Letter from Latimer Follows Up With County Gun Policy Reforms Challenges to County Executive

WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. From State Senator George Latimer, Candidate for County Executive. October 5, 2017:
October 4, 2017
Honorable Robert P. Astorino
County Executive
Westchester County
148 Martine Avenue
White Plains, NY 10601
Dear County Executive Astorino:
In light of the terrible events earlier this week in Las Vegas, a great deal of concern has been raised regarding items that can be used to turn a legal semi-automatic rifle into a rapid fire weapon – commonly known as “Bump Stocks”. Adding a bump stock to a weapon such as an AR-15, a modification that is in fact specifically designed for that weapon, uses the recoil of the rifle, when fired, to greatly increase the number of rounds that can be consecutively fired.
Currently, Bump Stocks are not illegal in New York, but adding them to a weapon in our state would render that gun not compliant with the NY SAFE Act. Thus, the purchase of a Bump Stock in New York serves no other purpose than to make a legal gun an illegal one. This form of weapon modification allegedly permitted the perpetrator of the Las Vegas attacks to shoot as many as 400 rounds per minute, causing the unfathomable death toll our nation now mourns.
In response to these attacks and to my own efforts to address the issue of gun sales in our community, your office has issued conflicting statements on the future of the controversial gun shows at the Westchester County Center and the items sold there.
Promotional materials indicate that the next Westchester Gun Show is slated for January 20 and 21, 2018. However, a spokesperson for your office was reported as indicating that “no dates [have been] agreed upon.” Likewise, your office has dismissed very real and disturbing reports of Nazi and Confederate paraphernalia having been sold at last year’s show, an action that ignores the pain that this imagery inflicts upon countless Westchester families.
As such, it is critical that you share the following information with us regarding the 2017 Westchester gun show, as well as the upcoming 2018 gun show.
1) Does the County gather information regarding history of compliance with state and federal law for the vendors and the items they sell at Westchester gun shows?
2) What does the County do to ensure that only items legally compliant with state and federal law are sold at gun shows?
3) Are Bump Stocks sold at Westchester Gun Shows? Please provide the names of the vendors selling Bump Stocks.
4) Does the County have a policy banning the sale of Bump Stocks at the Westchester Gun Shows? If not, would you consider implementing one immediately?
5) To ensure the safety of the residents of Westchester County, please provide a list of all vendors that participated in the 2017 gun show, and the current list of the anticipated vendors for the 2018 gun show.
6) Will you commit to prohibiting the sale of hate materials, such as Nazi and Confederate Paraphernalia at county events.
7) Will you, in light of the Las Vegas attacks, commit to the ban on the sale of guns on county property, restoring the practice put in place following the massacres of Columbine and Sandy Hook.
Far too often, we have seen our fellow Americans fall victim to instruments of war that have no place in civilian hands. The true test of leadership is to ensure the safety and security of all Westchester residents at such a difficult and trying time.
I implore you, as a fellow Westchester resident, to stand not on the side of powerful gun lobbies, but on the side of decency and safety. In answering these questions for every Westchester family, you can help bring about positive change in our community.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation in addressing this request.
George Latimer

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