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Proposed Gun Storage Law Could Face Uphill Climb In Nassau Legislature

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Some Long Island lawmakers are calling for Nassau County to require all of its gun owners to safely lock away their firearms.

New York City and Westchester have already enacted gun safety laws.

As CBS2's Christine Sloan reported, violators could face fines up to $1,000. If someone is injured or killed by a gun that was not safely stored the owner could go to jail for up to a year.

Gun control activists joined with Nassau County Democrats in Mineola to demand that gun owners be proactive in preventing their firearms from falling into the wrong hands.

"It would impose sanctions on the irresponsible adults who left the firearms available for someone else to access or steal," Leah Gunn Barrett, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence said.

The local measure's backers pointed to thousands of unintentional gun injuries across the nation each year, as well as sensational mass shootings like Sandy Hook.

"You just think of Adam Lanza. He brought the gun from home to shoot up Sandy Hook Elementary," Barrett said.

Several gun store owners said the proposed county gun storage law is unnecessary because the state already requires trigger locks for all new gun sales.

Garden City resident and gun owner Ryan Healy ridiculed the county measure as unenforceable, and worried that is could cost him precious seconds in the event of a home invasion.

"Think about what could happen in that window of opportunity for me to respond, where now I have to unlock my safe, by that time I could have a gun in my face or already have been robbed," he said.

The measure's supporters include Great Neck mother Lois Schaffer whose daughter was killed by a burglar she encountered in her own home 8 years ago who was armed with a stolen gun.

"If that gun had been safely stored away my daughter would still be alive today," she said.

Safe storage backers point out the number of guns stolen in Nassau County has doubled in the past year.

They called it fresh evidence of how guns not safely accounted for can end up in the hands of criminals.

CBS2 reached out to the NRA for a response, but has not heard back yet.

Safe storage backers said the number of guns stolen in Nassau County doubled in the past year, fresh evidence, they say, of how guns not safely accounted for can end up in the hands of criminals.

Republicans control the Nassau legislature, they said they were reviewing the proposal but already warned that it may be duplicating state laws. It remains to be seen if they will even allow the proposal to be heard.


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