NY Gun Law Funds School Safety Initiatives

Jan 17, 2013

Credit Jared Benedict

A month after the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown,  New York State has led the nation in gun law reform. One change coming involves money - the gun bill passed into law this week provides additional funding for school security measures.

Safety is paramount when it comes to our schools and schoolchildren - "the NY Safe Act of 2013" will send money to public schools to pay for a variety of safety and security features that are designed to deter, slow down or identify an intruder.

Capital Region BOCES District Superintendent Charles Dedrick envisions the new funding invested in hardening school entrances and windows.

Some high schools already have extra safety measures in place, ranging from metal detectors to security guards. Observers argue against schools being turned into fortresses, but that hasn't stopped some from considering hiring armed guards to protect students, teachers and administrators.

Republican Senator Kathy Marchione says anything that can be done to ensure school safety is welcome.

Though the ink is barely dry on New York's gun law, Marchione began a petition on her website in an attempt to demonstrate strong public support for preserving 2nd Amendment rights - it has more than 60-thousand signatures - up 20-thousand from yesterday.   Marchione expects that if New Yorkers continue to sign the petition, she’ll look into repeal and replacement of some parts of the new law.

New York State Rifle and Pistol Association President Tom King notes there are about 4 and 3-quarter million gun owners among New York's 19 million residents, and he feels getting any sort of repeal through the heavily Democratic assembly would be nearly impossible.

In western New York, a lawyer says thousands of gun owners have contacted him to join a class-action lawsuit. Attorney James Tresmond of Hamburg tells WBEN radio they are looking at filing a federal suit in three to four weeks.