moss said.

Moss, a Republican, said there wasn’t a lot of backslapping going on. The sheriffs, who are mainly from upstate, have opposed the law, saying parts of it is unenforceable and unconstitutional. They also filed an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit seeking to have the law tossed.

“The meeting was cordial, but you could tell it wasn’t a friendly atmosphere after it got rolling,” Moss said. “Because at the end of the day, the governor has his opinion and we respect that, and we hope he respects our opinion as well.”

Moss said, “I think the governor is doing a good job. Just in this instance, we don’t agree with him.”

Cuomo downplayed the meeting when asked about it today by reporters, saying he remembers them simply discussing the law and potential changes to it.

“That’s not my recollection of the meeting at all,” Cuomo said of Moss’s description. He added that, “People have opinions, and people can offer their opinions and that’s part of the process. I offer mine: agree, disagree.”


About Author


  1. John Butler on

    WE elected you based on what you campaigned for and on. I voted for you then and I’ll probably vote for you again. You stand by your beliefs and WE will stand with you!!! You don’t answer to Cuomo, we will answer for you come election day!!

  2. James R Colloca on

    The governor has an opinion, I don’t share the same one, I believe his law is unconstitutional and should be fully repealed on that basis. He is a criminal that has not upheld his Oath of Office, I say shame on anyone who takes an Oath then does not uphold same. Infringing on any part of the constitution which is the law of the land is criminal in itself. How does one respect some one who does not respect the law of the land. He expects us to honor his law when he doesn’t respect the Constitution.

  3. James, the governor doesn’t have an “opinion”, he has “my way or the highway”. He’s trying to get the sheriffs and local police to do his bidding. Im pretty sure he gets a woody looking at pictures of the late Kim Jung Ill. History has recorded that German Soldiers, once they opened their eyes to the truth, resisted the Nazis. Its clear as day – we are in a cold civil war for our rights. I hope it doesnt get hot and cooler heads, the good and truth prevail.

    God help us all if it doesnt.

  4. The “SAFE” (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement) Act was debated in closed session without committee hearings, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed it into law within an hour of its passage — after waiving the required three-day public comment period. This 80 page legislation was passed late into the night… literally and figuratively under the cover of darkness. There existed no exigent need as claimed, of the Act’s 60 sections, only three took effect on its adoption into law.
    This legislation does not have the support of our law enforcement community, which the legislature failed to consult or exempt, despite being tasked with its enforcement. In fact, the NY State Sheriffs Association has specifically opposed the act, which criminalizes heretofore legal arms, magazines, and heavily restricts ammunition purchases, leaving NY state residents without legal access to, or unknowingly subject to criminal penalty for possession of, items that can be purchased over-the-counter in each of NY’s contiguous states. The New York State Association of County Clerks and the New York State Association of Counties have also passed resolutions opposing the NY SAFE act
    In the wake of this legislation being signed into law, 52 of New York’s 62 counties and 185 towns and villages have either passed, or are in the process of passing, resolutions calling for the repeal of the SAFE Act.
    Whatever your position may be on the SAFE Act itself, NY sports men and women should support legislative and court efforts calling for its repeal due to the nature in which the SAFE Act was passed. NY State citizens should have the voice that Governor Cuomo and the state legislature silenced.

  5. Putnam Parent on

    I have yet to not be amazed by the way cuomo (small “c” intentional) spins things. And I agree with and would support all the way to re-election my local sheriff, Donald Smith and his staff, as well as our county clerk, Dennis Sant and his wonderful staff. I am a native New York that grew up in NYC — and I left when I finished college and got a corporate job based upstate. As an upstate community, far different from the NYC community, we have to stand together and make sure our voices are heard through our locally elected officials. It seems to me that they are far better aware of our needs and ideas than officials more worried about getting rich off the public and seeking higher and higher office.

  6. Bob Quattrini on

    I consider myself fortunate to live in Chemung County, with Chris Moss as the Sheriff. Both he and his fellow sheriff’s have taken a stance…and squared off with Andy over the NY Safe Act.I feel as they do…the Act was hastily prepared; poorly planned, etc., but above all, unconstitutional. NY is and was already known for: the highest taxes, highest unemployment, fewest job opportunities, most expensive gas and cigarettes and the strictest gun permit laws in the nation. What will Cuomo do for an encore?

  7. I commend the sheriff for being intelligent and having the intestinal fortitude to stand by his beliefs in the law and the US constitution. We all know that cuomo is a criminal and needs to be arrested and held for treason for the rape of the second amendment. He has to pay for his crimes and needs to be taken out of office. Prison is the only place for treasonous crooked politicians like him, Shumer and Slimy Silver.

  8. Thanks Sheriff Moss! 30 years living in NY this firearms ban was the last straw. Between a government that tell us if I don’t like it tough to a corporation & union with the same attitude. I’ve been told they can replace me at half the wages. Good your both correct I know you are you’re always right!. , Cuomo’s firearms ban has cost me business & the rest of us increased taxes. Bad laws , crooked politicians. My home is up for sale and as soon as it sells I’m gone from NY.