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Erie County Sheriff Sounds Off on SAFE Act

11:58 AM, Mar 8, 2013   |    comments
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GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. - Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard is not a fan of New York's tough new gun control legislation.

2 On Your Side caught up with Howard at a SAFE Act debate Thursday night on Grand Island.

Howard is a Republican and said there are a few parts of the gun law that he does support.  However, Thursday night, he sounded off on the issue of mental health.

"At the very same time that they're talking about new laws pretending to make us safer, it's their plan to close prisons and close mental health institutions," Howard said. "Any law enforcement professional will tell you that our dangers on the street have to do in large part with mental health," said Howard.

Howard said when a number of health facilities were closed in the 1980s it left a disproportionate number of mentally ill people in New York State jails. 

Howard also said that he is concerned about how the SAFE Act was rushed through the Legislature in a matter of days and that the public had very little input.

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