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Cuomo counsel Alfonso David says MOU on SAFE Act 'has been mischaracterized and raised questions.' He issues press release to clarify what happened.
NYSNYS News
Text of press release.

For Immediate Release: 7/11/2015
GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO
State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor

STATEMENT FROM COUNSEL TO THE GOVERNOR ALPHONSO DAVID


“A memorandum issued yesterday concerning the State’s ammunition check program has been mischaracterized and raised questions. This statement should clarify the matter.

The SAFE Act provides that the State will establish its own database to conduct background checks prior to purchase of ammunition. Recent events and killings have reinforced how vital functional and accurate background checks are.

The law dictates that the State Police is solely responsible for determining the manner of registration and certification of the database. The database will be accessed by gun shops and sporting goods stores prior to ammunition sales to private parties. It is a complex undertaking and has never been done before. New York State will be the first in the nation, a fact we are proud of.

There have been concerns raised that the State should not implement the database prematurely as it could cause unmanageable disruption in retail establishments and could cause undue delays. We agree. In fact, over the last two years the Superintendent of State Police has repeatedly and clearly said no system would be implemented until it is ready.

Members of the Republican Senate have indicated that, despite those prior statements, they continue to be questioned by the public and want to answer definitively that we are aware of the concerns and will act responsibly. The memo issued by the Director of Operations simply restates that point. The administration continues to work to enact the database and intends to brief its legislative partners when the system is ready, but the legal responsibility for the implementation decision lies solely with the Superintendent of State Police.

To be clear, the memorandum reiterates the administration's intention to implement a functional database when it is ready and reinforces that the system cannot be launched prematurely. The memorandum can in no way supercede the law as passed by the legislature and further, there is nothing in the memorandum that is inconsistent with the letter, spirit or intent of the law.

We need an operational database, but it must also be effective and functional. It will promote public safety and save lives. Responsible government requires nothing less.”

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