Senator Griffo's Statement on Senate Bill 2230

Joseph A. Griffo

January 15, 2013

Senator Griffo's Statement on Senate Bill 2230

Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R-C-IP, Rome) issued the following statement in legislation that was passed by the Senate overnight Monday.

“I could not support the legislation which was fast-tracked through the Senate last evening.  The legislation that was voted on did not go through the usual legislative process, and certainly was never negotiated in front of the public and in the light of day. The late-night vote on such a critical issue violated the rights of New Yorkers to dialogue with their legislators about this important bill.”

  “I have spoken out before about the tactic of lumping unrelated legislation into one bill as part of the horse-trading that goes on to secure passage of a bill. We should vote ideas up or down on their merits, not combine them into one bill. The fact that this legislation had provisions that I have sponsored and supported in the past made my vote even more difficult.  I co-authored the expansion of Kendra’s Law and was a co-sponsor of Mark’s Law so my record in supporting mental health issues is clear.  We must ensure that those who need help have access to care.”

  “Despite the provisions I support, there were far too many pieces in the bill that punish law-abiding citizens. This law will require background checks for the simple act of buying a box of .22 ammunition. Anyone with more than seven rounds in an ammunition clip violates the law, even if the ammo is in an old currently legal clip sitting locked up inside the house. With provisions like that, I do not believe we are enhancing public safety in a meaningful way, or preventing criminals from getting guns, as much as placing new restrictions on honest, law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen.

 “Although there was some compromise in the final product, I do not believe there was enough of an emphasis on getting illegal handguns out of the hands of criminals. Many constituents, who include workers at Ilion’s landmark Remington Arms plant whose jobs are on the line, have been very clear in their communications to me that any new public safety legislation must be fully protective of their Second Amendment rights..”

“I understand the need for protecting the innocent members of our society and I support strong public safety measures. However, I am opposed to rushing a last minute agreement through the legislative process in the dead of the night. I also believe that this legislation did not, overall, make sufficient meaningful impact on public safety to warrant its restrictions on Second Amendment rights.”

“We must continue to address the problem of illegal guns, issues with mental illness and problems with the mental health system and the culture of violence that permeates our society. I’m hopeful that in the weeks ahead the federal government as well as the state will engage in meaningful dialogue to make a real difference.”