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Hidy: Massena board won’t pass resolution opposing SAFE Act


Gun-rights advocate Will Gray has hit a wall in his effort to have municipal officials pass resolutions seeking the repeal of the state Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act.

Both the Massena and Potsdam village boards told Mr. Gray this week that no such resolution will be forthcoming, and Mr. Gray’s time to lobby for such an action has expired.

After attending his fourth village board meeting Tuesday in Massena, Mr. Gray said he’ll be back next month for his fifth trip, even though Mayor James F. Hidy said the village board has no plans to pass a resolution opposing the NY SAFE Act.

In Potsdam on Monday, after Mr. Gray’s third presentation to the Board of Trustees, Mayor Steven W. Yurgartis told him he would not be recognized to speak if he appears before the board again.

Mr. Yurgartis said limiting citizens’ comment isn’t something the board usually does.

“We only do it when it becomes redundant. We feel we have answered his questions,” Mr. Yurgartis said.

Mr. Hidy referred to the Potsdam mayor’s remarks at Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

“After reading the article today, I have to agree with Steve Yurgartis and say you should be taking your complaints to the state or county,” Mr. Hidy said.

Mr. Yurgartis said he’s explained to Mr. Gray before that state legislation is beyond the village’s jurisdiction.

“I’ve explained to Mr. Gray that village board members weren’t elected to represent village residents’ opinions on gay rights, gun control and abortion,” he said. “I’m reluctant to overstep those bounds.”

The pair of rebuffs apparently have not affected Mr. Gray’s zeal. “I was hoping to be on the agenda tonight,” Mr. Gray said at Massena’s board meeting. He said Monday night that he was expecting Massena’s board to pass a resolution opposing the act.

Despite not being on the agenda and the village board not passing a resolution, Mr. Gray said he at least feels welcome in Massena. “I have to tell you it is a lot nicer coming here than going to Potsdam. It’s a little friendlier,” he said. “You know I’m not going away.”

The Potsdam village board meets next Sept. 16. Mr. Gray said he plans to attend that meeting and once again ask the board to pass a resolution in opposition to the SAFE Act.

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