Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Albany, NY – September 2, 2015 – This evening the Albany Common Council passed a law requring the safe storage of firearms and ammunition. New Yorkers Against Gun Violence applauds the passage of this law, which is designed to prevent unintentional shootings, suicides, homicides and gun thefts.

The law requires any person who owns or is custodian of a firearm to safely store it in a locked container or with a trigger lock when the firearm is out of his/her immediate possession or control. In addition, the law requires retailers selling firearms to post a notice that notifies purchasers of the safe storage law and the penalties incurred if the law is violated.

Leah Gunn Barrett, NYAGV Executive Director said, “With tonight’s vote, Albany joins New York City, Rochester, Buffalo and Westchester County where firearm safe storage is the law. Safe storage laws have been shown to protect children and other individuals who should not have access to firearms. Importantly, this law will help prevent the theft of guns that end up on our streets. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms estimates that at least half a million guns are stolen each year. In the City of Albany alone, 93 firearms have been stolen from homes and vehicles over the past five years.”

Barrett continued, “This bill is all about gun owner responsibility. Gun owners will face sanctions if they act irresponsibly and leave their guns unlocked and accessible to children and criminals.”

Council member Catherine Fahey, the bill’s sponsor, said, “It is common sense to keep firearms locked up to prevent accidents and injuries, and this legislation goes one important step further by holding adults responsible when firearms are not stored safely. This law sets a standard for us all, and if the loss of even one life is prevented, we have made a difference.” Leah Golby, Chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, said, “Congratulations to Council Member Fahey for shepherding this important local law through the Council. This new law will save lives, helping to improve our public safety efforts across the city.”

The New York State Assembly passed Nicholas’s Law in June that would make firearm safe storage a state law, but the Senate failed to vote. The bill is named for 12-year-old Nicholas Naumkin who was fatally shot in 2010 by his friend who found his father’s unlocked and loaded handgun. Oxsana Naumkin, Nicholas’s mother, said, “I welcome tonight’s Common Council vote to enact a safe firearm storage law for the City of Albany. I am hopeful that the NYS Senate will follow the example of our municipalities and pass a safe storage law in the next legislative session.”

Federal and state courts have consistently upheld firearm safe storage laws on Second Amendment grounds.

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence is a statewide organization working to reduce gun violence through advocacy and education designed to encourage action, influence public opinion and lead to policy change. With a primary focus on New York State, the organization also advocates at the local and national levels for sensible gun laws, policies and practices that protect New York State residents from gun violence.


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