Undersheriff talks about SAFE act

Last Sunday at the monthly meeting of the Northern Chautauqua County Club Association breakfast held at the Dom Polski Club in Dunkirk, Undersheriff Charles Holder, gave a report on the recent NYSAFE act. SAFE stands for Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement act.

Those in attendance were treated to a PowerPoint presentation on some of the features of the new legislation that was passed/proposed. The feature was called “The Good. The Bad and The Ugly.”

Undersheriff Holder reported that though deemed unpopular by many gun owners, there were a few good points that may result from the action. Under the good: Mental Health patients that make threats would be exempt from gun ownership. Stolen guns will have to be reported within 24 hours. Increasing the penal sentencing for any gun use involved with “First Responders.” Some of the Grey areas with the Mental Health patient situation involve, who is the mental Health Provider? The doctor, the nurse, the psychiatrist or the Social Worker and who do they report to?

Under the NIC’s check, the maximum fee would be $10 for gun sales and sale to a family member would be exempt.

Some of the Bad features of the act are high capacity magazines, ammunition background checks, safety storage, to name a few. Features of a gun that will make it banned or considered an assault weapon are: It is semiautomatic AND has one or more “military characteristics. 1) Folding or Telescoping Stock. 2) Thumbhole stock. 3) Second Handgrip or protruding grip that can be held by non-trigger hand. 4) Capacity to accept an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside the pistol grip. 5) A threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward hand grip or silencer. 6) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned. 7) A manufactured weight of fifty ounces or more when the pistol is loaded.

With many of the exempt features, one of the reasons it is to be exempt is because it looks menacing. Undersheriff Holder was scheduled to give this presentation at the February meeting of the Chautauqua County Federation of Sportsmen at the Big Tree Rod & Gun Club, but was re-scheduled to speak before the County Legislature meeting in Mayville. In case you missed it, the Legislators voted 21-3 to request the state to rescind the NYSAFE act and more than 5,000 Sportsmen made the bus trip to Albany to request the legislators state wide also rescind the NYSAFE act. The voters are watching.

Those persons who currently own weapons that would come under these categories can transfer them to a licensed gun dealer, or possibly sell them to a legitimate out of state gun buyer. Otherwise they will have to register them by April 15, 2014. In addition, most all Rod & Gun Club will have copies for members or those requesting them.


The Northern Chautauqua Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its annual fundraiser membership banquet on Saturday, March 9, at the Dunkirk Moose Lodge, located at 296 Lake Shore Drive West, in Dunkirk. Doors open at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6:30. Auctions will be held after dinner. Call Steve at 410-4848 or Chris at 672-2498 for tickets or information.

Waterfowl hunters should be advised that the Dept. of Environmental Conservation has re-opened the snow goose season effective until April 15 in upstate New York. For more information, log on to

The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Fly Tyers, Fedrick, Hollander, Kennedy and Rasmus have all the equipment you will need to learn how to tie your own flies. No matter what level you are at – from beginner to advanced – you can come and have a good time free of charge. They will provide the vises, hooks and fly tying material. Youngsters accompanied by a parent or guardian are most certainly welcome.

The Jamestown Rifle Club will hold pistol classes March 24 and April 28. You must be 21 years old and a resident of Chautauqua County. All classes begin at 1 p.m., and last around four hours each. Call Pat Hayes at 484-9301 for information.

Gun Shows:

Harbor Creek Pa., at the Harbor Creek Fire Department Social Hall, located at 7275 Buffalo Road – US Route 20 – on March 16-17. Call 569- 6810 or log on

Little Valley Sons of the American Legion present their 2013 Sportsmens Show at Green Gable Village 4343 Whalen Road, Great Valley off Route 219 between Salamanca and Great Valley on March 16-17. Call 938- 6929 for information.

Little Valley Volunteer Fire Dept. will host their Sportsmen’s Show at the Cattaragus County Fair Grounds, Route 353, Little Valley, on April 13-14. Call 938- 6928 for information.

Lander PA Sportsmans Show will be April 20-21. Call (814) 757- 9466 for information

The Westfield Fish & Game Club will host their annual Ham & Steak Shoot on April 14 at their club house located on Ogden Road. Rain or shine. All legal centerfire firearms permitted. Ammo supplied for birdshot and deer slugs. 22 Cal. shoot (indoors) bring your own ammo.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to