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February 14, 2013

Local ire for gun law crosses aisle


The Chenango County Board of Supervisors is also taking up the issue, and a subcommittee is expected to draft a resolution this month, according to the board's chairman, Oxford Town Supervisor Lawrence Wilcox, a Republican.

"I don't necessarily like it," Wilcox said of the new law. "I don't blame the Legislature for trying to come up with something. But I really don't think this is a solution. I think we need to think about it a little more before we jump into a law."

Meanwhile, the public safety committee of the Otsego County Board of Representatives will deal with the new state law — known as the SAFE Act — today, said Rep. James Powers, R-Butternuts, the panel's chairman. He said Albany should repeal the measure because it is violating the rights of gun owners.

While the Otsego County Democratic Committee has sounded off against the new law, Powers said he doubts most Democratic county representatives will sign on to a resolution bashing the statute.

"The Democratic Committee can write any resolution they want, but it's meaningless if the Democrats on the board don't support it."

The county Democratic committee chairman, Richard Abbate of Cooperstown, said two county representative's on the party's executive committee, Rep. John Kosmer, D-Fly Creek, and Rep. Beth Rosenthal, D-Roseboom, did approve of the party resolution that is critical of the gun legislation.

"We feel this needs more study," said Abbate. "The governor has taken the lead on this, and we hope he will put together a blue ribbon commission to take a look at some of the issues. We feel this needs more study."

The new law bans any magazine that can hold more than seven rounds. It also requires that instant background checks be conducted on all ammunition purchases at the time of sale. Further, it requires re-certification of pistol permits every five years.

Joe Marmorato of Hartwick, a former police officer and a local GOP activist who has been calling for the law's repeal since it was enacted, said opposition to the statute cuts across party lines.

"I'm glad that some of the Democrats are coming around on this," he said. "All this does is hurt law-abiding people."

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