It can’t happen, right? That’s what the gun control activists try to say. The police won’t be knocking on your door to collect up guns, right?
Unfortunately, it’s happening right now. Police in Buffalo, NY are showing up on the doorsteps of deceased gun owners, ready to confiscate legal firearms. The state law says that if the permit holder dies, the estate has 15 days to dispose of the guns or turn them in to authorities, who can hold the weapons up to two years.
A plan by police in Buffalo, N.Y., to begin confiscating the firearms of legal gun owners within days of their deaths is drawing fire from Second Amendment advocates.
The plan is legal under a longstanding, but rarely enforced state law, but gun rights advocates say, with apologies to onetime NRA spokesman Charlton Heston, it is tantamount to prying firearms – some of which may have substantial monetary or sentimental value – from the cold, dead hands of law-abiding citizens.
“They’re quick to say they’re going to take the guns,” said Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. “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.”
King said enforcing the state law is the latest example of authorities targeting law-abiding gun owners, while doing little to secure the streets.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derrenda said at a press conference last week that the department will be sending people to collect guns that belong to pistol permit holders who had died so “they don’t end up in the wrong hands.” The department will cross reference pistol permit holders with death records and the guns will be collected when possible, he said.
Derrenda 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.
Yes, recently deceased people’s homes get burglarized. However, if that’s all it was about, an officer stopping by, offering the department’s condolences to the family, letting them know that the deceased had a handgun permit and what the pertinent laws are would be, and advising them to make sure the gun is secure a far more rational approach.
No, this is about a department flexing its muscles because the chief wants to make a statement.
There’s nothing in the law that permits this, yet the Buffalo PD is showing up at front doors and further distressing bereaved family members, and why? Why else would a police chief violate the 4th Amendment so brazenly if it wasn’t to score some cheap political points?
We can’t wait for him to be taken to court over this. It’ll be interesting to see whether the whole law is struck down, or just this policy, but this can’t be allowed. It’s an affront to the entire Constitution. Is this something most of us can agree on?