Buffalo police plan to confiscate firearms of recently deceased gun owners, but they’re facing strong resistance from Second Amendment activists, Fox News reports.
During a press conference last week, Buffalo police said their biggest problem with weapons in crimes seems to involve guns that are stolen in burglaries from homes, WGRZ reports. In some cases, they think families are holding on to weapons even though the person who originally bought them has died.
“We recently started a program where we’re cross referencing all the pistol permit holders with the death records, and we’re sending people out to collect the guns whenever possible so that they don’t end up in the wrong hands,” said Police Commissioner Daniel Derrenda, WGRZ reports. “Because at times they lay out there and the family is not aware of them and they end up just out on the street.”‘
According to Fox News, the plan is legal under a longstanding, but rarely enforced New York state law. However, gun rights advocates say it isn’t the police’s job to take away these firearms, including those that may have substantial monetary or sentimental value to a family.
“They’re quick to say they’re going to take the guns,” Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, told Fox News. “But they don’t tell you the law doesn’t apply to long guns, or that these families can sell [their loved one’s] pistol or apply to keep it.” King said enforcing this little-known state law proves police are targeting law-abiding gun owners.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derrenda said at a press conference last week that the department will be sending people to collect guns that belong to pistol permit holders who had died so “they don’t end up in the wrong hands.” The department will cross reference pistol permit holders with death records and the guns will be collected when possible, he said.
Derrenda said guns pose a threat if their owner is no longer alive to safeguard them, especially if a recently-deceased gun owner’s home is burglarized.
“At times they lay out there and the family is not aware of them and they end up just out on the street,” he said, according to WGRZ.com.
The state law says that if the permit holder dies, the estate has 15 days to dispose of the guns or turn them in to authorities, who can hold the weapons up to two years. LoHud.com reported that violation of the law by survivors is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine. Pro-gun websites took Derrenda’s comments as an affront to the Second Amendment, with BearingArms.com claiming authorities could “use the relative’s pistol permit as the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent to get at every firearm they can, hoping to remove all the firearms from the home while the family is at their most vulnerable.”
To those who said it would never happen, wake up, it’s happening now. Gun registration is for the purpose of gun confiscation. When a right must be registered to be legally exercised, it ceases to be a right, and becomes a privilege that can be revoked.