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SAFE Act stance helps Howard win 3rd term as Erie County sheriff

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This is from The Buffalo News.

More LEO’s in New York need to follow the lead

of Sheriff Howard.

The law is turning New York into a Nazi Police State.

 

Four words that he uttered at a news conference last May helped Timothy B. Howard win a third term as Erie County sheriff.

The words were “I won’t enforce it,” and Howard was talking about the SAFE Act, a controversial new state firearms law that has outraged gun owners.

The support of angry firearms owners helped the Republican sheriff to a big win Tuesday over his Democratic Party opponent, retired Sheriff’s Deputy Richard E. Dobson, and Sheriff’s Lt. Bert D. Dunn, a Law and Order Party candidate who lost the Democratic nomination in the September primary.

Howard, 63, of South Wales, also received a big boost from having two candidates scrapping with each other over the votes of Democrats.

Late Tuesday night, a jubilant Howard thanked his supporters and leaders of the Republican and Conservative parties for helping him win. He said people all over Erie County have thanked him for his stand on the gun issue.

“I did what I thought was the right thing to do,” Howard told The Buffalo News. “People in Western New York feel strongly about the Constitution and Albany’s misreading of it.”

Since taking office in 2005, Howard has faced some difficult times – including prisoner escapes, mistaken releases of prisoners and suicides at the jail and prison operated by his department. But voters made him only the third Erie County sheriff since 1821 to be elected to three consecutive four-year terms.

“The SAFE Act was a major issue in this election,” said Carl J. Calabrese, a former Erie County deputy county executive who now works as a political consultant. “A lot of people in Erie County, both Republicans and Democrats, are hunters, gun owners and shooters … These are motivated people who get out and vote. In a low-turnout election year like this one, it can make a huge difference.”

Howard has repeatedly voiced his opposition to the state gun control law enacted earlier this year with strong support from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Howard supports a court challenge to the SAFE Act and has publicly stated that he won’t enforce the law, because in his view, it violates the constitutional rights of gun owners.

Gun owners worked hard to help Howard win, said Harold “Budd” Schroeder of Lancaster, chairman of the board of the Shooters Committee on Political Education. “Don’t you see the signs posted all over Erie County, opposing the SAFE Act? People are very upset about this.”

Not everyone agrees. As they walked out of a polling place at Edison Elementary School in the Town of Tonawanda, William and Pauline Stelmach said one reason they voted for Dobson was Howard’s refusal to enforce the gun law.

“Howard is the sheriff. He is supposed to enforce the law, not make laws,” William Stelmach said.

Democratic Party Chairman Jeremy J. Zellner said Howard’s attack on the state gun law provided a “distraction” from the real issue of the campaign, which he said was Howard’s “poor leadership” of his department.

“When he took that position, it gave him a wedge into Democrats who would not normally vote for a Republican,” Calabrese said. “A lot of Democrats are blue-collar people, union people, hunters and gun owners.”

James E. Campbell, chairman of the University at Buffalo’s political science department, said he believes the split of Democratic Party voters probably had a bigger impact.

Dobson and Dunn had battled for the Democratic Party nomination, with Dobson narrowly winning in the primary. Dunn then decided to continue in the race as a minor party candidate, spending more than $300,000 of his own money.

The sheriff makes $79,000 from the county for running the largest local police force in Western New York, a department with more than 1,000 employees and a requested budget of $118 million for the coming year. In addition to his county salary, Howard receives a State Police pension of more than $50,000 a year.

Howard was in the State Police for 24 years before joining the Sheriff’s Office as undersheriff in 1998. He became sheriff in June 2005 when his predecessor, Patrick J. Gallivan, was appointed to the State Parole Board. Gallivan has since been elected to the State Senate. Howard won elections in 2005 and 2009.

Howard has come under intense criticism at times. The low point of his tenure as sheriff came in April 2006, when prisoner Ralph “Bucky” Phillips escaped from the County Correctional Facility in Alden.

Before he was recaptured months later in Pennsylvania, Phillips went on a high-profile crime spree that included killing one state trooper and badly injuring two others with gunfire.

Howard’s department was criticized for the Phillips escape by the state Commission of Corrections. His department also has been criticized by state and federal agencies for prisoner suicides and overcrowded conditions at the Erie County Holding Center.

Howard said he has worked hard to improve conditions in both the jail and the prison.

Dobson, 68, of East Aurora, and Dunn, 43, of Orchard Park, have both criticized Howard and claimed they would be better choices for sheriff, but neither candidate ran an aggressive campaign.

The race against Howard was like a “David vs. Goliath” quest, Dobson said late Tuesday.

Dunn said he hopes Howard will hold no grudge against him for trying to beat him in the election.

“Win or lose, I’ll be back at work in the Sheriff’s Department at 5:45 tomorrow morning,” Dunn said Tuesday night. “I’ll do a good job for him. Even if he gets mad at me, I don’t interact with him very much, so I won’t really know.”

 

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Another SAFE Act Arrest… Man Faces Up to 6-Months in Prison for Unlawful Search That Reveals 3 Extra Bullets

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This is from The D.C.Clothesline.

The New York Nazi Police state strikes again.

This is one of many reasons I will not go to New York.

 

 

Back in May Tim Brown reported a story of a man who was believed to be the first SAFE Act arrest under the “7 bullet limit” provision. Gregory Dean was pulled over for a burnt out license-plate lamp and found with a legally registered pistol with a magazine that contained 9 bullets.

Well, it has happened again. This time the crime is 3 extra bullets because the magazine contained 10 rounds.

The Wall Street Journal Reports:

An upstate New York man was arrested for violating the state’s new gun law. What makes this case unusual is that the gun in question was legal and wasn’t involved in a crime. The man faces up to a year in prison for loading it with too many bullets.

Paul Wojdan was a passenger in a car that was pulled over for speeding in the city of Lockport, N.Y., last weekend after a brief chase, according to the Buffalo News. Law Blog couldn’t immediately reach him for comment.

After the officer inquired if there were any weapons inside the vehicle, the man handed over a holstered gun from the glove compartment. Mr. Wojdan had a permit for the gun, the newspaper reported. But he was taken into custody after the officer inspected the magazine and saw that it contained 10 rounds of ammunition, exceeding the legal limit by three bullets.

Under the New York Safe Act, a package of stricter gun restrictions approved this year, it’s legal to possess a magazine that can store 10 rounds of ammunition, but that magazine may not be loaded with more than seven rounds.

The 26-year-old man was charged with unlawful possession of an ammunition-feeding device.

According to a legal guidance memo prepared by the New York State Police, authorities need probable cause to inspect the contents of a magazine.

I should note that the report of up to one year in prison appears to be incorrect. That is for a subsequent offense. Here is the letter of the law under the SAFE Act.

Penalties (possessing more than 7 rounds in magazine) PL 265.37

If the violation occurs within the home of the person:

1st offense = violation, subject to $200 fine

Subsequent offense = class B misdemeanor / subject to $200 fine / up to three months imprisonment.

 

If the violation occurs in any other location:

1st offense = class B misdemeanor / subject to $200 fine / up to six months imprisonment

Subsequent offense = class A misdemeanor / up to one year imprisonment.

The “probable cause” issue needs serious discussion. No matter what you feel about 2nd amendment rights, if you have more than 7 bullets in a magazine, THAT WAS SEARCHED AS A RESULT OF PROBABLE CAUSE, you will be arrested in New York. Butwhat “probable cause” do law enforcement officials have to inspect a magazine that has not been involved in any crime, comes from a legally registered firearm and was voluntarily turned over at a traffic stop?

These are the guidelines that New York law enforcement officials are supposed to be following in regard to magazines and probable cause:

Right to check and inspect magazines v. firearms

Absent some indication of criminal activity, there is no right to inspect the contents of a magazine to ensure that it meets the requirements under the Safe Act. If an officer has probable cause to believe that a particular magazine is unlawful, he or she may seize and inspect it. If there is founded suspicion of criminal activity, the officer may ask for consent to check the magazine. However, the mere existence of a magazine, which may or may not be legal, does not provide probable cause to believe that any law is being broken. If the weapon is one for which a permit is required, police will be justified in checking the permit to ensure that the person lawfully possesses the firearm. If a permit cannot be produced, the officer would be legally justified in seizing the firearm and conducting an inventory of its contents. In this case, the inventory would include checking the magazine in order to account for each round. However, if the person produces a permit and there are no indications of unlawful conduct, an inspection of the magazine would be unnecessary. In this case, the weapon should be secured temporarily, in the same condition as it was found, for the duration of the stop and returned to the motorist at the conclusion of the encounter.

Unless there is probable cause to believe the law is being violated, there is no justification for checking a magazine to determine whether or not it contains more than 7 rounds.

 Does it sound to you as if the officers met their own guidelines? Don’t forget that Paul Wojdan was a passenger so you really can’t even say that he was guilty of speeding.

It would seem to me that there is a little extra enforcement of the law going on in New York. Where I come from we don’t call that justice. We call that a police state.

Not only does New York have some of the toughest gun laws in the country, they appear to be violating the 4th amendment rights of their citizens in order to also violate their 2nd amendment rights.

 

 

Wegmans cuts health benefits for part-time workers

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This is from The Buffalo News.

How long before Obama and his minions start attacking

Wegmans as greedy?

All of you Obamabots better understand there is not a free lunch

or free health care.

 

Cashier Carly Barron checks out Mary Rolack at the Wegmans on Dick Road in Depew earlier this year.

Cashier Carly Barron checks out Mary Rolack at the Wegmans on Dick Road in Depew earlier this year. Derek Gee/News file photo

 

Et tu, Wegmans?

The Rochester-based grocer that has been continually lauded for providing health insurance to its part-time workers will no longer offer that benefit.

Until recently, the company voluntarily offered health insurance to employees who worked 20 hours per week or more. Companies are required by law to offer health insurance only to full-time employees who work 30 hours or more per week.

Several Wegmans employees confirmed part-time health benefits had been cut and said the company said the decision was related to changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act.

However, part-time employees may actually benefit from Wegmans’ decision, according to Brian Murphy, a partner at Lawley Benefits Group, an insurance brokerage firm in Buffalo.

“If you have an employee that qualifies for subsidized coverage, they might be better off going with that than a limited part-time benefit,” Murphy said.

That’s because subsidized coverage can have a lower out-of-pocket cost for the insured employee while also providing better benefits than an employer-paid plan.

Under the Affordable Care Act, part-time employees are not eligible for health insurance subsidies if their employer offers insurance.

“It’s a win-win. The employee gets subsidized coverage, and the employer gets to lower costs,” Murphy said.

“As a private company, we don’t share specifics of our employee benefits programs. It’s a given that health care reform will result in some changes to our benefits program, but it will not change our commitment to meeting the needs of our employees,” Wegmans said in a statement.

Wegmans declined further comment.

Wegmans employs roughly 1,433 full-time employees and 4,304 part-time employees in the Buffalo Niagara region.

 

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