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September 7, 2013

Local sheriff: I won't enforce gun law

(Continued)

The only action Cuomo can take is to campaign against him, Desmond said. He is running for re-election in November.

Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, R-Guilford, said that Cuomo has no say in the actions of the sheriffs’ departments because they are elected by the people of each county. The law was “a knee-jerk reaction to the problem of gun violence that gave the public a false sense of security,” he said.

Some of the problems stem from the fact it was passed without any input from the law-enforcement officials who are responsible with enforcing it, Crouch said. Now, sheriffs and others are “stuck with imposing something on citizens that doesn’t address the problem.”

Instead, “it could catch citizens that may have unintentionally violated the laws. The criminals aren’t going to care about that.”

Delaware County Undersheriff Craig DuMond said he and Sheriff Tom Mills support the New York State Sheriff’s Association opinion on the law. Some aspects are beneficial, such as restricting Freedom of Information requests for pistol permit holders, enhancing penalties for the killing of first responders and a review of mental-health records before permits are granted. But he doesn’t support the assault-weapons ban.

“It is too broad and prevents the possession of many weapons that can be used legally,” he said. He is also against reducing the size of the magazine from 10 bullets.

Mills will continue to enforce the laws as required by the Constitution, DuMond said. However, nobody has been arrested under the law’s provisions.

“The issue is we believe it is unconstitutional,” DuMond said. It is being enforced “with a degree of common sense and judgement.”

The Founding Fathers were “brilliant” in making the sheriffs answerable to the people and not the government, DuMond said. “They are the people’s last line of defense.”

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