Partial transcript of exclusive conversation on gun control with State Senator Fred Akshar

Courts and gun laws

The following is a partial transcript from the exclusive interview held on January 25, 2019 with NY-52 State Senator Fred Akshar. This portion of the 30 minute interview is focused on the pending gun legislation, to be voted on January 29th. This includes the Red Flag legislation (Bills S02451 and A02689 in the Assembly) and extended waiting period bills (S02374 and A02690) which will be voted on. Both Bills, as well as several others – A01785 & S00101 – are expected to pass even with Republican and public objection.

For the full interview, please visit NO Soundbites Allowed podcast (audio only)/

Michael "Vass" Vasquez next to A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft in Orange County, NY

Michael “Vass” Vasquez next to A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft in Orange County, NY

Michael Vass: Speaking about the new legislative session, the new status quo where we have a single party domination and direction in the government that brings up what’s coming up next week. And it’s a very big issue. Many people are familiar. I’m a very big advocate of the second amendment. We’ve spoken about it often. I’ve even taken you to task a little bit on a couple of issues,

Senator Akshar: I appreciate that.

Michael Vass: Yeah. And, you’ve been gracious enough to allow it too. And we discuss it, which I think is very important that any politician to hear that other side. But in looking at the next week, we have a lot of legislation that I would say not just second amendment advocates, but the general public are saying this is too extreme. I would use the example of a state Senator Parker‘s social media password bill, where the government is essentially he is proposing for the government to say that you have to give up your privacy, your fourth amendment rights to exercise your Second Amendment right.

Michael Vass: Without anyone knowing what is the government doing with that fourth amendment. There’s the Red Flag legislation, which would essentially allow part-time, badminton coaches to go to the courts and force those courts to come into people’s homes, take their property and by a consequence directly, take away their kids. It also makes it liable for every school and school district. They must do this. Otherwise there was legally liable, God forbid something were to happen. So it starts a cycle of losses there. We’ve seen legislation where they’re saying the lady… At adding on a financial burden by saying you have to have an insurance policy of millions of dollars and additional expense to people just because a woman wants to protect herself from rape and now she has to have a million dollar policy that she can’t necessarily, some may not be able to afford. And then there’s a bill that just came out this week and you reminded me of it where we’re having a proficiency requirement that is a part of it, is that first of all, to get a license to protect themselves, to defend their homes, that they would have to have a 90 percent proficiency that many members of the military who are trained for this, members of law enforcement don’t have.

Michael Vass: And I say all of that to say, and I know you are against many of these bills. What are we looking to see coming in the next week? And what can we do about it?

Senator Akshar: Yeah, look on this particular issue, this nation has seen some pretty horrific acts take place by some really, really repugnant human beings.

Michael Vass: Absolutely.

NY 52nd District State Senator Fred AksharSenator Akshar: I think it’s important to note that on this, on this issue, you can have a reasonable and responsible conversation about gun control. Right? About gun control issues, but that doesn’t mean that you have to make extreme decisions, in having that conversation. And I think some of the proposals that you’re seeing by members of the Democratic Party are just that. They’re extreme. They, they really, … they really go too far. The Red Flag Bill, a bill that I belief that {Senator Kavanaugh] carries, the governor is pushing it very, very hard. I believe that we’re going to see that legislation come, come forward next week. I agree with you on that. I think that that particular piece of legislation, throws due process out the window and just, it just simply goes too far.

Senator Akshar: So here’s, here’s where I am on this issue. It’s, it’s really unfortunate and I think because the gun control issue, I think has polarized both political parties, right? I think a lot of people have kind of taken a couple of steps back, towards their respective corners, dug in a little bit on the issue, and maybe have an unwillingness to have a conversation. The problem is, is that you can’t start a conversation by proposing very extreme and radical, pieces of legislation. That’s never, ever going to start a conversation. Now, there are other issues that we spoke about earlier. The wait period, the bump stop ban. I know the federal government is making moves that they haven’t done so already on, on banning the bump stock, under president trump. I believe this is, is moving forward, at the federal level.

Senator Akshar: I just, my fear is that the left is not that they don’t have a willingness to have that reasonable and responsible conversation and they’re just going to put forth this, this legislation, and then you’re forced to make a decision. Right? My hope on all of this gun control, all of these gun control issues is that we don’t see one big omnibus bill about gun control. If all of these issues are important to some respective members, right, some, some colleague of mine in the state Senate, they should really be putting those issues up separately. To allow for robust discussion and debate on the particular issue and then allow members to vote on the issue of, in chief. A Bill in Chief, it deals with the bump stock, right? Allow us to allow us to debate that particular issue. Let us have a discussion about that and then let us make a decision. In our, in our house, and then the assembly can do whatever they want.

Senator Akshar: But my sense is, is that we’ll probably see those three issues, this week. We’ll probably see the bump stock issue, the Red Flag bill. Then the extended wait period from three days to 10 days. I think we’ll probably see that, but the parker bills, I’m not entirely sure what Senator Parker is, is trying to accomplish. I believe that, he… This issue of gun control is something that’s important to him. But I also believe that, you know, he may be putting forth some of this legislation just to engender some type of conversation. And puts him at the, at the forefront or in the spotlight on some of these issues because it works for his base. But look,

Michael Vass: That’s detrimental to everyone to just do that.
State Senator Fred Akshar and Vass Political Commentary's Michael Vass
Senator Akshar: It’s the process though. I think that’s the point I make, right, is that when, when you, when, when I suggest that we have a reasonable and responsible conversation about this issue, when you putting forth pieces of legislation like that, that clearly have constitutional implications, right, uh, that, that violate the constitution of the United States. I don’t know how you, how you expect people to, enter into or engaged in a reasonable conversation about this.

Michael Vass: You’ve suddenly gone into a very difficult conversation because you’re talking about rights that are absolutely guaranteed. And then I think we were talking about this a little bit in discussing the 10 day wait period. Whether that’s a reasonable option. The question came down, can we, it, it’s worthwhile to have that discussion. There is a real benefit that can be seen there, at the same time it’s a real impediment. Is it worth the exchange? And I think we can have and we were having a off the record where we were personally having that conversation. I think that’s a conversation that if the advocates against the second amendment were to have that publicly, we could have a reasonable debate. Maybe that answer is not 10 days, seven days, maybe it’s five days, maybe it’s seven, maybe it’s the full 10. We can have that debate and that’s a reasonable debate that I think you can find compromise and understanding. As opposed to where we’re seeing the direction go right now. I believe has been more and you may have heard this yourself and people contacting you. That seems very oppressive and it seems to be deaf… Tone deaf to the opinion of 20 percent of the state. Is that something that you’re hearing from your colleagues or is that something that’s coming just from the governor?

Senator Akshar: No, I think it’s fair to say that, under this new majority, they are a very, very empowered group. They were a group of men and women who believe very strongly in what they believe in, their mind. I think they feel that they have been oppressed for the last 10 years. Since 2009 and 10 when, when they were in the majority. You know, I say often that being a member of the majority was great because of proactive things that you could get done, right. Whether it be a legislation or bringing funds home for particular projects. What was even more important and I think even more valuable to the people that I represent here in Senate district 52 and globally speaking, the people of this great state is the ridiculous policies that you were able to stop, from actually coming to fruition.

Senator Akshar: We were talking about gun control just a moment ago. In the codes committee meeting on Monday, this coming Monday. We’re going to take up this, legislation that you and I were just speaking of. This specifically the three bills, but we’re also going to take up this safe storage Bill. That senator Krueger has been pushing for years. That we’ve been able to stop from coming to fruition, right? This is the bill in which, if you have a, firearm, you have to take the magazine out of the firearm. You need to keep the magazine in one lock location that gun in the other location. Now, how are people supposed to protect themselves?

Michael Vass: How is the government supposed to know you’ve done it without invading your privacy to find it? I remember that bill because of that issue.

Senator Akshar: Very, very problematic. And, again, my sense overall is that the left is unwilling to have conversations now. Because, clearly they’re in control of both houses, all of state government, right? They have the executive and they have, both the assembly and the Senate, as you well know. And there’s really, honestly, there is an unwillingness, at least I’ve seen this in the first two weeks of session. There’s an unwillingness by the left to have reasonable conversations about issues. We have proposed several, probably half a dozen hostile amendments to a lot of the bills that they’re putting forth. And they very quickly rule them nongermane and we move on and just, are forced to vote on the bill in chief as currently offered.

We hope that this partial transcript, and the original interview, give some insight to the public on the manner in which Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the single Party directives of the State Legislature are taking the State of New York.

About the Author

Michael Vass
Born in 1968, a political commentator for over a decade. Has traveled the U.S. and lived in Moscow and Tsblisi, A former stockbroker and 2014 Congressional candidate. Passionate about politics with emphasis on 1st and 2nd Amendments.

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