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Hamburg Court Hears SAFE Act Sign Dispute; Gun Groups Rally

Hamburg, NY (WBEN) - Gun rights activists gathered Friday morning at Hamburg Town Court, where a man was up on charges because of an anti-SAFE act sign he hung on his fence.

Scott Zwierucha is accused of a village code violation for the large banner on the fence of his South park Avenue property. Right now, the sign says "New York is not Safe - Fight Cuomo- preserve your rights."

Friday, Hamburg Town Justice Walter Rooth recused himself from the case because his son is the town attorney. Justice Gerald Gorman had previously recused himself from the case. Zwierucha's case will now be transferred to another town, though it is not clear yet what town that will be.

In November he had a similar sign that he says was also related to gun control and the SAFE  act and said "Sheriff Howard- Fighting for Your Rights". Howard, during his successful re-election campaign frequently said he would not enforce the state's gun law setting limits on ammunition and types of guns.

Zwierucha says after being told in November that the sign was o-k- in January he was served a violation and told to take it down only after the town board majority flipped to Democrats.

"This is a first amendment issue. There are fences with commercial messages on it all over town," he says,

Town officials did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Members of the gun rights group SCOPE, the Shooter's Committee on Public Education, have taken up Zwierucha's cause and rallied outside the town hall before the case is heard Friday morning.

"Scotty is so down to earth it's unreal," said one protester. "He'd do anything for anybody, he's a good guy. It's just a shame it's come to this."

Before he took the case, Ostrowski addressed it broadly this past weekend on WBEN's Hardline program (Sundays 10am-12noon) and said that the town will have a tough time prosecuting the case if they cite any rules against political signs

"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," Ostrowski says.

Zwierucha meanwhile is looking forward to the case being resolved in a favorable manner.

"I just want to be left alone," Zwierucha said. "I don't want to see them abuse any other residents in the future. I don't care what your cause is, you have a right to your opinion."

Filed Under :  
Topics : Law_Crime
Social :
Locations : New York
People : HowardJim OstrowskiScott Zwieruca
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