Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

“A deliberate attempt to bypass the Constitutional process” NY Sheriff’s PBA blasts Cuomo, Legislature over NY SAFE

Written By: Bob - Jan• 31•13

In an extraordinary January 24 letter directed at New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and top New York state legislators, the Saratoga County Deputy Sheriff’s Police Benevolent Association has ripped into New York’s rogue government for the tactics they used to unconstitutionally ram the NY SAFE Act through the state legislature into law, intentionally subverting the democratic process.

Read the letter in it’s entirety, and gain an understanding of how insurrections and revolutions start.

Dear Governor Cuomo, Senators Klein, Marchíone, Skelos, Stewart-­Cousins, and Chairman Cox:

By this correspondence, the Saratoga County Deputy Sheriffs’ Police Benevolent Association (SCDSPBA) would like to announce our strong opposition to the passage of the SAFE Act and the manner in which is was negotiated and subsequently voted upon. The SCDSPBA represents the sworn men and women police officers of the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office.

Our objections to the legislation are numerous and begin with the process under which the bill was voted on in the Senate. It is deeply disturbing to our membership, as public servants and Citizens of the state of New York, the manner in which this legislation was brought to the Senate for vote. It is our understanding that many Senators had approximately 20 minutes to read the legislation before being forced to vote on it and note that the bill was brought before the Senate and voted on so quickly that its authors failed to make provisions for the exemption of police officers or the National Guard with respect to the new magazine-capacity requirements. Having reviewed the legislation and given the time constraints, it is our conclusion that there is no possible way any normal person could have read the entire bill and understood its implications prior to voting on it. They most certainly could not have requested and received the input of their constituency and considered their opinions in the matter which is the most basic tenet of a representative government. The entire process was one of secrecy and of intentional withholding of information from the public. We condemn this in the harshest terms. Had there been an opportunity for the public to exercise their right to be involved in the legislative process prior to the bill being voted upon, We would have offered a letter of opposition. Instead, we find ourselves in the rather unique position of opposing legislation after it has been passed. Our membership believes we were denied one of the most basic rights of a democracy by this process and we cannot and will not accept this type of behavior from our
elected officials.

In our opinion, there was absolutely no reason for the Governor to use a message of necessity to bring this bill to vote. We note that the Governor has used the message of necessity 35 times since taking office and for nearly every major piece of legislation he has sought to pass. This particular bill has 56 sections; 53 take effect in 60 days, 2 take effect in 1 year and 1 section, which requires owners of certain firearms to register them within 1 year, takes effect immediately. In other words, given the language of the bill itself, there is no emergency. As the message of necessity is to be used solely in the case of a true emergency that warrants the waiver of the 3 day maturing process for all legislation, the Governor’s actions were questionable at best and a deliberate attempt to bypass the Constitutional process and thus opposition to the bill at worst. The evidence strongly suggests the latter.

The Senate Leadership also had a responsibility to negotiate this legislation publicly and to call the Governor out on his excessive use of the message of necessity. Unfortunately, they chose not to do either, thus depriving approximately 19.5 million citizens the opportunity to offer meaningful comments and criticisms of the bill, and to exercise their rights under our system of government. In short, the Senate Leadership allowed the Governor to force legislation upon the citizens of our state. Instead of offering a check-and­-balance against the Executive Branch, the Senate Leadership condoned and authorized what may fairly be described as ruling by fiat. Whether one is for or against the new legislation, all citizens should be truly concerned by the manner in which our allegedly representative government behaved and we condemn this in the harshest terms.

As a predominantly rural county in upstate New York, the lawful ownership of firearms is and has been a valued tradition enjoyed by many of our citizens.

Sadly, the legislation effectively turns countless law­-abiding gun owners into criminals for absolutely no reason. Many of our membership are gun-owners and have gone through the same licensing process as non-police officers and it is our belief that this process has served our citizens well. Mandating law­-abiding gun owners to now have to register certain types of firearms on a yearly basis, in addition to registering them on their permits (which now must be renewed every 5 years), accomplishes nothing in the area of public safety and is unnecessarily burdensome to a citizen who has done nothing but abide by the laws of our state.

The SCSDPBA reminds the addressees that “assault weapons,” which are banned under the new legislation if they have 1 military­-type feature, were responsible for 5 out of 769 homicides in New York last year or .007% – hardly a public safety crisis for our state. The Albany County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted 4 cases involving assault weapons last year none of which involved their use in the commission of a crime and a recent FBI report showed that hammers and clubs were responsible for more deaths than rifles and shotguns. Given the foregoing, our membership questions why there was a need to ban the lawful use, possession, and sale of these firearms at all. Again, many citizens of our county previously enjoyed the use of these rifles for activities such as hunting and target shooting, and are now being forced to register these firearms, on a yearly basis, when they have done nothing wrong. In addition, any semi-automatic pistol that has 1 “military-type” feature will, under the new law, be considered an assault weapon. While it may come as a surprise to the authors of the legislation, most semi-automatic pistols do in fact come with a pistol grip, making nearly every semi-automatic pistol an assault weapon and thus subject to registration on a yearly basis. This registration is in addition to registering the pistol on one’s pistol license every 5 years. The SCDSPBA believes this is absurd, serves no public safety interest in the slightest, and crosses the proverbial line from reasonable restrictions on gun ownership to outright harassment of law-abiding gun owners.

As police officers who encounter criminal activity on a daily basis, our membership finds the notion that a criminal might somehow wait in line to turn in his or her high-capacity magazines or sell them to someone out-of-state to be so ridiculous as to be not based in reality. It is beyond shocking that a member of a body entrusted to legislate the very laws that govern our society could, with a straight face, argue this point. Our membership believes, as do most people of sound mind, that the only persons who will abide by the new high-capacity magazine ban are the law-abiding, leaving the same high-capacity magazines in the hands of those who choose not to obey the law. Additionally, from an ethical and moral standpoint, we question why, if high-capacity magazines are as destructive and deadly as the legislature contends, they would be allowed to be sold to someone out-of­-state. Certainly, they would be as dangerous in New Jersey as they would be in New York. Since 85 to 90% of guns used in crimes in New York originate from out-of­-state, it is nothing short of incredible to us that the authors of this
legislation could not have foreseen the possibility of these magazines finding their way back into New York. However this is the proposed solution offered by our elected officials, for which we can find no discernible logic.

Whíle there are some areas of the legislation that the union finds encouraging, such as addressing glaring shortcomings in the mental health system, by-and-large, our membership finds the legislation to be little more than a thinly-veiled attempt at regulating lawful gun ownership out of existence. From the manner in which the legislation was negotiated in secret, to the fashion in which it was brought to the Senate floor for vote, there was nothing about the process that was transparent or that took into consideration what cannot be disputed that law-abiding gun owners are not and have not been the source of criminal activity.The legislation fails miserably to offer any meaningful solutions to the epidemic of gun violence and places the blame squarely where it does not belong on the shoulders of law­-abiding citizens. One need look no further than the embarrassment of New York’s Combined Ballistic Identification System that devoured $44 million in taxpayer money over ll years to regulate lawful gun ownership and which resulted in no convictions of anyone for anything to illustrate the non-complicity of lawful gun-owners in recent events.

In recent days, we have also become aware of published reports describing a large and growing movement within our state of citizens who have apparently announced their intention of non-compliance with the new statutes as they relate to assault weapons and registration. With an estimated 1 million assault rifles in existence throughout New York, it is beyond comprehension that the legislature and the Governor would needlessly place police officers in a position where they might be called upon to confiscate the previously lawfully owned property of an American citizen. There can be no denying the potential danger this prospect places law enforcement in and once again strongly suggests a bill that was rushed to passage without aforethought or any regard for its potential implications. We cannot excuse this and do not appreciate our very safety being sacrificed for political gain.

In conclusion, we would be remiss were We to not mention our outrage at the conduct of the Senate Republican Coalition. Many of our membership contacted Senator Skelos’ office on a regular basis to voice opposition to additional regulations of firearms and were assured that the senator’s office was being flooded with similar calls. We have, in the past, always looked to the Republican party to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens much in the same way we place our lives on the line every day to protect the rights of all citizens. To have them negotiated away in secret and to be stripped of them in a clandestine vote is both appalling and unforgivable. It will most certainly give pause to many of our individual members when considering their voting choices in the future and we condemn this in the strongest possible way. For the foregoing reasons, we cannot offer our support for this legislation. We encourage members of the legislature to hold hearings where the public is afforded the right to participate in the legislative process, to address the issue of gun violence in a way that might actually produce meaningful results, and to stop holding law-abiding citizens who choose to exercise their rights under the Second Amendment hostage for the criminal behavior of another, and the political aspirations of the Governor.


Charles E. Fuller

President – SCDSPBA

Here’s the original SAFE Act Letter, in case you have your doubts.

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  1. Donald Arey III says:

    The police don’t want to confiscate guns any more than the citizens want to give them up, why does the government think they can legislate away reality?

    Glenn Beck did a show on Ruby Ridge and Waco the other day. It’s scary how incompetent and dangerous an overly aggressive gun-grabbing government is.

  2. A says:

    Bob, as always, thank you for bringing these facts into the light. I can’t believe how the MSM is just not talking about these effects.

    This letter was incredibly well drafted – what happens in New York State is anyone’s guess, but I would recommend that New Yorkers start preparing a slate of candidates to run in 2014.

    These traitorous politicians must be voted out of office. They understand nothing but power.

    • Rob Crawford says:

      I can’t believe how the MSM is just not talking about these effects.

      Really? You can’t?

    • Klingwork says:

      These traitorious politicians must be held up to a tribunal for using their office to violate the Constitution.

  3. Marty says:

    I recently attended a seminar for a gov’t watchdog who’s job it is to find and take the gov’t to task on things it does improperly or illegally. The watchdog was crowing about a recent investigation where it found that the gov’t had passed secret legislation and it was used to illegally arrest and detain hundreds of non-violent protestors. They rightly took the gov’t to task on this.

    Then, inexplicably, the watchdog offered some derogatory off-the-cuff comments about “truthers” and “birthers”. After the presentation, I approached the presenter and asked him if perhaps the truthers and birthers concerns were legitemate, given the gov’t penchant for passing secret legislation.

    He really didn’t know how to respond…

    • Bob says:

      He didn’t respond because you can’t argue with the mental maladies that affect conspiracy theorists.

      • Marty says:

        Bob, the point I was making is that gov’t passing secret legislation creates distrust which can manifest itself in conspiracy theories.

      • Comrade X says:

        Methinks according to our founder’s; government whether in secret or the open should breed mistrust in us all if we are to maintain our liberty!

        The more they try to hide their actions the more the distrust should be, IMHO!

  4. they cry peace, peace, peace but there shall be no peace.

  5. Jack says:

    From Wounded Knee to Waco, disarming people is enabling legalized murder. That is why the Constitution says “shall not be infringed”

    Contrary to even recent SCOTUS decisions, there is no legal basis for starting down that slippery slope of gun control/confiscation.

    Return to Constitutional principals and stop “managing” rules, regulations and laws that don’t work and lead into deadly catch 22s.

  6. Rick says:

    What I note is that after several pages of “how dare you” and it’s related foot stomping, no where do they say NO. Based on what I read, they will go right ahead and enforce the very law they complain about. So I read they can not be trusted to be on the side of liberty.

  7. Comrade X says:

    Next time you watch NBC Sports or buy anything from one of their advertisers make sure you know who you are supporting:

    NBC Sports host Bob Costas, after saying it was “entirely appropriate” to exploit the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs football player Jovan Belcher to push for more gun control, suggested sports could be used to change people’s attitudes toward and marginalize guns…..

    • Comrade X says:

      If I ever watch NBC sports again; who ever advertises there will be getting a letter/email from me explaining why I will never buy their products as long as they support the likes of Costa. He has a right to his free speech but not on my dime!

  8. AmericanGypsea says:

    Plans are worthless, but planning is everything. ~Dwight D Eisenhower

    When this goes hot, wow…we’re in for it. This won’t just be the feds v gun owners/constitutionalists. Initially, every group with an agenda will come out. Now mostly, ~race based groups (yes, even white supremacists)~ will go away PDQ because it’s one thing to stand on a street corner and preach revolution, it’s quite another when realities of war are in your ‘hood; but that’s not to say there won’t be violence and bloodshed first.

    Jihadi sleeper cells and the violent drug cartels are just two groups that I can think of off the top of my head that will take full advantage of the chaos that concern me. This is the time for DC to Tread Carefully but they’re living in an altogether different reality; Full Steam Ahead.

    So even tho Bob’s site focused primarily on this one issue (and thank God for him), I would caution all to think outside the box and try to see beyond just our one issue here and be prepared for it.

    Just one of many solutions I can think to offer is a need for strengthening networks across the country. Appleseed is a great tool for that but now is the time to start building that network. I get it…them’s some nicely said words….I have no idea how to get the millions of Americans to join that network before it’s really needed. I just know trying to build it afterwards will mean we will lose many a good fighter.

    When I’m online with social media, in the emails from friends & family, in casual conversations with neighbors and strangers at stores…if I had to sum up the pulse of the nation (even from the Left) right now it is:

    Winter is coming.

  9. ThankfullyNotInNY says:

    Excellent letter. Doubt the NY politicos will pay any heed, but if they have any wisdom whatsoever, they should.

  10. Comrade X says:

    During a public hearing on gun violence in Hartford, Conn. on Monday, a legal immigrant by the name of Henson Ong issued a passionate defense of the Second Amendment and argued that gun control simply “does not work.” The video of Ong’s testimony has already surpassed 130,000 views on YouTube.

    “Forgive me, English is not my first language. I am a legal immigrant and I am an American by choice,” he began, prompting applause from the audience.

    “Thank you for giving me this opportunity to express my opinion and give my testimony in opposition to the majority of the proposed bills, which do nothing to deter future crimes,” he added. “Gun control doesn’t work.”

  11. Darryl Haas says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to 1st say THANK YOU, each and every one of you, for supporting our Precious 2nd Amendment. WE DID IT! The Petition went Public earlier this morning, and is “Quickly” getting on track to reach the Goal of the needed 100,000 SIGNATURES requiring a Response from the White House. This will again become possible only because of YOU and the Combined Support of Everyone that signed the Petition.
    For ALL of you that have not Signed the Petition, and wish to do so, I have included the link to the White House dot gov website below.
    Once again, THANK YOU for standing up for LIBERTY!

  12. Comrade X says:

    FACT SHEET FOR LIBERAL IGNORAMUSES. We’ll speak slowly and avoid big words, I promise.

  13. […] “A deliberate attempt to bypass the Constitutional process” NY Sheriff’s PBA blast… Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a […]

  14. Hans says:

    Perhaps some do not remember a sequence of events many years ago. Gun Registration–>Confiscation–>Midnight Roundups–>Cattle Cars–>Ovens

    “I am American by choice, not birth”

  15. Steve says:

    One thing I find amazing is the hypocrisy regarding magazine size limits. For some reason our intelligent leaders believe that somehow our police officers come in contact with totally different and dangerous criminals then the ones the citizens of this great nation run into. They believe the police need the larger capacity magazines to protect themselves but a citizen doesn’t need them since the bad guys we encounter are not as dangerous as the criminals they deal with.

  16. Deserttrek says:

    what is scary is the politicians will brainwash enough soldiers and cops to do their bidding. can we say nazi germany, soviet russia, commie cuba, red china, syria, egypt, saudi arabia and more?
    the brownshirts, red brigades, whatever they are called even if it is nypd, they will come. human drones will follow orders.
    the Republic is going away and only drastic action will stop the slide into the bin of history.
    this did not start with obama or cuomo, but has accelerated.