RUSH, NY-- With almost no chance of repealing New York's SAFE Act through the Democratically-dominated state legislature, Republican Representative Chris Collins (R-NY 27) is running an end around through Congress.
“I have a lot of confidence we will get this over the finish line and I know it’s going to drive the Governor (Cuomo) absolutely crazy," says Collins.
At a news conference at the Rochester Brooks Sportsman Club in southern Monroe County, Collins announced a proposed new federal law, submitted to the U.S. House on Friday.
The bill's acronym is SAGA, the Second Amendment Guarantee Act. If it became law it would "limit the authority of states and localities to regulate conduct, or impose penalties or taxes, in relation to rifles or shotguns."
Collins described the legislation as a way to nullify the SAFE Act in regards to its provisions on rifles and shotguns.
Governor Cuomo signed the SAFE Act into law in 2013. The law was quickly assembled and passed in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy.
And while gun rights advocates have insisted the SAFE Act violates Constitutional rights, the US Supreme Court last year refused to review a lower court ruling upholding the gun control law.
Among those gathered at Collins' news conference was the president of the pro-gun rights group SCOPE-NY, Tim Andrews. He believes changes in Washington could make Collins' bill law.
"We've got a pro-gun Congress and a pro-gun guy in the White House. I think the combination is going to give us success on this," says Andrews.
"We’re here to take it to Governor Cuomo on the SAFE Act,” says Collins.
In response, Governor Cuomo defended the SAFE Act in a statement and on Twitter.
After the Sandy Hook tragedy, Democrats and Republicans in NYS came together to ban assault weapons and high-cap magazines.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 31, 2017
Now @RepChrisCollins wants to roll back this vital legislation and put millions of people at profound risk.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 31, 2017