Local Assemblymen vote against legislation on gun storage, cigarette sales

Gun Rights

Two bills in Albany this week have drawn opposition from local Assemblymen Mark C. Walczyk, R-Watertown, and Ken Blankenbush, R-Black River. On Monday, the state Assembly and Senate passed a law (S2450/A2686) requiring residents to store any firearms either in locked cases or with some other locking device, especially in households with children under 16. Mr. Walczyk said the law was an infringement of state residents’ constitutional rights. “Today I watched many of my colleagues uphold the oath they swore to this office, others who didn’t,” Mr. Walczyk was quoted as saying in a news release. “By continuing to impose restrictions and regulations on those who already follow the law, they continue their degradation of the Second Amendment. Why are we punishing sportsmen and hunters?” Mr. Blankenbush said some of his residents keep firearms readily to hand in case of a home invasion and that the new requirements would delay them responding to such an incident. “Yesterday’s legislation referenced ‘safe storage,’” he was quoted as saying in a news release. “It sounds good, right? The truth is, there’s nothing safe about it … In the middle of the night, when you have seconds to respond to an intruder, there is no time to unlock a safe or punch in a code. In an emergency, you need your firearm to be accessible.” Both Mr. Walczyk and Mr. Blankenbush voted against a measure that passed the Assembly on Wednesday to raise the age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21. […]

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