In the middle of the afternoon on Saturday, April 18, 2015, a small crowd of residents from across Broome County gathered at the VFW Post 478 in Binghamton, NY, to discuss an on-going issue facing the State of New York. The issue is the 2nd Amendment, specifically how the NY Safe Act affects that inalienable right. The meeting was co-sponsored by the Shooters Committee On Political Education (SCOPE NY), a 2nd Amendment advocacy organization created in 1965, and the NY Revolution, a grassroots civil rights advocacy organization.
The meeting started at 1pm. Within fifteen minutes, all other members of the press had left, missing the bulk of what was discussed. The first part of the meeting was conducted by Steven Aldstadt, president of SCOPE NY. Mr. Aldstadt reviewed 7 lawsuits currently challenging parts and/or the totality of the NY Safe Act. Several of these legal challenges are either lead by, or supported by, SCOPE. In addition, Mr. Aldstadt highlighted 2 Bills to be addressed by the New York State Assembly on April 22, 2015.
Bill A-2651, seeks the full repeal of the NY Safe Act. It is supported by 17 Assemblymembers including: Blankenbush; Crouch; Friend; Lopez; Nojay; and Tenney. Bill A-3350, supported by 18 Assemblymembers (including all those mentioned prior), also seeks the full repeal of the NY Safe Act, via a differently worded Bill. Those attending the meeting were encouraged to attend the session on April 22nd, and to spread the word among other 2nd Amendment advocates across the State.
Mr. Aldstadt also took questions from the audience, addressing concerns on legislation including the status on the ban on magazine capacity. Further Mr. Aldstadt answered the question of Michael Vass, the writer of this article, in regard to the usage of federal funds to enable NICS database increases resulting in a loss of gun ownership, and the Bill offered in March by Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi. The NICS issue, Mr. Aldstadt stated, is being further looked into as more reports are being investigated. As covered in our article Assemblyman Brindisi want to repeal the Safe Act, but why should you care?, Assemblyman Brindisi suddenly sponsored a repeal of much of the Safe Act after 2 years of silence on the subject. Though there appears to be little traction on that Bill, SCOPE NY also supports the Bill. As Mr/ Aldstadt stated,
“SCOPE realizes that in this atmosphere, with the Governor being re-elected, full repeal may not be a reality. Thus we support any Bill that would restrict or repeal this restrictive law.”
In the second half of the meeting, NY Revolution spoke to the audience. The discussion turned to the issue of constitutional militias. A subject that few in the audience were very clear on. The lead speaker, George Curbello, spoke at length about the need for the public to be aware of what is happening in local neighborhoods, legislation affecting the State, and to legally and rationally take part in both. We were able to speak with Mr. Curbelo after the meeting.
In addition to sharing details on the on-going legal battle on the NY Safe Act, and the effort to promote the civil liberties of New York residents, the meeting at the VFW Post 478 also was an effort to help raise awareness for Operation Hunger Smash. This is a national volunteer effort to provide veterans with food and supplies when they are in need and/or homeless. Mr. Curbelo made a statement on Operation Hunger Smash,
“Our Constitution and the 2nd Amendment are supported by our soldiers and our veterans. The fact that there are vets that are homeless, that have medical issues that aren’t being addressed, if we can find out who these vets are, we can help them through the process of becoming more viable in their local communities.”