WESTERN NEW YORK — The Second Amendment Guarantee Act, or SAGA, is touted by Rep. Chris Collins as new federal legislation that would make New York’s SAFE Act invalid.
“This legislation would declare null and void the SAFE Act as it applies to rifles and shotguns used by sportsmen and hunters,” said Collins, R-27th District.
Collins says that SAGA would prohibit states from creating or enforcing gun control laws that are stricter than federal laws.
Across upstate New York, hunters and recreational shooters have for 4 1/2 years now vocally expressed that the controversial law made their lives inherently more complicated. Every year since, Republican legislators have proposed various ways to repeal the law, either in pieces or its entirety, and every year they’ve failed.
“The New York City Democrats in the Assembly will never do any of those things to move any of this legislation forward,” said state Sen. Rich Funke, R-Perinton. “That’s a fact of life and the fact remains that Governor (Andrew) Cuomo will never admit that the SAFE Act is not working and he would never sign a repeal bill anyway.”
Collins, who’s already publicly battled Cuomo on a health care amendment that would shift Medicaid costs to the state, on Monday again took aim at the governor specifically.
“I know it’s going to drive the governor absolutely crazy because we’re calling him out for another unconstitutional move,” Collins said.
The congressman says while the bill is specific to New York, other states could be affected in the future. He expects broad support from his colleagues in Congress.
A statement from Cuomo’s office reads:
“In 2013, following the Sandy Hook tragedy, New York State rose to the occasion and passed the toughest gun safety laws in the nation. Democrats and Republicans came together to ban assault weapons from coming into the state, ban high capacity magazines and keep guns out of the hands of the dangerously mentally ill, while safeguarding the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners.
“Now, in a blatant political ploy, Chris Collins is turning his back on New Yorkers and putting millions of people at profound risk. By fighting to roll back vital legislation that protects the people of the Empire State, Collins is demonstrating once again that he is beholden to no one but the gun lobby and entrenched special interests.
“This disturbing bill puts New Yorkers in harm’s way – and to make it worse, there is no basis for it. None. The courts have resoundingly upheld New York’s law as consistent with the Constitution. We understand that Washington is in turmoil right now – we just ask that they don’t do anything to set back the progress we’ve been able to make despite them.”
By Ryan Whalen
Updated Monday, July 31, 2017 at 05:12 PM EDT