Kinderhook joins effort to repeal gun law

NIVERVILLE – The Kinderhook Town Board voted this week to support the repeal of the state SAFE Act gun control law.

At the regular monthly meeting Monday night, four of the five board members voted to call for repealing the act, with board member Glenn Smith abstaining, saying he did not understand the law enough to vote either way.

Town Supervisor Pat Grattan said at the April 8 meeting that he had read the entire Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Law and felt “it didn’t sufficiently penalize criminal acts.”

Board member Pasty Leader, a gun owner, said of the law, “They are hurting us honest people in New York State.” She went on to say of the state’s regulation of firearms and ammunition, “Unfortunately it’s gone crazy.”

Board members Deb Simonsmeier and Tim Ooms voted in favor of the symbolic motion to repeal the act without comment, though Ms. Simonsmeier said earlier in the meeting that she had added it to the meeting’s agenda.

Both houses of the state legislature voted for Governor Cuomo’s bill in January after it was introduced with a “message of necessity,” a provision in the state constitution that requires lawmakers to vote on a measure quickly without the chance for extended debate. The law prohibits the sale of additional types of assault-style weapons, restricts the number of rounds of ammunition that can be in a single magazine and requires background checks and a registry for most purchases a firearm.

Only the legislature or the courts can change or block implementation of the law.

Some other local municipalities and the county Board of Supervisors have adopted similar measures opposing the law.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the board heard from Edward Simonsen about addendums to the town’s comprehensive plan. He chaired a committee the recommended updates to the plan, which have to be reviewed by the county Planning Board before the Town Board can vote on accepting the changes.

The board also heard from Tom Kelser, with the Cornell University research farm in Valatie, about the fire company’s response to a fire at a local farm. He said he was surprised that though several fire companies responded to the blaze, the Stuyvesant Fire Company was not there.

“Minutes count a lot,” Mr. Kelser said of efforts to fight fires, and he said it was irresponsible not to use next closest fire company to help. He said the farm in question had been hit hard by the blaze.

Ms. Leader, who responded to the fire to help the family, said, “I did hear that complaint.”

Board member Smith advised Mr. Kelser to discuss the issue with the fire companies.

In other business this week, the board:

Hired Mabey’s Moving Company at $4,432 to help move town equipment and records to the new town hall in the Martin H. Glynn School building in Valatie. Supervisor Grattan said the board hopes to move the town hall to the Glynn Building by the end of this month.

Adopted a motion asking the state to lower the speed limit on Route 9 in front of the Ichabod Crane School from 35 miles an hour to 25. The state has to approve the change since Route 9 is a state highway.

Heard Mr. Grattan remind residents at the meeting that if they get the Star tax exemption and they are not senior citizens, they need to reapply for 2014. He said the state is “getting very thorough about this.”

The next town board meeting will be Monday, May 13 at 7 p.m. at the Martin H. Glynn School on Church Street.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .


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