Local News

March 19, 2013

Guns of Essex County debated

ELIZABETHTOWN — More than 90 people turned out to tell the Essex County Board of Supervisors the State SAFE Act needs to be repealed.

The gun-control measure was highly opposed by the majority of those who packed the Old County Courthouse on Monday night, many of them members of local sportsmen’s clubs.

And the Board of Supervisors decided they also want it gone.


After hearing from those present, the board voted 15 to 2 to ask for repeal of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, and unanimously oppose proposed legislation that would require gun owners to have $1 million liability insurance policies.

Only Supervisors Edward Hatch (D-Willsboro) and Daniel Connell (D-Westport) voted against repeal, with Supervisor Randy Preston (I-Wilmington) absent.


Out of the 13 people who spoke at the meeting, 10 wanted the act repealed and three advocated amending it instead.

The first speaker, Donald Sage of Schroon Lake, is president of the Essex County League of Fish and Game Clubs.

“There are counties who said they will not enforce it, and I would encourage Essex County to do the same,” he said.

“Do not waste any money on this unconstitutional law. This is just the first step to confiscating your guns.”

Many of those in the room applauded after Sage spoke.

Veteran Derek Sprague of Moriah said enhanced background checks won’t find many of those who are mentally ill.

“Most atrocities associated with gun violence are committed by the mentally ill. “The SAFE Act issued by Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo is in violation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution,” he continued. “In order for evil to prevail, good men and women must do nothing.”


Ronald Jackson of Essex, the chairman of the Essex County Republican Party, said the act is not a political issue.

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