Cuomo Blinks – Giant Step Forward Toward Repeal of the New York SAFE Act

Update By Michael F. Nozzolio.
A very tough battle was waged. A positive result was achieved.

Michael F. Nozzolio
Giant Step Forward Toward Repeal of the SAFE Act
Michael F. Nozzolio
Michael F. Nozzolio

New York – -( As a result of extensive negotiations throughout the last several weeks, our efforts have been successful. The SAFE Act ammunition database and background check has been stopped by a signed AGREEMENT between Governor Cuomo and State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan.

This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement is a victory for every law-abiding gun owner in New York State.

The ammunition database and background check requirements of the SAFE Act relied on unproven technology, and establishing it would have cost New York State taxpayers upwards of $100 million – a colossal waste of tax dollars.

The establishment of this database was an affront to all law abiding gun owners and those who believe as strongly as I do in our 2nd Amendment rights!

Under the two-way agreement, the statewide ammunition database program is suspended and “no expenditures of state monies shall be allocated for the purposes of purchasing and installing software, programming and interface required to transmit any record for the purpose of performing an eligibility check” for buying ammunition unless both parties agree to proceed.

The database and background check directive in the SAFE Act was offensive to those who cherish our 2nd Amendment rights and will NOT be implemented and the necessary steps to establish it are suspended unless the State Senate provides its express approval.

New York State Rifle and Pistol Association President Tom King said, “I would like to thank New York State Senate Republicans for their efforts to partially repeal portions of the SAFE Act. Even though it was not completed during the past legislative session, the Republican leadership continued to negotiate with the Governor, resulting in today’s memorandum of understanding. We appreciate their efforts and we look forward to working with the Republican leadership to repeal the remainder of the SAFE Act during the next legislative session.”

The MOU language formally halts the ammunition background check program, even though Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie of the Bronx refused to participate in our negotiations. Senate Republicans were successful in removing ammunition database allocations proposed by the Governor in the New York State budget but we sought a more official solution.

The formal MOU agreement was signed by Governor Cuomo’s Director of State Operations James Malatras, and State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan.

A few months ago, no one would have predicted that we could achieve this agreement from the Governor who pushed this misguided and offensive law through in the first place. The agreement resulted from an all out effort by Senate Republicans and Majority Leader John Flanagan during the just completed negotiations that wrapped up end-of-session issues such as the renewal of the property tax cap, property tax rebate checks for homeowners, Common Core reforms and the evaluation process for teachers.

Senator Flanagan kept his word that he would work with us to make real changes to the SAFE Act. He has shown strong leadership in getting positive results that are important to the people of Upstate New York and my Senate district.

The repeal of the ammunition background check was a part of legislation I sponsored, (S.5837/A.8196) which contained a number of reform provisions, and was passed in the State Senate this session. Other provisions would allow immediate family members to inherit firearms as part of an estate as long as a background check was conducted; reform the recertification process; and provide more protections for individuals’ data on pistol permits while still requiring the state to release aggregate data; and require the state to provide clearer due process rights.

In the State Assembly, which is heavily dominated by New York City, the bill stalled even though it had a Democrat Majority sponsor, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi from Utica. A total of 26 Assembly members signed onto the legislation, but it failed to be brought up for a vote on the floor, even as an amendment, as requested by Majority Leader John Flanagan.

Assemblymen Robert Oaks, Brian Kolb and Phil Palmesano stepped up as co-sponsors, and I commend them for listening to our constituents and doing the right thing.

Because the Assembly Speaker refused to agree to our legislation during negotiations, we achieved the next best thing, which was to suspend the ammunition database through the Memorandum of Understanding.

Other components of the SAFE Act already have been found to be unconstitutional, and the controversial law is the subject of several lawsuits.

Repeal the NY SAFE Act
Repeal the NY SAFE Act

The SAFE Act that passed in January 2013 required that sellers must determine a purchaser’s eligibility to possess ammunition by a currently non-existent, on-line State Police operated database. The ongoing costs were to be borne by state taxpayers, who would also be required to pay for the equipment needed to conduct the background checks at each point of sale – literally every retailer across the state that sells ammunition. Thanks to our efforts, these costly, onerous and ineffective requirements have been eliminated.

We passed meaningful reforms in the New York State Senate. We also BLOCKED legislation that some have characterized as “SAFE ACT #2”.

Our efforts STOPPED a number of anti-2nd Amendment proposals from becoming law, including the following:

  • DEFEATED a proposal to BAN and confiscate 50 caliber firearms and ammunition: S.2050, Sponsored by Senator Squadron from New York City;
  • DEFEATED a proposal to REQUIRE, under penalty of law, the locked storage of firearms in the home: S.2491, Sponsored by Senator Krueger from New York City;
  • BLOCKED from consideration the requirement to MICROSTAMP ammunition: S.1113, Sponsored by Senator Peralta from New York City;
  • BLOCKED from consideration the requirement that all gun owners purchase expanded and very expensive additional liability insurance: A.5864, Sponsored by Assemblyman Ortiz from New York City.

I encourage all who want full repeal of the SAFE Act to stay united and focused on the objective, and keep doing the hard work it takes to repeal a law that passed the State Assembly by a 61 vote margin!

We have achieved important FIRST STEPS that put us on the road to FULL REPEAL of the SAFE Act. They are important first steps, but of course more must be done, and I will continue my aggressive efforts and not stop until we achieve FULL REPEAL of the so-called SAFE Act!

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When this crap was first introduced, someone stuck a “Repeal The SafeAct” sign in my front yard and I was not at all happy about it. I immediately went to my home office to do some research and when I completed that research, I found at least 5-6 more of those signs and and put them all over my yard. This piece of legislation is soooooooooooo full of BS and needs to be fully and completely REPEALED and out of NYS once and for all. Im a Dem and knew this was some of the worst legislation to hit the… Read more »


I was born and raised and reside in Texas. I have family in Long Island and go to NY every year. I feel naked and vulnerable when I am out and about because you cannot even carry anything sharp or pointed without people wetting thier pants with fear, and running the risk of being arrested. I dont know how you guys do it. Its truly unnerving being at the mercy of armed criminals. You guys are the first pressure test of socialism to be conducted in the United States. People in this country need to wake up and see what… Read more »




The New York State legislature is full of communists including Cuomo. The safe act legislation violates our 2nd amendment rights. Where is the NRA and the NAGR?? There are not enough law suits challenging the garbage law that violates our bill or rights. Cuomo and the rest of the DEMORATS are no different than ADOLF Hitler or Joseph Stalin. The DEMORATS are nothing but a bunch of communists who want to fully control our lives. What’s next??? Controlling our freedom of speech?


hope all of the polititions learn another trade. they will have to compete for jobs with all the illegals they are letting in.


The MOU is a joke. It does nothing that wasn’t already in place. All it does is acknowledge the fact that legislators had no idea what they were doing when passing this garbage. This is an attempt to fool the masses that something is happening. Well it’s not, and we aren’t fooled. This isn’t a big step towards anything. NOTHING HAS CHANGED! Not to say that an MOU holds zero weight of law. We do appreciate a good laugh though. To think that these fools think we are this stupid to believe that something of substance was actually accomplished. Senator… Read more »


Perhaps this isn’t such a great victory for us citizens in NY. This safe act is clearly unjust and not only violates the 2nd amendment, but is a clear tool for oppressing and controlling citizens (not protecting us). When we look at history, there is never net positive gain from taking away citizens rights, particularly when it comes to guns. Guns have become less available in the US over the past several decades, laws stricter, and yet we see more murders, crimes and shootings. Clearly guns isn’t the problem, it’s criminal and or sick people who will commit crimes by… Read more »

andre turco

This is a non-event. The MOU cannot override the state legislature. The data base will roll out when it’s technologically ready. The state will still spend the money already in the approved budget to continue to develop it. The internet ammo sales ban is still there. I appreciate the efforts of the few republican senators, but this is really much ado about nothing. Full repeal or pro 2A court action is the only way. Forget full repeal, too many downstate Democraps, and most republicans are RINO cowards. Senator Flanagan, house speaker, voted for the unSAFE act, so he is never… Read more »


That’s why we need to succeed from NYC. They’re what is causing our grief in the rest of the state.


I wish the state would drop their ban on internet purchases of ammo. We have such a large choice online that we can’t get from local gun shops.

William Coakley

Repeal the whole package safeact law