ELIZABETHTOWN — Gun owners opposed to the New York State SAFE Act packed the Essex County Board of Supervisors chambers Monday.
Many were members of the Essex County Fish and Game Club, which had encouraged attendance at the session in the Old County Courthouse.
Bruno Mazzotte of Moriah, a retired state correction officer, took the podium to tell supervisors that gun owners are counting on their elected officials to back them in their position against the act, which they want the State Legislature to repeal.
“It seems like law-abiding citizens don’t have any rights anymore,” he said. “They (state legislators) want to change the background check. They can’t enforce the one we have now.”
The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, passed Jan. 15, will limit ammunition magazines to no more than seven rounds, or 10 if the magazine is pre-existing. It also, among other details, requires background checks for all gun sales and ammunition purchases.
The ammunition requirement takes effect Jan. 15, 2014, and the magazine rule, April 15 of this year.
Last week, the Board of Supervisors Ways and Means Committee defeated a resolution offered by Supervisor Ronald Moore (R-North Hudson) that would have supported the State Sheriff’s Association stance to amend parts of the SAFE Act.
Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas (D-Jay) said he thought most supervisors who voted nay wanted more time to study the new law, so he appointed a SAFE Act Subcommittee consisting of County Attorney Daniel Manning III, County Manager Daniel Palmer and Supervisors Moore, Margaret Bartley (D-Elizabethtown) and Gerald Morrow (D-Chesterfield).
Morrow said the subcommittee will meet at 11:30 a.m. Monday, March 11, to go over the SAFE Act and recommend the county’s position.
“Hopefully, we can agree on a resolution,” Morrow said. “Supervisor Moore has worked on a resolution; I have worked on a resolution.