NYSRPA statement clarifying intent of mandatory firearms storage legislation

Story by Post-Star misrepresents intent of proposed bill

ALBANY, NY (03/23/2015)(readMedia)-- The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association feels the need to issue a clarification statement regarding proposed state legislation referenced in the March 21 Post-Star story,"Assemblywoman asks students about gun safety."

The article misrepresents the intent of the mandatory firearms storage bill A-53. The bill prohibits the keeping of firearms readily available for personal protection inside the home. It has been around for decades and debated repeatedly by members of the State Assembly so there is no confusion as to what the legislative intent is.

In 2006 prime sponsor Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg was specifically asked by Assemblyman David Townsend during the floor discussion whether the bill would impact his ability to keep a loaded .38 revolver next to his bed for personal protection. Assemblyman Townsend asked if he could be prosecuted if an unauthorized person obtained access to his gun and Assemblyman Weisenberg unequivocally stated, "to me that would be negligence."

The Supreme Court ruled in the case of Heller v. District of Columbia that laws requiring rendering firearms inoperable or locked in such a manner as to be inaccessible for self defense are unconstitutional. This decision was reaffirmed in 2008 by Suffolk County Court in the case of Colaiacovo v. Dormer with Judge Gary J. Weber stating, "Simply put, the State of New York and its agencies are no longer in a position to require that a handgun be stored in an inoperable condition or otherwise locked up if it is otherwise legally present in the owner's dwelling."

NYSRPA opposes A-53 and encourages all members of the legislature to vote against it.