Nassau lawmakers push for gun storage safety law

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Democratic lawmakers in Nassau County are pushing for a law that would require gun owners to take measures to keep guns out of the hands of kids.

The proposed Nassau County Gun Storage Safety Law would require anyone who owns gun and lives with a minor to keep the weapon locked in a depository or box.

County Executive Laura Curran gathered in Mineola Monday with fellow lawmakers, as well as students, law enforcement officials and people who have lost loved ones to gun violence to call for the bill.

Backers of the measure cite statistics involving suicides of teens who get access to guns in their own homes, as well as the accidental gun deaths of children.

Supporter and pediatrician Jeffrey Oestricher cites an increase in the number of teen suicides by gunshot.

"Four in five adolescents, 80 percent, got the gun from their own home. So we need to decrease the likelihood that kids will get their hands on a gun in this moment of crisis," says Oestricher.

But Republicans who control the county Legislature say they won't support the bill. They say it's an issue that is best handled by the state, and also say it's unenforceable, saying it would be unconstitutional to go into someone's home to make sure a gun is locked up.

There is similar legislation already in place in 27 states, and in at least a half dozen municipalities in New York, including Westchester County. 

Nassau lawmakers previously tried to pass the legislation two years ago, but Republicans in the majority blocked a vote on the measure. The bill appears poised to meet the same fate this time.

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