BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Amid confusion and controversy, an elected official is calling for the state's tough gun law to be thrown out.
State lawmakers opposed to gun control started calling for repeal of the SAFE Act even before the ink was dry on the new tough gun control measure. Senator Michael Ranzenhoefer was among the opponents, but it took a case of mistaken identity to convince him it is time to go back to the drawing board.
"The first and best recourse is to rip up the bill and start from scratch," he said.
The call for repeal has snowballed since News 4 learned David Lewis of Amherst was forced to surrender his guns and his pistol permit on mental health grounds and then State Police admitted it was a mistake.
"When legislation is passed in the middle of the night, the end result is generally a negative one - a negative impact on residents - and that is exactly what we are seeing here," Ranzenhoefer said.
The state senator called for repeal in front of a gathering of avid gun owners.
State President of SCOPE Stephen Aldstadt said, "If, in fact, the State Police are accessing people's private medical records without a warrant, this is a serious violation of civil rights, and we support any investigation into that."
State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico accused Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs of causing Lewis' identity mix-up, but county clerks across the state say it was D'Amico that has it all wrong.
Ranzenhoefer is trying to meet with the superintendent to get to the bottom of the controversy.
"County clerks - people that work in the County Clerk's office - they don't conduct criminal investigations, they don't conduct medical investigations. That is not their job, that is not what they are trained to do," Ranzenhoefer said.
Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy concedes the SAFE Act might need some clarification.
Lt. Gov. Duffy stated, "In state government we have to make sure we communicate very clearly, effectively and thoroughly so we eliminate confusion."
Political observers say a repeal of the SAFE Act is unlikely.
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