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After Public Hearing, Westchester Democrats Eager to Work to Strengthen Bi-Partisan Gun Show Regulations

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) Westchester Democratic Legislators are calling for Local Law 9842, a piece of legislation based on Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s agreement with gun show purveyors, to be sent back to committee for further strengthening and clarification.


“As currently written, this piece of legislation, which is a good start, does not clearly spell out any new enforcement and safety education components for gun shows in Westchester County,” said Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining). “This proposal has very little County Public Safety Department oversight in non-county owned venues; we need to have more coordination with local police departments. I am very much looking forward to working with all 16 of my colleagues to enhance and pass this piece of legislation, but not until a legislative review is undertaken,” added Borgia.


According to the ATF, 30 percent of guns involved in federal illegal gun trafficking investigations are connected in some way to gun shows. Additionally, 94 percent of licensed dealers approached by investigators failed the integrity test by selling to apparent “straw” purchasers. (See Attached Report)


“Further clarification from Consumer Protection on how this law will be enforced is vital information that we need to have. After careful review of the legislation, and all of the public input last night, it is clear that further work is needed to be done. For example, this legislation has no provisions requiring Consumer Protection to be notified when a gun show is taking place. How can a County department be charged with ensuring safety provisions are enforced at an event it has no idea is occurring,” added Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson).


Further provisions that Democrats would like to see added include notification mechanisms, a clarification of enforcement and penalty provisions, Public Safety Department inclusion, and adequate resources allocated for proper safety enforcement. Additionally, one suggestion offered by gun owners last night, stronger overnight security for shows on private venues, is an additional provision Democrats plan to include.


“One of the goals of our provisions intended to strengthen this bill is to protect our children from the proliferation of gun violence as well as violent gun culture which is being aggrandized by the County Executive and his Republican colleagues. Investigations, including those undertaken by the New York State Attorney General’s office, showed there is a ‘blatant disregard for gun show laws’ & weapons sellers failed to ensure background checks were conducted. Any piece of legislation we pass in Westchester County should strengthen what the Attorney General has proposed. Westchester County is a densely populated area, what is good for gun shows upstate is often not adequate for those taking place here,” added Legislator Catherine Parker (D-Rye).

 

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