Three cities in New York had already enacted laws that require gun owners to lock up their guns at home when not in use, and now a fourth has been added to that list.
Taking effect on the 14th of January, a new gun law in Albany New York mandates that residents render their guns unusable. Joining the cities of New York, Rochester, and Buffalo, Albany is offering fines and jail time to residents that do not abide by the new gun storage law.
Anti-gunners are already raving about this new law, touting that it will save lives and stop gun violence in its tracts.
According to Guns.com,
“We are proud to stand with Albany’s leaders to welcome this new law, which will help reduce gun thefts, keep guns away from children, and reduce gun injuries and deaths,” said New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Executive Director Leah Gunn Barrett, in a statement. Barrett was on hand Thursday for an event at Albany Police Headquarters where free gun locks were being distributed.
The measure was approved in a 14-1 vote of the Albany Common Council last September.
Albany Local Law A-2014 mandates all firearms, including rifles and shotguns, be secured inside a locking container or box or disabled with a lock, with penalties for non-compliance ranging to from a $250 fine and 15 days in prison for first offenses to as much as a year in jail for subsequent violations. Further, retailers selling firearms in the city must post a notice that notifies purchasers of the safe storage law and the penalties incurred if the law is violated.
Any instance in which a gun deemed improperly secured is involved in a shooting is automatically eligible for the maximum penalty.
Free locks are being offered to local residents and Albany Police Chief Brendan Cox is praising the new law, saying it will stop guns from being stolen and falling into the wrong hands.
Apparently safes are never stolen in robberies and gun locks are impossible to cut with bolt cutters.
While some will be wondering how Albany plans on enforcing this law, the police chief did try to alleviate those fears by saying his officers will not be going house to house to make sure guns are locked up.
Instead, officers will be using “discretion” when in someone’s home for other reasons, and if an unlocked gun is found action will be taken.
While it is unclear if this law will have ANY impact on guns being stolen, there is positive proof that it will effect how homeowners are able to respond to intruders and break-ins.
Seconds are precious during a home invasion, and it is doubtful that a gun will be any more useful than a paper weight if it has a lock on it when an intruders comes into the home.
Guns.com astutely pointed out a statement made by U.S. Justice Clarence Thomas last July:
“The law thus burdens their right to self-defense at the times they are most vulnerable—when they are sleeping, bathing, changing clothes, or otherwise indisposed.”
This law is a terrific idea if the city of Albany can guarantee an intruder will pause and wait for a homeowner to unlock their firearms before entering (ya know, maybe make another law stating this is mandatory).
Ok, that’s my attempt at sarcasm. It’s still a bad idea.