Ontario County Board votes to oppose gun legislation
The Ontario County Board of Supervisors waded into the Second Amendment debate last night, voting to oppose various state gun control measures after a lengthy discussion.
The resolution may not have any impact on the state's gun regulations, but supporters of the measure said it sends a message.
"If not us, then who should speak out?" asked Board Chairman Ted Fafinski, R-Farmington.
The resolution voiced the board's opposition to more than 20 bills coming out of the Assembly and Senate. Many of the bills would place restrictions on gun sales and licensing, though a few deal with defining and controlling assault weapons and restrictions on purchasing armor-piercing bullets.
The measure passed on a weighted vote of 2,766 to 1,326, but not before a vigorous debate among the supervisors on the necessity of gun control legislation and the role of the county board in discussing such matters.
Supervisor John Sheppard, R-Seneca, who brought forth the motion, quoted the Second Amendment and founding fathers Benjamin Franklin and George Mason to make the point that the board needed to stand against the "infringement of Second Amendment rights."
Supervisors Norm Teed, D-Phelps, John Champlin, D-West Bloomfield, and Mary Luckern, D-Geneva, all spoke in support of the measure.
Supervisor Charlie Evangelista, D-Geneva, argued that taking up a gun control issue would "diminish" the board by injecting ideology into the discussions.
"This board has done a good job of sticking with the issues of Ontario County, like budgets and things that affect our communities," Evangelista said.
He said he could just as easily propose a resolution denouncing domestic spying by the federal government, introduced during the Bush Administration and continuing on to today.
Other supervisors who expressed concern over the resolution were David Baker, D-City of Canandaigua, Don Ninestine, D-City of Geneva, and Dan Marshal, R-South Bristol.
Voting against the resolution were Evangelista; Marshal; Baker; Supervisor Sam Casella, D-Town of Canandaigua; Supervisor Rich Russell, R-City of Canandaigua; and Supervisor Mary Green, R-Hopewell.