ALBANY, N.Y. - Forty of New York's 62 counties oppose the SAFE Act, while another 12 counties have proposals pending, and Albany County could be the latest to declare its opposition.
On Monday night, residents spoke out passionately against the SAFE Act and Albany County legislatures were left to decide whether or not to sign a proclamation calling for its repeal.
Legislator Deb Busch, a republican from Berne, is asking fellow lawmakers to sign the proclamation.
County legislators, even though those who support repealing the SAFE Act, reminded residents that it was a state, not county decision. After an hour of public comment, there were 32 people still left to speak.
"I think it's wrong that you come down here to criticize all of us," says Legislator Gil Ethier. "We didn't pass the law."
"We never expected it to come to a vote," says Busch. "But, I did expect pressure to be laid on the current legislators, so they could support their constituents, honor their oath of office and do the right thing by asking our state government to repeal this unconstitutional act."
There was loud applause after every speaker. Busch says she believes the residents were heard loud and clear.
"You're telling us we can't possess arms?" asks Richard Bushnell. "What's the matter with you people? You better turn this law around because [it's not] right."
Bushnell says in his mind, the polls do not accurately represent what many feel. "67 percent of people are out of NYC, not from around here," says Bushnell.
During the meeting, it was reiterated that a proclamation is not the same as a resolution or a local law, and cannot be voted on in the county legislature.
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