Panelists Set for Campbell Institute NY-SAFE Act Debate
When he signed the bill into law, Gov. Cuomo claimed the NY-SAFE Act would give New York State the most comprehensive gun laws in the nation, keeping guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous mental health patients and banning high-capacity magazines and assault weapons. But NY-SAFE has also resulted in a firestorm of controversy over Second Amendment rights of gun owners, along with claims the law creates a cumbersome bureaucracy for enforcement that critics say won’t lead to a significant reduction in violent gun crime.
New York State is currently challenging a lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 1,000 gun owners who have legally questioned the way in which NY-SAFE was approved, without the typical three-day “aging” period required for newly passed laws.
On April 5, the Alan K. Campbell Public Affairs Institute at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs will provide further insight into the issue as part of the Campbell Debates, taking place in Maxwell auditorium. The proposition for the debate is “This Assembly Supports the NY-SAFE Act.”
Arguing for the proposition:
- Leah Gunn Barrett, executive director, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, and former executive director, CeaseFire Maryland
- Robert Spitzer, Distinguished Service Professor, SUNY Cortland, and author of “The Politics of Gun Control”
Arguing against the proposition:
- Will Barclay, New York State Assemblyman 120th District, former chair, Assembly Minority Conference Hunting and Fishing Task Force
- John Lott Jr., political commentator and author of “More Guns, Less Crime, The Bias Against Guns” and “At The Brink”
“With the Campbell Debates, we’re trying to do something that needs to happen more frequently in American communities—engage in debate that is substantive, lively and also civil,” says Professor Grant Reeher, Campbell Institute director. “The high emotions that have surrounded the issues of gun violence and gun control, and in particular the New York law at issue in this debate, may test some of that, but we’re hoping for a spirited and reasoned exchange. And we’re delighted to be partnering with the Chancellor’s series on gun violence for this effort.”
Employing a style adapted from the Oxford Union debates, each Campbell Debate will allow a gathered audience to consider a question of national, regional or local significance. Two panels composed of thought leaders will argue for each side, followed by counterpoints and audience questions and comments. At the conclusion of the debate, the audience will vote on the proposition. The results will be revealed at a reception following the debate.