I am writing in response to the letters and coverage lately regarding the mandatory storage law for firearms proposed to the Philipstown Town Board. I understand the passionate position that some in our country take on this issue, but this proposed ordinance is flawed in a multitude of ways.
Any citizen with a basic understanding of constitutional law realizes that attempting to restrict what goes on inside the walls of someone’s home goes against the spirit of the Bill of Rights. Plus, it is unenforceable. Will the Town Board be tasked with enforcement? Will the sheriff’s department? Will the town be appointing a firearm storage inspector?
The wording of the ordinance seems to be copy-and-pasted out of a national campaign to destroy gun rights. In fact, a cursory search of the internet finds that this cookie-cutter ordinance is being pushed in select communities throughout New York and has been abandoned over and over. One community recently dropped it after it was pointed out that by restricting law-abiding gun owners access to their firearms, the town council was in effect accepting liability if a gun owner were harmed or injured by an intruder. Does the Philipstown Town Board want to assume that liability?
Every responsible gun owner understands the need to protect children by locking up their unattended firearms. This is already enforced by numerous state and federal laws, as well as the Putnam County permitting process — not to mention common sense.
I ask that the Town Board focus on the real needs of our community — of which there are many — and not become embroiled in lobbyist issues such as this, especially ones that may open our community and taxpayers to undue legal matters. Our taxpayer money is better spent elsewhere.
Michael Bowman, Nelsonville