The seven Republican County Legislators and one Conservative member of the Westchester County Board of Legislators are proposing that a law be passed as quickly as possible that requires that any gun shows to be held at the Westchester County Center be mandated to follow the recommendations of the NY State Attorney General’s office from its “Model New York Gun Show Procedures.” While it appears that many gun shows across NY State are now following these procedures, the eight legislators believe that Westchester residents will feel more secure about having gun shows in our county if these clear and strict requirements are enshrined in law. If this law passes, Westchester County will have the strongest law regulating gun shows in NY State. Procedures this proposed law will require are:
1) All guns brought into the gun show by private sellers are tagged so that, upon exiting, the operator can determine if guns were sold and that a proper background check was performed.
2) Post conspicuous signs throughout the shows that give written notice to all dealers and lay out in online promotional materials that makes clear that New York State law requires that a National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) must be completed prior to all firearm sales or transfers, and it’s a crime not to do so.
3) Inform all gun show staff of the requirements of posting signs and conducting NICS and provide access to a dealer who is authorized to conduct a NICS at cost.
4) Limit the number of access doors at the show so that sellers and buyers have to enter and exit through an area where the NICS procedures can be monitored.
5) Use reasonable means, including police patrols, to prevent illegal gun sales outside of the building, including the parking lot, and have law enforcement at gun show to watch for illegal sales.
Vice Chair Jim Maisano stated, “I would expect quick passage of this legislation since it was developed after research and due diligence by Atty. Gen. Eric Schneiderman in working with the companies that run gun shows around New York. We believe that mandating the toughest regulations possible to ensure that gun shows follow all existing laws and that the safest procedures possible are followed is the right solution to deal with future gun shows at the Westchester County Center.”
Minority Leader John Testa stated, “The collaboration between show organizers and the NYS Attorney General has enabled gun shows to be successfully held across NY State. We can take an important step in Westchester that will preserve the Constitutional protections of citizens while assuring the public that a proven successful procedure for the event is in place. The GOP feels this is the best solution at this time.”
Minority Whip Gordon Burrows stated, “I fully support passing a law that sets forth clear guidelines to ensure that weapons sold at gun shows don’t find their way into the hands of felons, terrorists, the dangerously mentally ill and others that could not pass a background check. I believe our law is a win for both public safety and constitutional rights.”
This law is being drafted by the Westchester County Attorney at the request of all the members of the Republican Caucus: County Legislators Jim Maisano (R, New Rochelle), John Testa (R, Peekskill), Gordon Burrows (R, Yonkers), Sheila Marcotte (R, Tuckahoe), David Gelfarb (R, Rye Brook), Francis Corcoran (R, Bedford), Margaret Cunzio (C, Mount Pleasant) and David Tubiolo (R, Yonkers).