Goodell Calls Bill ‘Rush Job’

State Assemblyman Andy Goodell isn’t pleased with Tuesday’s gun-control bill signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. In fact, the Chautauqua County Republican says the legislation “rush job” will do little to curb gun violence.

Sen. Cathy Young, R-Olean, thinks so, too. Neither voted for Cuomo’s SAFE Act legislation, although the Assembly and Senate overwhelmingly pushed matching bills through with little opposition.

Goodell has not been shy to condemn the legislation – made worse, he said, by its hasty push by the governor.

“This important legislation affecting fundamental Second Amendment rights was rammed through the state Legislature without complying with the state Constitutional requirement for adequate review,” Goodell said.

The former county executive said the bill was given to Assembly members in the middle of the night, and a vote took place without the usual three-day aging period.

“It was rushed in an effort to take political advantage of public anger over the recent tragic events at Sandy Hook (Elementary School) and Webster, and to ensure that New York state was the first state to address gun control following these tragic events,” Goodell said.

“It was driven by political opportunism, rather than any real emergency,” he said.

Young, too, said the bill penalizes responsible gun owners.

“The bill went too far in penalizing law-abiding firearms owners who aren’t causing the problem, and doesn’t go far enough to address the root causes of violent crimes,” Young said.

According to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, only five murders took place in 2011 with rifles. Goodell said these firearms are statistically more safe than cars, motor cycles and bicycles.

Goodell noted:

There were 225 bicyclist deaths in New York City between 1996 and 2005;

The New York Times reported that 55 people killed by subways in New York City in 2011;

The No. 1 causes of death in domestic violence murders are by knives or blunt instruments, the state DCJS reports.

“Despite all the public furor over the recent tragedies, the official independent data confirms the lack of any imminent public safety emergency,” Goodell said, pointing out the legislation would not have prevented recent tragedies in Newtown, Conn., where 26 students and staff were killed, and West Webster where two firefighters were ambushed.