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Friday, January 2, 2015

Buffalo Police Go Door to Door, Confiscate Legal Guns from Law-Abiding Citizens

Buffalo Police Go Door to Door, Confiscate Legal Guns from Law-Abiding Citizens


In Buffalo, New York, police have begun confiscating legal guns whose owners have died. Police Commissioner Daniel Derrenda said the move is designed to ensure guns “don’t end up in the wrong hands.” 

The action is in compliance with a New York state law that has until now rarely been enforced.

The police department is tracking death certificates in order to identify deceased gun owners.  Under the law, the estate of the deceased person has 15 days to either dispose of the guns or relinquish them to authorities, who are permitted to hold the weapons for up to two years.

If family members violate the law, they can face misdemeanor charges and up to a year in jail.

Opponents of the action argue that 15 days is hardly adequate time for grieving relatives to inventory guns and make informed decisions as to their disposal.  Wills will not be probated in that time, so families may not know who will inherit.

Buffalo defense attorney Dominic Saraceno expects the law will be challenged in court at some point. He worries family members might just turn over guns, without knowing their financial value.

These gun collections can value into the hundreds of thousands. If a police officer came to my door without a warrant signed by a judge, I’m not giving them anything. Most people don’t know that and get intimidated.

Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, says:    "They’re quick to say they’re going to take the guns. But they don’t tell you the law doesn’t apply to long guns, or that these families can sell (their family members’) pistol or apply to keep it."

Second amendment advocates point out that in this case, registration does lead to confiscation. BearingArms.com responded to the action by saying authorities could “use the relative’s pistol permit as the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent to get at every firearm they can, hoping to remove all the firearms from the home while the family is at their most vulnerable.”

Buffalo police have acted aggressively in the past to round up guns in the city. One buy-back program netted 840 guns this past August. Critics point out that most people who cooperate in these programs are law-aiding citizens, not criminals who use guns.

Mayor Byron Brown responded to the critics:  "I say to those critics, again, if we can get one of these guns off the streets that could be used to commit a crime or injure a member of our community, it’s a good thing."

The Erie County Sheriff’s Department has said it does not plan to follow the city of Buffalo’s lead.

Sounds like 1930's Germany to me...  Can you spell N A Z I ???

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