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The Town

December 7, 2013

Erie County Sheriff explains his opposition to SAFE Act


Tonawanda News — Although some audience members said they were gun owners and nodded their heads in agreement with Howard, many others weren’t as convinced. Businesswoman Adele Kelly said she grew up in a family that didn’t own guns, but that her husband is now an avid hunter. The difference in their backgrounds has led to debates, she said. 

“To me, it seems perfectly logical that we shouldn’t have assault weapons,” she said. 

In response, Howard said the concern is that the ban will lead to a slippery slope. He noted that the SAFE Act’s on assault weapons is stricter than the Brady Bill, which has since expired.

“The fear is: what comes next?” he said. 

He also touched on the death of his state trooper partner, Gary Kubasiak, who was killed in 1982.  The man who killed him, James Swan, had been treated at mental health facilities and was prohibited from buying a gun, but someone else bought one and sold it to him.

“The family of my partner doesn’t blame the gun ... they blame the person who shot him,” he said. 

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley.

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