The Governor did his job and presented the Legislature with his ideas for dealing with a serious problem. What we do not understand is the Legislature’s willful abandonment of the regular legislative process to rush through a very complicated and controversial bill without giving even the members of the Legislature, much less the citizenry, time to analyze and respond to the proposal. Usually passing a law is a long and laborious process, often painfully so, but for a reason. When citizen’s life or liberty is to be affected by a proposed law, those citizens should have the opportunity to make their views known to their legislators. Even obviously meritorious and non-controversial proposals often languish in the Legislature for years because, the legislators say, it is necessary to gather input from all affected parties. As frustrating as that may be for some, out of such a deliberative process often come amendments and improvements to the proposal. Did the Legislature not think that any of the 19.5 million New Yorkers might have something of value to contribute to the debate over solutions to gun violence and the proposals in this legislation?
Fortunately, the Governor has shown himself open to working with interested parties to address some of the problems that arose due to the hasty enactment of this law. We will work with the Governor and the Legislature on these problems.
The New York State Sheriffs’ Association takes the time to express these concerns now because many other measures on many other topics of importance to law enforcement and to our citizens in general will arise in the coming year. We will be disappointed and alarmed if this steamroller approach to important legislation becomes the norm.