Buffalo, NY: Police are implementing a plan to seize registered firearms from the recently deceased. This, of course, leaves the family of the decedent bewildered and distraught during a difficult time. Whose guns are safe? Those who never bothered to register their weapons in the first place. Once again, gun control infringes on the rights of law abiding citizens while leaving thieves and drug dealers armed and dangerous.
This situation is creating another battle over the 2nd Ammendment. Under this law, family members have 15 days to dispose of firearms owned by the deceased or face jail time. After which time, the family may petition the government for the return of the weapons. How long can the government hold these firearms? Up to two years.
It appears police will cross reference obituaries and gun permits. If family members have not complied and turned in weapons, authorities may seize them. What if the family is unaware the weapons exist? What if a family member wishes to keep the guns? Do the police really not have more important things to do than scan the obits?
President of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Tom King, takes issue with how this law is being communicated: “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 loved one’s] pistol or apply to keep it.”
Charlton Heston’s “cold, dead hands” line is taking on an entirely unintended meaning. It appears authorities in Buffalo intend to pry firearms away from law abiding citizens in just that way.
Read More: NRA Warns Of Obama’s Backdoor Gun Grab
Daniel Derrenda, Buffalo Police Commissioner, said guns pose a threat if their owner is no longer alive to safeguard them, especially if a recently-deceased gun owner’s home is burglarized. “At times they lay out there and the family is not aware of them and they end up just out on the street,” he said, according to WGRZ.com. The statistics on that would be useful.
A Buffalo defense attorney said he anticipates legal challenges. Grieving family members may simply allow police to retrieve the guns while not realizing their value. What about their 2nd Ammendment rights? What about the leaving of one’s estate through a will? Is it not bad enough that families have to go through a probate process, but now if items in the estate are firearms, they also have to fight the police to get them back?
Proponents of the law claim it will get dangerous weapons off the street. Those critical of it, however, argue this is a definite infringement of a Constitutionally provided right. “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,” Mayor Byron Brown told WIVB during the summer.