Shandaken residents want gun vote repeal

By Jay Braman Jr.
One week after the Shandaken Town Board passed a memorializing resolution against recently adopted New York State gun laws, residents opposing the measure have launched a petition drive to force the board to reconsider that action.

The town board on February 4 passed an anti-gun control resolution brought forward by town of Shandaken Councilman Vincent Bernstein despite an almost unanimous cry against it from residents that insisted the language in the resolution did not reflect the sentiments of the townsfolk.

Following several “whereas” statements about the right of the people to keep and bear arms, the measure claims that “legislation passed by the New York State Assembly and Senate infringes on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and would ban the possession and use of firearms now employed by individual citizens of the Town of Shandaken for defense of Life, Liberty and Property and would ban the possession and use of firearms now employed for safe forms of firearms recreation, hunting and shooting within the Town…”

It continues on to resolve that “the Town Board of the Town of Shandaken does hereby oppose the enactment of any legislation that would infringe upon the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms and consider such laws to be unnecessary and beyond lawful legislative authority granted to our State representatives, as there is no documented correlation between gun control measures and crime reduction.”

The motion carried with Bernstein, Jack Jordan and Alfie Higley in support. Doris Bartlett voted against. Supervisor Rob Stanley was absent due to illness, but sent a message to the town board before the meeting urging his colleagues to reconsider and table the resolution.
Phoenicia resident Nick Alba, a vocal opponent of the measure, quickly launched an Internet-based petition drive calling for the repeal.

Using Facebook, Alba directs readers signon.org, a “democracy in action” website, where the petition reads as follows:

‘We, the undersigned people of Shandaken hereby state our strong objection to Shandaken Town Board Resolution #58-13, the “Resolution in Support of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.” This Resolution was passed by three members of the Shandaken Town Board on Monday, February 4, 2013 despite near unanimous opposition expressed by members of the public present and those who wrote letters to voice their opposition, which were read at the meeting.

“This is a matter of personal conscience and has no bearing on town law. We are not challenging the Second Amendment but do not feel it is proper for the Shandaken Town Board to use the town as a platform to advance individual views on the highly charged topic of gun control. The “Resolution in Support of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution” does not represent our views, and we call on the Shandaken Town Board to repeal it.”
On Monday the petition had over 200 signatures.

Alba said Monday that the petition would be delivered to the town board at its next meeting, set for March 4.

The petition can be viewed at http://signon.org/sign/petition-to-repeal resolutio.fb23?source=c.fb&r_by=1486132