Number of WNY counties no longer prosecuting the capacity limit provision of the SAFE Act grows to five

JANUARY 8, 2019 – BUFFALO, N.Y. – Joining their colleagues in Erie, Niagara, and Chautauqua Counties, Allegany County District Attorney Keith A. Slep and Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O’Geen directly stated this week they are not enforcing the SAFE Act seven-round capacity limit.

2AWNY Civil Rights Advocate Steve Felano asked D.A. Slep “Please advise with all deliberate speed, will you immediately be halting enforcement of the SAFE Act seven-round limit in Allegany County?” Slep responded by email:

“I never have or any other provision against non felons and never will.”

Addressing the same query from Felano relative to Wyoming County, D.A. O’Geen responded by email:

“I am not sure why all of the declarations regarding this issue. Once it’s declared unconstitutional it cannot ethically or legally be enforced. We have sworn to uphold the constitution and that means not enforcing items that are ruled unconstitutional. Therefore there is nothing to cease because the police are not charging anyone under this section and thus we are not prosecuting. If charged by mistake it would have to be dismissed. I guess I don’t understand where the ambiguity lies. Hope that helps.”

D.A. O’Geen went on to state that Governor Cuomo and New York State legislators have a duty to remove laws from the books that are found to be unconstitutional, like the seven-round capacity provision of the SAFE Act that was ruled unconstitutional in 2013 and 2015.

“To leave it is negligence and hypocrisy because these [Cuomo and NYS legislators] are the same people who worry about wrongful convictions.” O’Geen said.

Sensing the rising tide of counties across WNY and beyond that are choosing not to enforce provisions of the SAFE Act due to the vagueness of the legislative language that infers the unconstitutionality of the Act overall, a spokesperson for Governor Cuomo issued a statement Monday.

“This is old news,” Governor Cuomo’s office claimed. “The State Police have not enforced the provision since the court decision years ago, while 99 percent of the strongest gun law in the nation has withstood scrutiny on every front.”

“What Governor Cuomo and his progressive fanboys flagrantly ignore is that 100 percent of the SAFE Act has escaped scrutiny in one, crucial arena – the U.S. Supreme Court,” 2AWNY Civil Rights Advocate Steve Felano said. “99 percent of the SAFE Act has only withstood scrutiny within the minds on New York State judges. These judges believe that burdens on the Second Amendment need only withstand intermediate judicial scrutiny to be viewed as constitutional, which is a delusion held by progressives that is completely false. Strict scrutiny is the correct litmus test for a clearly-enumerated constitutional right like the Second Amendment. Furthermore, it’s obvious that the necessary resources and interest from police and district attorneys to enforce the SAFE Act simply do not exist. Finally, given the current makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court and the questionable status of Justice Ginsburg, it appears inevitable that the SAFE Act will receive a harsh beating by the Court’s conservative majority. As such, for the progressive dream of unconstitutional gun control that capitulates to the uninformed opinion of the downstate hordes, the end is neigh. The SAFE Act appears destined to die in the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court. My condolences, Emperor Cuomo. Your subjects are staging a revolt against your imperial edicts.”

Following are the legal challenges to the SAFE Act and the New York State pistol permitting requirement that will build upon the momentum of SAFE Act non-enforcement decisions in 2019:

  • The People of the State of New York v. Benjamin Wassell – This case, expected to be argued in New York State Supreme Court on February 28th, 2019, seeks to reverse a SAFE Act conviction erroneously applied to a Western New York resident.
  • Libertarian Party of Erie County v. Cuomo – This case, expected to be argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals in February 2019 (one step away from U.S. Supreme Court review), seeks to nullify New York State’s pistol permit requirement.

To learn more about any of the above, please contact Steve Felano at (518) 852-1863 or [email protected].

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2AWNY is a force multiplier for the numerous Second Amendment civil rights advocacy enterprises forming the backbone of Western New York’s vibrant gun culture. We act as a 2A news and information distribution, policy analysis, and organizational driver for the many interest groups seeking to defend and expand Second Amendment civil rights throughout the region. 2AWNY is dedicated to assisting in the organization, promotion, and funding of legal challenges to the unconstitutional New York State gun control regime. We seek to make Western New York the epicenter of New York State’s Second Amendment civil rights renaissance. Learn more at WWW.2AWNY.COM.