Democratic Caucus of the Monroe County Legislature

Legislator Flagler-Mitchell Announces Intention to Re-Introduce Safe Firearm Storage Legislation

Tom MorriseyComment

Rochester, New York – Legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell (D-Rochester) announced today that he will be re-introducing his Safe Firearm Storage legislation that would require gun owners to secure guns in an attempt to prevent accidental discharge, stop gun thefts, and keep guns out of the hands of criminals. 

Legislator Flagler-Mitchell announces his legislation, joined by (l to r) Brockport Police Chief Daniel Varrenti, Minority Leader Cynthia Kaleh, Legislator Joshua Bauroth, Gary Pudup, retired sheriff's deputy and representative of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Legislator LaShay Harris, Legislator Justin Wilcox, and Legislator Vince Felder.

“Last year was heartbreakingly violent nationally and locally, with many families being devastated by shootings, including my own. Tragically, 2016 has started off the same way” said Legislator Flagler-Mitchell.  “As a firefighter and elected official, I knew I had to act, and this common sense measure is a practical way to curb the flow of guns from law abiding owners to the criminals who use them to commit crimes.”

Last weekend ten people were shot in two separate incidents, which continued a violent trend from last summer with mass shootings at the Boys and Girls Club on Genesee Street and a house party on Woodward Street both claimed lives, including that of Legislator Flagler-Mitchell’s cousin Herbert Thomas. In discussing shootings last summer, Rochester Police Chief Ciminelli stated that 60 percent of gun crimes committed in the city in 2015 were executed with stolen firearms.

“We know that most gun owners are responsible and do the right thing,” stated Brockport Police Chief Daniel Varrenti. “However, this common sense measure helps raise awareness for those who don’t know proper storage standards and ensure that there are consequences for those who don’t store their guns properly and are used in a crime.”

The proposed legislation would require gun owners to keep their weapons secured with a lock or stored in a safe that has met nationally-accepted standards for resisting burglary attempts when the weapons are not in the owner’s immediate possession or control, with the goal of helping to stem the flow of weapons into violent criminals’ hands.