First installment in a series of legal essays on the ordinances corrects misconceptions promulgated by county officials across the state
March 12, 2020 – ROCHESTER, N.Y. – 2ANYS Founder Steve Felano, Attorney James Ostrowski (reversed first ever SAFE Act conviction), and 2ANYS Coordinator Duane Whitmer released a detailed essay in front of the Monroe County Office Building today tackling a critical question being asked by county officials across New York State: Is the Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinance lawful?
“The short answer to that question is ‘Yes,’ though there are some gray areas in the law to acknowledge, which are thoroughly addressed in our essay,” 2ANYS Founder Steve Felano said. “We’re aware of numerous instances in which government officials filling county positions across the state have flatly rejected the Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinances (SASOs) advanced by their constituents as unlawful. In making this bold claim, said officials have apparently devoted little or no time to researching the actual legal basis for SASOs. We’ve undertaken this critical task for them, and the essay we’re releasing today is the initial result. We’ve chosen to first present this document to relevant government officials in Monroe County because it’s been brought to our attention that, while a substantial volume of Monroe County constituents support passage of a SASO, county officials have been hostile to the measure without advancing a substantive legal argument to support such hostility. This coming Monday, we’ll issue our essay to relevant government officials in all remaining counties across the state. We look forward to detailed, intelligent, and well-researched replies from county officials firmly grounded in the law as to why SASOs are unlawful, should they still feel that’s the case upon review of our essay. Responses relying solely on authoritarian progressive dogma favoring unconstitutional civilian disarmament and/or abject fear of retribution by the Cuomo regime are unacceptable. County officials who continue to resist passage of SASOs without advancing a legal argument superior to the one outlined in our essay should be removed from office by their constituents, regardless of party affiliation, and 2ANYS will assist in that process where necessary.”
“I drafted the essay regarding the legality of SASOs being released today as a citizen who happens to be a lawyer,” Attorney James Ostrowski said. “This analysis should not be construed as legal advice to any official or any citizen. I advise anyone who is directly involved in voting on the ordinance or deciding whether to enforce it or comply with it, to seek competent legal advice in advance. I consider this analysis a work in progress subject to revision if better arguments are brought to my attention. Preliminarily, I note that the issue of whether the ordinance is lawful and the issue of whether a sheriff has the discretion not to enforce gun laws he believes violate the Constitution, are separate and distinct but interrelated issues. On the question of whether enforcing the ordinance would violate a sheriff’s oath of office, this issue is not nearly as clear cut as we have been led to believe. The oath requires the officer to swear to uphold the Second Amendment and is silent about the obligation to enforce state statutes at all and implies the duty to oppose any statutes that violate the Second Amendment. The bottom line is the Sheriff’s oath of office does not require the enforcement of every violation of every statute and explicitly bans the enforcement of any statutes that violate the Second Amendment. I address several other important issues in the essay being released today, but suffice it to say that the ordinance obviously does not encourage people to violate the law. Rather, it is the Javerts of this world who extoll dictatorial state laws that make a mockery of the right to bear arms to which we owe the nation’s very existence who are the actual criminals. They are the real lawbreakers who betray their own oath to ‘support’ the Second Amendment which has helped make the United States the greatest nation in world history.”
“Any elected official who is unwilling to work toward pushing the sanctuary ordinance is not only violating their oath of office, but showing their true intent on why they are in politics: power, money, and winning elections,” 2ANYS Coordinator Duane Whitmer said. “I’m calling on elected officials – especially those of Erie and Monroe Counties – to do the right thing and support the natural rights of their constituents. If you’re in office to uphold the Constitution, this is an easy move. If you’re in office for the paycheck, or to boost your ego, you deserve to be called out, and voted out.”
Gun Owners of America (GOA) has drafted a Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinance that is receiving the support of Second Amendment advocates in many New York counties, including a large number in Monroe County. Essentially, the ordinance bars county or municipal employees from enforcing statutes that violate the Second Amendment and bars the use of county or municipal funds to enforce such statutes.
Several public officials have opined that enacting the ordinance or complying with it would be unlawful. The in-depth analysis 2ANYS unveiled today outlines and discusses the major legal issues involved. Specifically, the following arguments that have been made against the ordinance are addressed in detail:
- Enforcing the ordinance would violate a sheriff’s oath of office.
- Counties do not have the right to enact the ordinance under their home rule powers.
- The ordinance is preempted by state law.
- The governor can remove a sheriff who complies with the ordinance.
- Enforcing the ordinance could lead to the prosecution of the sheriff.
- The ordinance encourages people to disobey the law.
The essay released today by 2ANYS has been issued to the following Monroe County officials for review and comment:
- County Executive Adam Bello (D)
- County Legislator Ed Wilt (R, Greece, Parma)
- County Legislator Jackie Smith (R, Clarkson, Hamlin, Sweden)
- County Legislator Tracy DiFlorio (R, Chili)
- County Legislator Frank X. Allkofer (R, Gates, Ogden)
- County Legislator Karla F. Boyce (R, Henrietta, Mendon, Pittsford, Rush)
- County Legislator Fred Ancello (R, Greece)
- County Legislator Brian E. Marianetti (R, Greece, Rochester)
- County Legislator Matthew Terp (R, Webster)
- County Legislator Paul Dondorfer (R, Penfield)
- County Legislator Howard Maffucci – (D, Brighton, East Rochester, Pittsford)
- County Legislator Sean M. Delehanty (R, Fairport, Perinton)
- County Legislator Steve Brew (R, Chili, Henrietta, Riga, Wheatland)
- County Legislator Michael Yudelson (D, Henrietta, Pittsford)
- County Legislator Justin Wilcox (D, Brighton)
- County Legislator George J. Hebert (R, Penfield, Webster)
- County Legislator Dr. Joe Carbone (R, Irondequoit) – President
- County Legislator Joseph D. Morelle, Jr. (D, Irondequoit)
- County Legislator John B. Baynes (D, East Rochester, Perinton)
- County Legislator Kathleen Taylor (R, Greece, Parma)
- County Legislator Mike Zale (R, Greece, Ogden, Sweden)
- County Legislator Rachel Barnhart (D, Rochester)
- County Legislator Vincent R. Felder (D, Rochester)
- County Legislator Linda Hasman (D, Rochester)
- County Legislator Joshua Bauroth (D, Rochester, Brighton)
- County Legislator John Lightfoot (D, Rochester)
- County Legislator Yversha M. Roman (D, Gates, Greece, Rochester)
- County Legislator Sabrina LaMar (D, Rochester)
- County Legislator Frank Keophetlasy (D, Rochester)
- County Legislator Ernest S. Flagler-Mitchell (D, Rochester)
- County Legislature Clerk Jack Moffitt
- County Clerk Jamie Romeo (D)
- County Attorney John Bringewatt
- District Attorney Sandra Doorley (R)
- District Attorney Sandra Doorley (R)
- Sheriff Todd Baxter (D)
To learn more about any of the above, please contact Steve Felano at 888-763-5345 or [email protected].
2ANYS is New York State’s premier civilian rearmament enterprise securing maximal Second Amendment civil rights by, with, and through The People. At the tip of the spear in the fight against progressive gun control, their innovative strategies expand non-compliance with, and non-enforcement and repeal of, Albany’s imperial disarmament edicts. 2ANYS promotes a strong martial culture across New York State through firearms proficiency development, combat tactics training, and firearms industry events. The enterprise actively educates the public on the immense successes delivered by America’s Second Amendment, and the deplorable suffering imposed by governments that forcefully disarm their citizens. By, with, and through The People, 2ANYS will defeat Albany’s unconstitutional civilian disarmament industrial complex, and pass that victory on to the next generation to defend as their own. Learn more at WWW.2ANYS.COM.