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Wayne Post
  • Palmyra man leads charge against gun law

  • With the supervisors’ approval last week, Wayne joins more than 27 counties across the state voicing opposition and repeal of the law. New York has 61 counties, and SCOPE, a state organization dedicated to promoting gun rights, is hoping to garner support from at least 40 of them to say no to the new law.

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  • John Piczkur remembers as a boy learning from his dad how to shoot a gun as well as safely handle one.
    All these years later, Piczkur is chairman for the Wayne County Chapter of SCOPE, or Shooters Committee on Political Education.
    “I’ve been a gun owner all my life,” he said. “And I’m passionate about my Second Amendment rights.”
    A Palmyra resident, Piczkur was among several speaking out against the NY Safe Act and lending support to the Wayne Board of Supervisors for a resolution it passed opposing the law.
    With the supervisors’ approval last week, Wayne joins more than 27 counties across the state voicing opposition and repeal of the law. New York has 61 counties, and SCOPE, a state organization dedicated to promoting gun rights, is hoping to garner support from at least 40 of them to say no to the new law.
    The county’s resolution, approved at its meeting Thursday morning, not only asks for the law’s repeal, but highlights specific provisions supervisors believe are problematic. Most notably, a mandatory five-year re-certification process for all gun owners and a rifle registry to verify ownership.
    “By and large, we find the legislation does little more then negatively impact lawful gun ownership,” the resolution states. “This legislation fails to offer any meaningful solutions to gun violence and places increased burdens where they do not belong, squarely on the backs of law-abiding citizens.”
    Residents attending the meeting called the law “immoral,” “unethical” and a violation of their right to defend their families.
    “Self defense is a God-given right granted by the Constitution,” said Piczkur. “This law arrogantly dictates how I should defend my family. Criminals are to blame (for the violence), not law-abiding citizens.”
    Piczkur pointed to the Webster tragedy on Christmas Eve where a “known deranged” man was released from prison and was able to illegally obtain guns that killed two volunteer firefighters responding to a fire. Three others were shot and injured.
    “Law abiding people will now be criminals with no way to protect against the criminals being set free by the same governor,” Piczkur added.
    State legislators were criticized for passing the 39-page law within 22 minutes of receiving it without taking the required three-day review process — an issue Wayne supervisors found “deeply disturbing.”
    Assemblyman Robert Oaks, R-Macedon, told supervisors they are not the first county to take a stand against the legislation, but they are the first to put forth such a comprehensive argument.
    “Violence in society and the violence of people committing crimes against each other is a very difficult issue,” he said. “But to say this is a piece of legislation that will make New York a safer place, I don’t see that.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Sheriff Barry Virts said he does not believe the law will reduce gun violence and ultimately treats law-abiding citizens like criminals. Those are the people who will be affected by the law, not the criminals committing the crimes, he said.
    “Appropriate people should have guns and inappropriate people should not,” Virts said. “This law won’t solve the problem.”
    Since the law went into effect, County Clerk Michael Jankowski said his office has seen a 53 percent increase in pistol permit transactions, all of which are being handled without increased staff.
    “This is a bad law,” he said. “The problem with bad laws is one bad law weakens all laws, even the good ones.”
    Walworth Town Supervisor Bob Plant said there are so many things wrong with the law that he can’t begin to address them all.
    “The bad parts of this law far outweigh the good parts,” he said.
    The Board of Supervisors said it is requesting the state hold public hearings on gun violence in the hopes of producing meaningful results. If the state fails to repeal the law, Wayne will oppose the shift of enforcement to county governments. The county also is calling for the state to fully finance any costs associated with the new provisions.
    Oaks said he can’t say that the resolution passed by supervisors will bring about big changes in the law, but he expects it will be modified.
    To find out more about SCOPE or to become a member email waynecounty scope@yahoo.com or visit www.scopeny.org.

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