Back in May, one county sheriff pledged not to enforce the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act, a bill that came early in the post-Newtown backlash of knee-jerk gun control legislation that swept through the Nation’s social progressivism outposts.
That sheriff, Tim Howard of Erie County, signed on to a lawsuit against the SAFE Actalong with other New York sheriffs, and famously told The Buffalo News: “I won’t enforce it.”
Howard was up for re-election this year, and he faced two opponents in the general election in early November. But Howard’s stance on gun control resonated with Erie County voters. Here’s how The Buffalo Newsrevisited Howard’s political arc after he won his third term in office:
Four words that he uttered at a news conference last May helped Timothy B. Howard win a third term as Erie County sheriff.
The words were “I won’t enforce it,” and Howard was talking about the SAFE Act, a controversial new state firearms law that has outraged gun owners.
The support of angry firearms owners helped the Republican sheriff to a big win Tuesday over his Democratic Party opponent, retired Sheriff’s Deputy Richard E. Dobson, and Sheriff’s Lt. Bert D. Dunn, a Law and Order Party candidate who lost the Democratic nomination in the September primary.
…Late Tuesday night, a jubilant Howard thanked his supporters and leaders of the Republican and Conservative parties for helping him win. He said people all over Erie County have thanked him for his stand on the gun issue.
“I did what I thought was the right thing to do,” Howard told The Buffalo News. “People in Western New York feel strongly about the Constitution and Albany’s misreading of it.”