Senate GOP looks to change parts of the SAFE Act (Updated)

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The state Senate this afternoon is set to approve a bill that would make a variety of changes to New York’s controversial gun-control law

The measure (S05837) faces an uphill future in the Democratic-led Assembly as Senate Republicans look to reform the SAFE Act, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Democrats championed when it was approved in 2013.

Updated: The bill passed the Senate, 35-26.

“These are commonsense changes, administrative changes to the SAFE Act,” Seward said on the Senate floor.

Among the changes would include a repeal of a requirement that every purchaser of ammunition undergo a background check. The ammunition database that was part of the SAFE Act has yet to function, and the state allocated $27.7 million in 2013 to implement the law, including the creation of the database.

The bill, introduced late Friday, is sponsored by Sen. James Seward, a central New York Republican whose district includes the major gun manufacturing plant owned by Remington Arms.

Seward was one of six Republican senators from upstate who supported Sen. John Flanagan, R-Suffolk County, to succeed indicted Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

Flanagan, who voted for the SAFE Act, has pledged to look at possible changes to the law as a nod to the upstate members.

The bill also includes several other reform to the law.

It would amend the law to allow for the gifting of registered semiautomatic long guns to family members, who would then be required to undergo a background check.

Another change would no longer allow for gun registration to be made public. Currently, the gun licenses are public unless, as part of the SAFE Act, a gun owner applies to the information kept private.

The change would no longer consider the information public, yet the bill makes it explicit that statistical data on the number of registrations and recertifications would be public. Gun groups have successfully sued to have statistical information made public, but State Police have fought the requests.

Another provision of the SAFE Act that requires reporting mental-health issues involving gun owners would also be clarified.

The bill would aim to make the reporting of such cases more accurate by identifying reported people, changing the guidelines and simplifying the appeal process.

Another change would give counties more oversight of the license recertification process — not State Police. The recertification is required as of 2018 every five years, but State Police handling the process instead of counties has wrangled gun-rights groups.

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6 Comments

  1. All Republicans voted YES for the amendments, along w 4 Democrats: Felder, Kennedy, Panepinto and Latimer.

    All Other Democrats, including IDC Dems voted NO.

  2. If the Democratic-led Assembly wants to extend Rent Control, here’s a bargaining chip.

    Then again, life without rent control wouldn’t be that bad either. Its not as if the end of rent control would lead to massive amounts of evictions. Who’s harping to live in the south Bronx anyway?

  3. yeah, jane play with other people’s lives. How bad could it be if (a) it doesn’t affect me and (b) it may affect a bunch of NYC Democrats who live in apartments. jane loves to bash Democrats to benefit “her” GOP chances.

    As Meghan Trainor sings, it’s all about the base, bout the base, it’s all about the base. The base of hard rock conservatives that can get you elected to…

    …nothing in NYS.

  4. Dice is the poster child for the far left left left side of politics, over near socialism/communism line. He’s ready with the blank check regardless.

    But on Rent Regulations, why not let them die? NJ doesn’t have special rent laws and neither does CT and both of those states are doing just fine so maybe NY doesn’t need them either?

  5. jane let rent regulations die and stick it to the NYC renters, then let STAR die and let property taxes jump through the roof for Westchester homeowners.

    You are the poster child for the Far Right/Laffer Curve folk whose ideological bent is causing havoc in state budgets in Kansas, Louisiana and every other place where conservative litmus tests have run amok among Republicans. Anybody who drinks your ideological cyanide is crazy.

  6. Dude, STAR’s permanent. And if Rent Regulations die, how’s anyone going to be adversely affected? They don’t have Rent Regulations in CT or NJ and those states are doing just fine, no issues.