Critics Take Aim At Firearm Storage BillPosted: Updated:
Last month, the New York Legislature passed bill, which would require all gun owners to safely store rifles, shotguns, and other firearms in their homes if a child younger than 16 lives in the home, or is even just visiting.
If it's not stored away in a locked safe, the gun needs to be rendered incapable of being fired with a gun-locking device.
Failure to do so would be considered a first-degree Class A misdemeanor, which could result in one year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
Lewis County Sheriff Mike Carpinelli says it should be up to the gun owner, not the state.
"It should be the responsibility of the people themselves to govern themselves and be responsible for themselves," he said.
The bill states that this is to keep kids from gaining access to guns and prevent them from harming themselves or others.
When it comes to having firearms outside of the home, guns are required to be in the owner's "immediate possession or control."
"They would have to stand within arm's reach of them at all times," said Patrick Morse, founder, North Country Friends of the 2nd Amendment.
Children under 16 with a hunting license are exempt. But Morse says that's not enough.
"There's no exemption whatsoever for target shooting, competition shooting, working on your firearm, or anything like that. It's way, way overly broad," he said.
He says this would have a huge impact on student trap teams and even kids who want to attend shooting events, if a gun was left unattended.
The bill still needs to be signed by Governor Cuomo before it would become law.