SAFE Act not a solution to gun violence

— Violence and crime are big problems in many regions of the country and the world. In Onondaga County, specifically within the city of Syracuse, crimes take place on a daily basis, many of which are committed with a firearm. As a community, we have become desensitized by the gun violence that takes place within the city. The city of Syracuse, Onondaga County and the state of New York need to invest in real solutions to the escalating crime and gun violence. The New York SAFE Act is not a solution to the gun violence that takes place in the city of Syracuse. If I thought for one minute the SAFE Act would make the public safer, I would have been in full support. Unfortunately, without the input from law enforcement officers, mental health professionals and the general public, a hasty law was adopted that does little to prevent violent crimes and turns law-abiding citizens into criminals.

Finding ways to reduce crime in the city of Syracuse should be a priority for local and state officials. One of the main reasons that Onondaga County residents are leaving the city of Syracuse is for the safety of their families. I believe that a strong urban core, within the city and the villages across this county, strengthen our region as a whole. However, I understand why residents are choosing to live in the suburban and rural areas of this great county. I would like to see funding in the New York state budget for programs that are proven to reduce gun-related crimes, like Operation IMPACT, Syracuse Truce, Cash for Guns programs and SPD’s Gang Violence Task Force. Authorities estimate there are 27 gangs in the city of Syracuse that are responsible for more than 50 percent of the gun-related crimes. More than 90 percent of the gun-related crimes take place with unregistered guns that were illegally obtained. Requiring pistol permit renewals every five years will not address the large number of unregistered, illegally purchased guns that are currently on the streets of Syracuse. The SAFE Act does nothing to address gang violence or inner-city crime.

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