Yates weapons ban falls short

Yates weapons ban falls short

PENN YAN — A proposed local law banning weapons in buildings owned or leased by Yates County has clearly divided the Legislature. Following a public hearing and lengthy debate Monday, the law was not adopted even though seven of 13 legislators voted for it. However, Legislator Ed Bronson was absent and at least eight votes were needed for passage. Voting in favor were Pat Killen, Tim Cutler, P. Earle Gleason, Bill Holgate, Bonnie Percy, Dick Harper and Chairman Doug Paddock. Voting against were Carlie Chilson, Leslie Church, Dan Banach, Jim Multer, Terry Button and Rick Willson. The law would have banned weapons including firearms, stun guns and “dangerous” knives from being taken into buildings owned or leased by the county, with the focus being the county office building. Offenders could be fined up to $500 and/or face three months in jail. Most of the public comments favored the proposal, although people opposed cited the potentially high cost to enforce it with security personnel and metal detectors. One of them was Benton Supervisor Jack Prendergast, who claimed it could cost $300,000 to $500,000. “I understand what you are trying to do, but the cost could be tremendous,” he said. Starkey resident Tom Sheppard told the Legislature he was a Schuyler County employee in 1992 when four Department of Social Services workers there were killed by a gunman upset over child support. “We have (Yates) county employees fearful of this type of thing,” Sheppard said. “What is the cost of a […]

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