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OCT 07- OCT 14, 2014

Gun Rights, Free Speech Jeopardized in New York

As Hamburg Democrats Modify First Amendment; sign moves to Falls

October 07, 2014

Anti-SAFE Act sign in Hamburg is now in Niagara Falls.

Anyone with even the most passing knowledge of the United States Constitution knows that the First Amendment protects freedom of speech while the Second Amendment secures the right to keep and bear arms.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo pretty much flew in the face of the Second Amendment when he signed the controversial Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013, better known by its Orwellian- named "SAFE Act" - into law on Jan. 15, 2013. The draconian anti-gun legislation is the toughest and, arguably, the most unconstitutional in the nation.

And now, two-bit politicians across the state are wiping their noses with the First Amendment, threatening to prosecute those with the temerity to criticize Cuomo’s law.

The SAFE Act was passed quickly, in the middle of the night, by Albany politicians who wanted to be seen as “doing something” in the aftermath of a horrendous school shooting in Sandy Hook, Conn.. The shooter in that incident, 20-year-old Adam Peter Lanza, had a long history of mental illness, and neither of the firearms he used in the shootings was legal under already existing laws.

Gun owner Scott Zawierucha put the anti-SAFE act banner up on his fence in Hamburg. “NY IS NOT S.A.F.E.!! STOP CUOMO – PRESERVE YOUR RIGHTS!!” the sign said.

He was cited by code enforcement officers under an obscure ordinance that prohibits property owners from posting signs on fences that face out onto the street.

Following a legal battle that’s dragged on for nine months, Zawierucha took the sign down in return for having the charges against him dropped.

Here in Niagara Falls, an identical sign was posted on the fence of a 79th Street property last week. At press time, it is uncertain who posted the sign or who owns the property.

“We’re investigating it,” said Niagara Falls Code Enforcement Director Dennis Virtuoso.

Zawierucha claims he was prosecuted because of the signs' content and not the fact of the sign itself.

In November, he had a similar sign that related to gun control and the SAFE Act.

Back then the Hamburg Town Board had a Republican majority and Zawierucha was told the sign was ok.

In January, after the town board majority flipped to Democrats, he was served a violation and told to take it down.

In Hamburg you apparently have the right to a modified First Amendment which grants you the right to say, print, or put up a sign that says anything you want - as long as the political party in power agrees with it.

There are fences with commercial messages on it all over Hamburg.

"You have an absolute right to have a political sign on your property in spite of any local laws to the contrary. Off the public right of way you can have any sign you want and that's been ruled on by the Supreme Court," Zawierucha's attorney, James Ostrowski said.

With Democrats in control of the Hamburg Town Board, had Zawierucha's sign read "Hooray for Cuomo" he would undoubtedly still have the sign on his Hamburg fence instead of Niagara Falls.

It remains to be seen what Democrats in Niagara Falls do about the latest location of the sign - which faces the LaSalle expressway,

Thomas Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers who contributed to the Bill of Rights thought that free speech and the right to keep and bear arms were so important to democracy they included them as the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution.

Cuomo and his minions think they know better.

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear, ” George Orwell said.

But don’t tell that to Hamburg Democrats.

They don't want to hear it and if they can, will find a law to stop you from doing it.






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