Schuyler Co. Govt Opposes New NYS Gun Control Bill
SCHUYLER COUNTY, N.Y. (WENY)- A new gun law may be in the works for New York State and one local government is calling on Governor Cuomo to veto it.
The legislation if approved by the Governor would allow anyone that's a victim of gun violence to sue the company that made the gun.
The Schuyler County attorney Steve Getman helped write a letter on behalf of the County Legislature in hopes of persuading Governor Cuomo to *not* sign it into law.
"To our knowledge, he has not yet signed the bill which is why Schuyler County and I believe and a number of other counties are asking him to veto it,” Getman said.
Lawmakers in Albany recently passed a bill intended to allow civil lawsuits can be brought against gun manufacturers and dealers. Supporters say it will help cut down on gun violence by holding companies legally accountable.
In response to the bill advancing in Albany, the Schuyler County Legislature voted unanimously to send the letter to Governor Cuomo urging him to veto the law. Getman says the County Legislature opposes the proposal because a criminal who uses a gun has no connection to the business that made or sold that gun.
"It would be like declaring drunk driving a public nuisance and then allowing people to sue the local car dealer whenever anybody misuses a motor vehicle in a drunk driving accident,” Getman said.
Getman explains this new bill doesn't only apply to big gun businesses. It also will affect small businesses.
"It can apply to anybody who sells any kind of firearm. Including a mom-and-pop shop in your local neighborhood or anybody that sells magazines or accessories,” Getman said.
The bill requires gun manufacturers to prevent their guns from falling into the hands of criminals. However, the process to do exactly that remains vague and unclear. Instead, Getman believes we should focus on other issues to combat gun violence like the state's current bail reform.
"Accused criminals are being arrested and being returned to the streets in hours and sometimes turning around and committing new crimes,” Getman said.
A large gun manufacturer with connections to Upstate New York is also speaking out about the proposal. Remington Arms has a plant in Herkimer County. The company says in part if this bill becomes law any business dealing with firearms will abandon the Empire State to avoid a tidal wave of lawsuits and new regulation.
Moving forward, the bill is awaiting a vote in the assembly before it heads to Governor Cuomo's desk.