Suffolk Legislature weighs gun storage safety law

Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory says the proposal is about

Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory says the proposal is about "common-sense gun safety." (9/29/16)

SMITHTOWN - The Suffolk Legislature is considering a bill that would require licensed gun owners to secure their weapon with a safety-locking device or in a locked box when not in use.

Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory says the proposal is about "common-sense gun safety."

According to New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, an average of 210 children aged 19 and under in the state are treated in a hospital because of an unintentional firearm injury.

John Cushman, of the Sportsmen's Association for Firearm Education, says the proposed law will act as a hindrance to licensed gun owners in the event of an emergency.

"It has to be so secured and locked up that it would take you 10 minutes to get at it to use if necessary," Cushman says. "I would prefer to stay alive. I would like my wife to stay alive and anybody who is part of my family."

Critics are also questioning how the law would be enforced.

Other gun owners shrugged off the proposal.

"I personally have all my guns locked in a safe, in my basement," says Steve Richards, of Rocky Point. "I'm the only the one that has the key, and I don't have an issue with any type of legislation that would require a gun owner to keep a gun under lock and key."

Suffolk residents will have a chance to weigh in on the proposed law next Wednesday at a public hearing in Smithtown.

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