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Rochester, NY – February 11, 2016 – Monroe County Legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell announced today he will introduce Firearm Safe Storage legislation to the Monroe County Legislature after a series of public hearings. Flager-Mitchell made the announcement with other legislators, law enforcement and members of the public at a press conference held at the Monroe County Office Building. The bill will require gun owners to secure firearms that are not in their possession and control. This legislation mirrors a law recently enacted in the City of Albany with help from New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. Firearm safe storage laws exist in Rochester, Buffalo, Albany, New York City and Westchester County.

“The need for this legislation is obvious. During the five year period between 2010-2014, 250 young people in New York State committed suicide with unsecured guns,” said Leah Gunn Barrett, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV). “We applaud the Monroe County legislature for taking this first step to curb these preventable tragedies.”

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence was instrumental in drafting the proposed Monroe County legislation. NYAGV Upstate Coordinator Gary Pudup, a retired police commander and constitutional rights advocate, met with county legislators to help them draft the proposal to ensure it will be effective and meet constitutional scrutiny. Pudup took part in today’s announcement.

Also speaking at the press conference was Brockport Police Chief Daniel Varrenti, who said, “This common sense measure raises awareness for those who don’t know safe storage standards and ensures that there are consequences for those who don’t store their guns properly.” In addition to preventing unintentional shootings and suicides, safe storage laws prevent guns being stolen from homes and vehicles that then end up on the streets.

Legislator Flagler-Mitchell will soon announce dates and places for public hearings. NYAGV will be taking an active part in those proceedings.

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence is a statewide advocacy group 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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