Monday, January 12, 2009 protest letters to the Governor

David A. Paterson, Governor
State of New York
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224
(518) 474-8390

Dear Governor Patterson,

Before raising taxes and fees on New York State citizens in order to close the $13,000,000,000 budget gap, or canceling protest lettershighly valued yet relatively inexpensive programs such as the Reynolds farm pheasant-stocking program, you should consider eliminating costly and ineffective programs.

Accordingly, the Genesee County Chapter of the Shooters Committee on Political Education (S.C.O.P.E.) strongly urges the elimination of the Combined Ballistic Information System (COBIS) in New York State.

Since the implementation of this program in 2001, this program has cost New York state taxpayers approximately $30 million with no tangible results. For example, 212,080 firearms have been entered into the database and only two matching ‘hits’ were found. Neither of these hits has resulted in arrest or conviction.

Detailed studies of analogous systems in California and Maryland have shown similarly poor results and concluded that these systems are inherently flawed and easily defeated. For instance, simple wear from repeated firing changes the characteristics of fired shell casings enough to raise considerable doubt about the accuracy of such tests. Shell casings that strike the ground show abrasion that may confound necessary comparisons. Revolvers do not leave casings, and criminals can simply pick up ejected casings and destroy such evidence. Furthermore, one simple brush of a firearm’s chamber with sandpaper will render any useable comparisons meaningless. Lastly, the program presumes that criminals obtain their firearms legally, a disingenuous and unsubstantiated claim. Ultimately these studies recommended that California and Maryland discontinue their programs.

We urge you to abandon New York’s costly and wasteful COBIS program.


Concerned citizen and
Member, SCOPE Genesee County Chapter

Printed below is the text of a letter being sent from Yates County SCOPE to Governor Patterson with copies to Senator George Winner and Assemblyman Jim Bacalles. This letter will also be provided to the Rochester D & C, Finger Lakes Times, Canandaigua Messenger, Penn Yan Chronicle Advisor, Dundee Observer and New York Outdoor News.

We are also sending all of our members a prepaid and addressed postcard (about 150) asking them to sign and mail to the governor. Extra copies will be made available to the three gun dealers in Yates County to give to customers. The postcards message is a summary of the letter posted below the line.

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