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Local sheriffs join online lawsuit challenging method of adopting NY Safe Act

2013-02-13T17:02:00Z Local sheriffs join online lawsuit challenging method of adopting NY Safe ActJON ALEXANDER -- Glens Falls Post-Star

A pair of local sheriffs have inked their names to a lawsuit challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature’s use last month of a “message of necessity” to adopt the NY Safe Act.

Fort Ann constitutionalist Bob Schulz has been crisscrossing the state looking for plaintiffs in the lawsuit that claims Cuomo’s fast-track maneuver violated the state constitution.

Two local county sheriffs are among the more than 1,200 New Yorkers who find fault in the process.

“The way they did it was wrong,” said Warren County Sheriff Bud York.

Cuomo’s message of necessity has been at the core of protest over the law that has included multiple rallies outside the state Capitol.

Pro-gun activists see use of the legislative maneuver, which circumvented the legislation’s regular three-day cooling-off period, as an attempt to avoid a public vetting.

Cuomo has defended use of the message of necessity, arguing it avoided a run on soon-to-be-banned assault-style rifles and high-capacity ammunition clips.

“It’s got a lot of us T’d off,” said Saratoga County Sheriff James Bowen, another party in Schulz’s lawsuit.

Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, R-Melrose, earlier this month likened Cuomo to Adolf Hitler because of use of the message of necessity, and his GOP peers recently rolled out legislation that would require a two-thirds vote in the Legislature for a message of necessity to be applied.

Backers of the NY Safe Act point out the law’s critics didn’t gripe when the message of necessity was used last year to fast-track other legislation, including pension reform and casino gambling.

Some of the same lawmakers now blasting the governor supported those bills.

“They feel like government is getting into their homes,” York said of the law’s detractors.

U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, last week criticized New York’s rush to get the gun crackdown through. The federal law being pushed by President Barack Obama, which must survive a vote in the House with its gun-friendly midwestern and western members, won’t be nearly as stringent as New York’s, Owens said.

Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy said Wednesday he’s reviewing the lawsuit and considering whether to add his name.

The law’s impact on local police officers who must enforce it isn’t entirely clear. Some of its measures, including a ban on the sale of assault-style rifles and magazines that hold more than seven rounds, take effect in April, while others are phased in over the next 12 months.

“There are some things that are good and some things that are bad,” Bowen said, noting that he supports some of the law’s mental health provisions. “We just don’t like the way they passed it.”

Governors can use a message of necessity when it’s warranted in their “opinion,” under the state Constitution.

The message, approved by both state legislative houses, was constitutional, said Michael Wyland, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

The upheaval in the GOP caused by the NY Safe Act, and a perceived left turn in Cuomo’s 2013 agenda, has Republican lawmakers who campaigned in November as allies of the governor now openly criticizing him. Republicans maintain a Senate majority only because of a coalition with a handful of break-away Democrats, who all supported the NY Safe Act.

Sens. Elizabeth Little, R-Queensbury, and Kathy Marchione, R-Halfmoon, defied Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and opposed the NY Safe Act. Marchione remains one of the law’s loudest detractors.

Schulz’s lawsuit is one of several circulating throughout New York in the Safe Act’s wake. Pro-gun advocates view the law as an infringement on the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Schulz said Wednesday that Cuomo’s actions were “treasonous” against both the state and federal constitutions.

He said he hopes to file the lawsuit Friday in state Supreme Court in Albany County. Schulz’s lawsuit can be viewed at

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(14) Comments

  1. Randy15
    Report Abuse
    Randy15 - February 19, 2013 12:44 pm
    Are saying you've created a FICTIONAL liberal character who is morally and socially superior to a FICTIONAL conservative character?
  2. Report Abuse
    - February 17, 2013 6:19 pm
    ... & what boat argues he's willing to support w/ the evidence/data/FACT for any argument he makes.

    Boat regrets the direction of the nation as is & as is overwhelmingly likely to continue irrespective of DC pol party influence. NEITHER party serves the interests of the vast majority well.

    The system IS BROKEN, CORRUPTED by BIG $, & FOR BIG $. That's true largely because of the huge/growing disparity between the wealthiest & the rest. It's Joe 6-pk who's the enabler of econ divisiveness where a few benefit hugely while the rest suffer harder times.

    Boat understands enduring value of the Const & that it has generally served well.

    Joe 6-pk often asserts some (his) neither factual nor correct interpretation of the Const as practiced in a US governed by CONSTITUTION AND LAW.

    The "rights" guaranteed by the Const. ARE NOT ABSOLUTE, nor subject to a validity test by citizen interpretations... by a Joe 6-pk...OR a Joe 18-pk. e.g!

    To believe otherwise ignores reality in THIS life!
  3. Report Abuse
    - February 17, 2013 5:52 pm
    Hdek, etc.,

    Of many characteristics typical of "Joe 6-pks," which at times we probably all are, 1 of them is NOT that he's near socialist leanings. He's usually closer to the social Darwinist conservatives.

    There are reasonable arguments on BOTH sides of MANY issues. Joe's far LESS LIKELY to respect opinions that differ from his own. Clear evidence of that is as overwhelming here as is who owns & doesn't own what in the US "system."

    E.g., BOTH Teaers & OWS have legit views on econ difficulty, as do gun rights & more gun restriction oriented folks. Demos have some things right as do Repubs. There are good things & bad about Obamacare.


    Boat'll be civil, expects the same, buys coffee, & will meet w/ ANY interested in fact/reasoned discussion on gun control or other issues that confront this troubled nation.
  4. The Bleeb
    Report Abuse
    The Bleeb - February 15, 2013 7:05 am
    I applaud the Sheriffs, and hope Sheriff Murphy joins the suit. More than just opposing the law and its method of passage, I would also hope that the Sheriffs will protect the citizens in their respective jurisdictions against enforcement by the politically appointed leaders of the State Police. However, due to the interrelationships between the various agencies with respect to funding, joint task forces, etc., I find that hope to be probably unrealistic. It's one thing to fight politics, but an entirely different state of mind to prevent law enforcement action.
  5. hdekhtereva
    Report Abuse
    hdekhtereva - February 14, 2013 6:05 pm
    He a fictional character that represents the socialist-minded people as a group. I invented him in response to "Joe-6-Pack" who is another posters fictional character that he uses to insult the people who believe in the Constitution, and that the 1st, 2nd, & 4th Amendments are not granted by the Constitution but just protected by it. He says "Joe" (me/we) are ignorant, delusional, etc, etc, etc. He usually ends his post with something like this ... "Joe's got Guns, Guts, God and Rights, but little else".
  6. Robert McCabe
    Report Abuse
    Robert McCabe - February 14, 2013 3:10 pm
    A disgrace
  7. Robert McCabe
    Report Abuse
    Robert McCabe - February 14, 2013 3:05 pm
    Never before have we seen a media as an extention of the government which is why it is so easy for the criminals in our government do as they please.
  8. Robert McCabe
    Report Abuse
    Robert McCabe - February 14, 2013 2:56 pm
    It is a wonderful thing to see New Yorkers from all walks of life stand together against a criminal element in our government beginning with Cuomo.Thanks to Marchione for not standing idly by but rather getting to work right away.
  9. Randy15
    Report Abuse
    Randy15 - February 14, 2013 11:00 am
    People like myself who haven't been involved in politics have been awoken with these bully tactics being used by State and the Federal Government.

    I am proud to know our Sheriffs have the backbone to stand up against these illegal, unconstitutional, and Dictator style legislations.

    They seem to be the only politicians we can actually trust.

    It's a shame our national media doesn't get it's act squared away and actually give us fair, objective, and unbiased news instead of the propaganda they keep force feeding us...
  10. Jelkon
    Report Abuse
    Jelkon - February 14, 2013 8:10 am
    I ahve never heard that before, what does it mean? Boater- 18 packs.
  11. oilheet
    Report Abuse
    oilheet - February 14, 2013 5:56 am
    More SANITY!!! Maybe there IS hope?!! This Governor needs to find out that he is NOT a DICTATOR... (I avoid naming examples of dictators here) He could shove virtually anything though which was in his best interests - what happened to democracy and hearing from the PEOPLE...!?
  12. 1776-Patriot
    Report Abuse
    1776-Patriot - February 14, 2013 12:08 am
    "Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy said Wednesday he’s reviewing the lawsuit and considering whether to add his name."

    Not much to think about Mr Murphy. Uphold your oath and protect the Constitution.
  13. sstranahan
    Report Abuse
    sstranahan - February 13, 2013 11:36 pm
    Useless law,weakens necessary law! This legislation was passed under the assumption of necessity,not only was there no necessity,this law is useless! Serving only to hold the citizens in harms way and strip them of the right to protect themselves and their families.
  14. hdekhtereva
    Report Abuse
    hdekhtereva - February 13, 2013 8:51 pm
    The Boater-18-Packs will not like this article at all.


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