SAFE Act discussion needed before repeal
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 4:02 pm

To the Editor:

I’d like to express my appreciation to Massena town and village officials for how they are responding to demands that they pass a resolution calling for the repeal of New York’s SAFE Act. In two articles in the Daily Courier Observer on Wednesday, May 22 reporter Tim Fenster quoted several Massena elected officials on this issue. The comments made by these officials represent the “voice of reason” in this controversy.

Would it really be a good idea to simply “repeal” the SAFE Act?

Let’s consider what NY State law allowed before this law. From a classified ad in a local newspaper I purchased an AK 47 rifle with two 30 round magazines and 800 rounds of ammunition. Just a phone call and a brief conversation with a complete stranger, I gave him the cash and he handed it all over to me. No background check. No identification of any kind. This rifle is the WASR 10 Romanian made version of this rifle. (AK 47’s have been made in many countries.)

For anyone not familiar with this rifle or any of the others I’m about to mention I would recommend going to the internet website and search for these weapons. I believe someone has posted at least one video about each of these.

Here are some other firearms I have seen in classified ads in the region. Rugar Mini 14 with two 40 round magazines, two 20 round magazines and one 10 round magazine. SAR 48 FN-FAL 308 caliber w/bipod and scope. Rock River Arms AR-15. Bushmaster AR-15 223 caliber. M1A, loaded. SKS 7.62x39. Smith and Wesson M&P 23. These were all in classified ads and could have been purchased with no background checks, which virtually guarantees criminals and mentally disturbed people could buy then. A private seller had no responsibility regarding who the their guns are sold to.

And again, Americans are not only purchasing the illegal drugs coming from Mexico and South and Central America, we are through our irresponsible gun laws providing the arms and ammunition for those “drug wars.” I believe the AK 47 I paid about $500 for is worth about $1500 just across the border in Mexico.

All of the above being said, there are many aspects of this law that I think need to be revised, amended or eliminated. But at the very least some form of universal background check needs to stay in place without being interrupted by “repeal.” What seems to be needed is the kind or “reasoned” comments coming from Massena officials last week. Thanks again.

Miles Manchester, Potsdam