Lowville Looks To Pass New Gun Law

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Last spring, a rabid skunk was terrorizing Richard Chartrand's village of Lowville neighborhood.

When the skunk attacked him, Chartrand protected himself by shooting the animal.

Then the police arrived.

"He had written me a ticket for discharging my firearm," said Chartrand.

But when he went to court, Justice Richard Defone threw out the ticket.

There was no law on the village books against what Chartrand did.

So, Lowville Mayor Donna Smith got to work.

The village now has a proposed law which would ban firing most weapons under most circumstances.

One big exception: if you're protecting human life.

Even though this law wasn't on the books, the mayor says nothing will change.

"What this new law really does is it enforces what has already been happening. People don't typically fire their rifles within the village limits," said Smith.

But at a time when gun rights are a very controversial topic in New York state, how will the people of Lowville respond to the proposed law?

"I don't really have a problem with it because it doesn't really affect gun ownership. It more has to do with responsibly using your legally held weapon," said Rebecca Matteson, an opponent of the NY SAFE Act.

There will be a public hearing on the law Wednesday at 5:30 at the village municipal offices giving residents one last chance to sound off on the law before it goes to a vote.

Thursday, September 18, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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