Gun-Storage Law for Dutchess?

By Jeff Simms

Newly elected Dutchess County Legislator Nick Page, who represents Beacon and parts of Fishkill, said last week that he would like to see the county consider a gun-storage law similar to one passed by the Beacon City Council in 2016.

That law requires Beacon residents to keep loaded weapons in a gun safe or to equip them with a trigger lock when anyone under the age of 16 lives in or is visiting the home.

Page said he also would like to see Dutchess create an extreme-risk protection order that would allow families and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily suspend an individual’s access to firearms if there’s evidence the person is threatening to harm themselves or others.

Page said both proposals have been discussed informally among legislators but “any gun legislation is going to be a heavy lift at the county level.”

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2 Responses to "Gun-Storage Law for Dutchess?"

  1. Ralph Pettorossi   March 1, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    This law will be impossible to enforce. Fines and/or punishment will only be given after an incident happens. Does anyone really think the police will come into homes unannounced to see if firearms are locked?

    • Michael Armstrong   March 8, 2018 at 2:11 pm

      This gun storage law nudges citizens to be more responsible about storing their weapons when children are in the home. Some will ignore it, but many others will take notice — especially if it is well-publicized. If it saves the life of even one child, it is worthwhile.

      The statement that the law would be “impossible to enforce” is immediately contradicted by the concession that it may be enforced “after an incident happens.” In addition, an officer who obtains evidence of a crime (failing to properly secure a weapon) in exigent circumstances (domestic abuse, a fire, or other emergency) may be able to make an arrest, and thereby prevent a tragedy.