|New gun laws bring chaos|
|New gun laws bring chaos|
|Written by Mark Nichols|
In Missouri, some law enforcement officials are expressing their displeasure and frustration with new laws that would make it a crime for police to enforce gun bans or restrictions. In New York sate on the other hand many sheriffs are saying plainly that they will not enforce new gun laws there. According to a recent article from KMOX News, St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch urged House Republicans to not override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of HB 436. Fitch wrote a letter to Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka letting him know where he stood.
Fitch, who has been known as a pro-gun rights figure in the past, said in his letter that if the bill becomes law it “would hinder local law enforcement’s ability to enforce existing laws.”
“The men and women of the St. Louis County’s Police Department work every day with our federal partners to enforce these laws. Section 5 and 7 will cause us to disband our local task forces, which have a real impact on violent crime in our community,” the letter states. “Additionally, it will subject our police officers to additional civil liability. Our job is difficult enough without the threat of more lawsuits.”
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson co-wrote an editorial recently where he said he thinks the bill is unconstitutional and “absurd.”
“The prospect of Missouri officials trying to arrest federal agents is unimaginable, but that is what House Bill 436 would allow,” the editorial states. “This legislation is offensive due to the disrespect it shows to federal law enforcement agents. Our partnerships with federal officials are a key part of our strategies for reducing gun violence.”
Section 5 of the bill states that “no public officer or employee of this state shall have any authority to enforce or attempt to enforce any of the infringements on the right to keep and bear arms.” Section 7 states “any Missouri citizen who has been subject to an effort to enforce any of the infringements on the right to keep and bear arms…shall have a private cause of action for declaratory judgment and for damages against any person or entity attempting such enforcement.”
Missouri Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Ahlbrand said Thursday that allowing HB 436 to become law would halt 90 percent of joint local-federal investigations of which gun-specific cases are a tiny fraction.
“Certainly drug investigations, certainly violent offender investigations, and certainly Boston bombing investigations. There were guns involved in that,” he said, adding that a collaborative effort between local and federal officials was a key to solving the Boston case.
Ahlbrand says the message sent by the override of the veto would be, “Hey criminals, come to Missouri.” Dotson agreed, writing that legislators would be “encouraging criminals to come to Missouri.”
In New York the Missouri script is flipped with some law enforcement leaders saying flat out they will not enforce a new state gun law that they do not agree with.
According to an article from Bizpack review, a growing number of New York sheriffs are announcing that they don’t intend to enforce the SAFE gun legislation Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law in last January.
The legislation limits magazine capacities to seven rounds and bans the sale of certain types of semi-automatic rifles. The law gives current owners of such weapons one year to get them registered with the state.
Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond said he doesn’t intend to enforce the law.
“I’m not going back on my personal conviction,” he said. Residents have told him that is what they want, he said, and “I’ve stood up for them, and I will continue to do so.”
Unlike laws governing the use of firearms, many law enforcement leaders have been reluctant to take a similar stand on drug enforcement- another area where public opinion is at odds with current policies.
The New York Sheriff’s Association has joined five individual sheriffs in a court effort to block enforcement of the firearms and magazine restrictions.
For his part, Governor Cuomo has said sheriffs’ job is to enforce all the laws and they can’t pick and choose what to enforce and what not to.
To do otherwise “would obviously be chaos” and “a dangerous and frightening precedent,” Cuomo said.
But many are standing their ground in opposition to what they see as government over-reach.
Delaware County Undersheriff Craig DuMond said he and Sheriff Tom Mills agree with the sheriff’s association.
Despite some parts of the law they say could be beneficial, many of its components are overreaching. DuMond doesn’t support the assault-weapons ban or the restriction on magazine capacity.
“It is too broad and prevents the possession of many weapons that can
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