This week, North Country lawmakers generally panned Governor Andrew Cuomo’s gun control measure.
The mood among editorial writers in our region hasn’t been much friendlier.
The Glens Falls Post Star uncorked a doozy on the governor, accusing him of “an obvious misuse of power” and arguing that the paper’s readers should be “mad as hell about how this governor does business and not want to take it anymore.”
The Watertown Daily Times, meanwhile, focused its criticism on just one provision of the law, a change actually favored by many gun rights activists that would limit public access to gun permit records.
“Pistol permit data has always been accessible and available, and there is no justifiable reason for restricting it now,” the newspaper wrote. “The Legislature should revisit the law and remove the provisions closing off the public record.”
Somewhat surprisingly, the Albany Times-Union also tucked into the governor for pushing through the measure so swiftly, with little time for public review or debate.
But the way this bill was rammed through — introduced, passed and signed in barely 24 hours — violated the transparency Mr. Cuomo talks so much of and which was so clearly needed on a bill of this scope and complexity.
This is not just a philosophical argument about open government. There are real concerns about this bill, and we say that as ardent supporters of its overall intent.
The Plattsburgh Press-Republican hasn’t published an essay on the new gun control measure, or the process which led to its passage. In an essay published in early January, the paper seemed to embrace regulations roughly along the lines adopted.
“Ban automatic weapons and make qualification for any gun ownership rigorous and easily traceable,” the P-R argued. “Make it simple to account for all guns sold.”
Indeed, the general consensus among Upstate and North Country newspapers appears to be that the gun control measure includes good provisions, but was pushed through in a way that short-circuited healthy democratic debate.
What’s your view on this? Is this a good law that got made ugly? A bad law that was produced by a flawed system? A bill that had to be pushed through quickly to avoid the Albany morass?
Tags: gun control