The Steuben County Sheriff’s Department is criticizing New York’s new gun-control law, with the police union questioning how it would enforce the new provisions.
“At this time, it is not the intention of any member of our association to deprive any law abiding citizen their right to possess any legally owned firearm that has not committed another crime as defined by the current laws of the state of New York,” the Deputies Association of the County of Steuben said on the department’s Facebook page today.
The news release from the union followed one from county’s sheriff, Sheriff David Cole, who also knocked the law.
“Violence usually occurs with illegally possessed firearms and long guns, not legally registered weapons in the hands of law abiding citizens,” Cole wrote Friday. “These laws will now make it so thousands and thousands of law abiding citizens, who go to work, pay their taxes, and concerned about their children’s future, will now be considered criminals if they choose to stand up for the Second Amendment Rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.”
Updated: The union’s leader, Senior Inv. Eric Tyner, said the union would enforce the law, but also recognizes that people may not understand it.
“Our office has been flooded with calls: ‘Are you guys coming and taking our guns?’” Tyner said.
The statements come as local law enforcement, county clerks and State Police will have to enforce the law signed last Tuesday. The law enacts a tougher assault-weapons ban and limits bullets in magazines from 10 to seven. It increases gun-registration requirements, including re-registrating guns every five years.
Peter Kehoe, the head of the state Sheriffs’ Association, said sheriffs have expressed concern about the hastily passed law—which lawmakers adopted just hours after it was printed late Monday and Tuesday. Kehoe said sheriffs are expecting to abide by the law, but they have their issues with it.
“While many of the provisions of this bill have surface appeal, it is far from certain that many of them will have any significant effect in reducing gun violence, which is the presumed goal of all of us,” the association said in a statement.”Unfortunately the process used in adoption of this act did not permit the mature development of the arguments on either side of the debate, and thus many of the stakeholders in this important issue are left feeling oppressed by their government.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has defended the law, saying the quick passage was needed to avoid a run on guns before it passed.
“What I’m saying is reasonable regulation,” Cuomo said Thursday on 1300-AM (WGDJ) in Albany. “I understand the benefit of a high-capacity magazine in a situation like self-protection. On the other hand, I understand the danger of a high-capacity magazine when it falls into the wrong hands. When you weigh the danger, I say reasonable regulation. It’s not worth having the assault weapons around, because they can do more harm than good.”