Town of Franklin opposes new gun law

VERMONTVILLE – The town of Franklin is the latest local government to put on paper its opposition to New York’s new gun control law.

Town Supervisor Art Willman said his board unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday that supports the Second Amendment and opposes the process used to enact the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013, as well as portions of the law itself. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the SAFE Act into law in January after a hurried legislative process.

The resolution says the right of people to keep and bear arms “for defense of life, liberty and property is regarded as an inalieanable right by the people of the town of Franklin,” and that people in the town “derive economic benefit from all safe forms of firearms recreation, hunting and shooting.”

It says the SAFE Act bans the possession of firearms commonly used by people in the town and that the law “was passed in such haste without opportunity for the public or even members of the Legislature voting on it to truly understand its implications.”

More specifically, the resolution calls the SAFE Act’s seven-bullet limit on magazine clips arbitrary and says the law doesn’t specify the cost or requirements for its mandatory five-year recertification for pistol permits. It says the law would ban a group of weapons “based solely on cosmetic properties but which actually are automatic and function on the same 100 year old technology as any other modern sporting rifle.” The town also criticized the section of the law that would require background checks for people who want to purchase ammunition for target practice or hunting.

The town suggested other ways to control and reduce violence in our communities, such as mental health reforms, anti-bullying programs and improvements to school security.

Willman said the resolution will be sent to the town’s lawmakers in Albany and Washington as well as the New York Association of Towns.