Ranzenhofer adds name to bill repealing NYSAFE Act
- Joins 14 State Senators in calling for repeal of law
- Writes letter to NYS Police Superintendent to discuss implementation
- Intends to introduce bill to stop warrantless access to medical records
Batavia, N.Y. – State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced that he has added his name as a co-sponsor to legislation (S3948) repealing the NYSAFE Act.
“When a bill is rushed to passage without proper review by the public and then passed in the middle of the night, the end result has a negative impact on residents. Since passage of the NYSAFE Act, I have heard from many concerned citizens, mental health professionals, county clerks and local government officials with very serious concerns about this new law. In the past week alone, there have been numerous news reports that illustrate the law is not working for Western New Yorkers. That is why I have signed on to legislation that would repeal the NYSAFE Act,” said Ranzenhofer.
Senator Ranzenhofer has written to New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico, requesting a meeting to discuss recent reports that the State Police may have been instructed to investigate personal medical records for mental health cases and prescriptions for mental health issues.
The letter states: “Any unwarranted search of personal medical information could not only violate federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy rules, but raises serious ethical and constitutional concerns. Furthermore, simply owning a firearm should not be grounds for reviewing a citizen’s medical history.”
Senator Ranzenhofer plans to introduce new legislation in the State Senate to prevent law enforcement officials from accessing medical records without a warrant or in violation of federal HIPAA privacy rules.
"The SAFE Act Law has dominated our office activity, staff time, and resources since the middle of January. From the Opt-Out forms to registration of "assault" rifles and shotguns, from Mental Health Notifications to recertification procedures, we find we are besieged on all sides. Previous "unfunded mandates" for our office pale in comparison to what it will cost the county, and its taxpayers, to operate under the new gun laws this year," said Genesee County Clerk Don Read.
“Never in my experience have I seen such a terrible law as the NYSAFE Act. A law that local and county governments, and law enforcement professionals from all across New York State have expressed opposition. On behalf of the members of SCOPE and the citizens of New York, I join Senator Ranzenhofer in calling for the repeal of this overreaching law, and for an investigation into the allegations of State Police unwarranted intrusions into New Yorkers private medical records,” said New York State SCOPE President Stephen Aldstadt.
"As the Chairperson of the Genesee County SCOPE Chapter, I represent a very concerned and frustrated group of law-abiding citizens. We are fortunate to have Senator Ranzenhofer representing us in Albany and supporting our endeavors to repeal the NYSAFE Act. We will continue to be diligent until the law is repealed," said Genesee County SCOPE Chapter Chairman Bill Fox.
Senator Ranzenhofer voted against the NYSAFE Act.
The 61st Senate District encompasses: the Towns of Amherst, Clarence, and Newstead and the Villages of Akron and Williamsville in Erie County; all of Genesee County; and the Towns of Chili and Riga, the Village of Churchville and part of the City of Rochester in Monroe County.