Saratoga Seeks To Embrace Local Gun Control Regulations

New York isn’t a great state to live in if you’re a gun owner. Governor Andrew Cuomo has been conducting a personal assault against the Second Amendment for some time, making it a little awkward to be a gun owner in his state.

However, some communities within the state have even tougher laws. Most famously is the New York City’s Sullivan Act, which essentially bans guns within the city. That’s far from the only one, to be sure.

Most recently, though, Saratoga is set to embrace its own gun control regulations.

In response to the recent rash of school shootings around the country, Saratoga’s elected leaders intend to enact a couple of ordinances on Aug. 31 that should make it harder for guns to get into the wrong hands.

“I cannot sit back and do nothing,” Saratoga Mayor Mary-Lynne Bernald said at the City Council’s Wednesday meeting. Although she grew up around firearms and considers herself a crack shot, Bernald said she proposed the ordinances because of all the campus tragedies.

She also sought to allay opponents’ fears. “We are not outlawing firearms,” Bernald said. “We are not going to be doing search and seizure in your homes. These are rules responsible gun owners are following. We are attempting to prevent firearms from falling into the hands of young children, suicidal or mentally disturbed individuals, and criminals. We are working to educate our gun owners to act responsibly.”

The council unanimously approved the ordinances following a public hearing and will consider adopting them at its Aug. 1 meeting.

One ordinance would require Saratoga gun owners to secure their weapons inside a locked container or disable them when not in their immediate control and possession. That means if a person keeps guns at home, they’d have to be locked up or disabled when the owner is away.

The other ordinance requires gun owners to report loss or theft of their weapons within 48 hours. The city says 17 firearms were reported stolen within its boundaries between 2014 and 2017.

For some, these are sensible restrictions that may well help stem the harmful possibilities arising from guns falling into the wrong hands.

Those people are dumb.

First, let’s address the mandatory lock-up law. What do they mean by “immediate control and possession?” Is a Glock on the nightstand as you sleep within your “immediate control and possession?” At what point do we take the ideas of a firearm for home defense and make it a non-viable concept because of busybody laws designed to tell people how to store their property?

Next, let’s address mandatory reporting laws. New York State has no gun registration. While they do have universal background checks, those are fairly recent. In short, they don’t know who owns what necessarily. For older firearms, ones purchased before the universal background check system, it becomes difficult to enforce such a law because no one knows where the gun is when it ended up in criminal hands.

Instead, laws like this simply try to make it an additional burden on gun owners and a way to make them the scapegoat for gun crimes. In other words, anti-gunners pretend that gun owners never report lost or stolen firearms and are somehow responsible for the proliferation of more firepower on their streets. That’s not the case.

If anything, gun owners have difficulty in reporting their guns stolen because they don’t have the serial number handy.

However, let’s also remember that these gun owners are the victims here. They’re the ones who have been victimized by a thief. Someone stole their property. Where does any community get off on requiring such people to do anything? I thought victim blaming was forbidden these days.

Unfortunately, folks living in Saratoga are going to have to deal with this. You all have my pity.