An old, rarely used New York state law is finding new enforcement in Buffalo and it means that mourning families may have to turn in handguns within weeks of the death of a loved one.
The law, according to Fox News, says once a gun permit holder dies, executors have 15 days to turn the guns in to authorities, or dispose of them.
"At times, they lay out there and the family is not aware of them, and they end up just out on the street," Buffalo, New York Police Commissioner Daniel Derrenda told WGRZ. Derrenda admitted his department would be sending officers to collect pistols from executors of deceased permit holders' estates, so "they [the guns] don't end up in the wrong hands."
New York State Rifle & Pistol Association President Tom King commented, “They're quick to say they're going to take the guns."
However, King points out “They don't tell you the law doesn't apply to long guns or that these families can sell [their loved one's] pistol or apply to keep it."
Fox News reports Buffalo cops will find the weapons by matching death records with gun permits.
Attorney Dominic Saraceno worries that many families may not understand their rights.
"If a police officer came to my door without a warrant signed by a judge, I'm not giving them anything,” he began. “Most people don't know that and get intimidated."
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