I recently learned the eight members of the Putnam County Legislature have written to Gov. Andrew Cuomo asking him to veto a bill (S7196) that would require businesses in the gun industry to implement safety guidelines. I am disturbed that the legislators — only Nancy Montgomery, who represents Philipstown, did not sign — have repeated the gun lobby’s misstatement of this legislation.
Whenever commenting on legislation, the minimum that constituents can expect is that each member of the Putnam Legislature carefully reads the text of the bill. It does not make businesses and individuals that comply with the law liable for the criminal misuse of firearms over which the business has no control. Only businesses that fail to implement reasonable safeguards to keep guns out of unauthorized hands are covered.
It is the failure to comply with the commonsense guidelines required for the sale of a potentially lethal weapon — not the actual misuse of that weapon by a third party — which subjects the business to liability. Food-service businesses in Putnam County are required to enforce health and safety protocols; why shouldn’t the gun industry do the same?
Margaret Yonco-Haines, Garrison